Numbers from the United States Health and Human Services Department show that as few as 28-percent of adults over the age of 65 are physically active. That small percentage can often be attributed to a loss of mobility or other health related issues.
One new business in the Coulee Region works to stimulate local seniors through technology.
They are songs that have not been played on the radio for decades.
"Brought back a lot of memories," said Orville Johnson, resident of SpringBrook Assisted Living in La Crescent.
One special pair of headphones is bringing familiar tunes to local seniors.
"Well, I like the one the ‘Old Johnny’ which is about as far back as they went with me, anyway," Johnson said.
Kathy Helgerson founded SimpleSteps to Technology, LLC. It is a small business with a modern approach to enriching the lives of senior citizens.
"When I was helping a resident that lives at my mom’s facility, I was helping her Skype with her family, and it was my ‘aha’ moment," Helgerson said. "This is what I want to do."
Eversound headphones are just one tool Helgerson uses when working with seniors.
"We also experienced virtual reality taking a ride through a drive-thru zoo," she said.
"People with dementia and Alzheimer’s just sit around day-to-day and having these microphones the earphones is a wonderful experience for them," said Lisa Kulas, Community Director of SpringBrook Assisted Living in La Crescent. "It brings them to life, and it makes them smile."
Johnson says it is an experience he did not think was possible.
"I have a hearing aid in one ear, and it seems to be picking it up pretty well," he said.
It is that positive feedback that keeps Helgerson going, hoping that one day all senior citizens in our community will have access to technology.
"We need to find a way to make this happen, because it’s bringing them so much joy," she said. "This is an opportunity."
Helgerson continues to collaborate with local nursing homes and assisted living facilities to bring technology to as many local seniors as possible. She also works with seniors in their homes, providing one-on-one tutoring sessions and troubleshooting for those who are frustrated with everything from computers to smart TVs.
For more information about SimpleSteps to Technology or to get a free consultation, visit the website.