In 2016 the leading edge of the Baby Boomers began celebrating their 70th birthday. More often than not,”Aging in Place” resonates as the anthem of “Boomers”.
Technology, specifically digital technology, is a viable means of preserving continued independence for senior adults, and the list of available helpful gadgets continues to grow. Wearable devices, smart phones,and tablets significantly contribute to the health and well-being of today’s senior adults. This fact is no longer questionable; data-driven analytics help seniors, caregivers and concerned family members closely monitor healthcare issues such as medication management, blood pressure,and diabetes.
Seniors are beginning to realize the importance of digital technology. For the most part they are increasingly anticipating having it become a part of their daily lives. Smartphones and the internet are invaluable when it comes to communication and socialization. They are reliable and effective ways to connect with family members and healthcare professionals.
However, often senior adults are faced with challenges in accepting,or using,new technology:
- Physical limitations : some physical conditions and health issues may make it difficult to use new technologies. Failing eyesight, chronic illness and mobility handicaps prevent elder adults from taking full advantage of “on-line” and digital devices.
- Skepticism: Older adults who do not currently use the internet are often not at all certain that lack of access puts them at a disadvantage.
- Difficulties learning : A number of senior adults need assistance when it comes to using new digital devices. Additionally, when they do go on-line, they shy away from social networking sites.
A big obstacle for family members,caregivers and support circles is making the process of learning to use technology interesting, easy, and fun.
Early acceptors recognize the important role that technology plays in their safety and communication ability. They are using and gaining maximum benefits from digital “gadgets”.
Personal emergency response systems
have become widely available and are getting more sophisticated. Wrist bands, or pendants, are activated with the push of a button and are able to summon emergency professionals and family members. Some companies, like GreatCall, have mobile systems that detect falls and will work anywhere, not just at home.
is available for computers, tablets and smart phones. Having the ability to view loved ones, in real-time, while communicating is paramount for social interaction.
Wireless home monitoring
systems use sensors that are able to detect falls, report out of the ordinary behaviors, and monitor vital signs.
technology will alert caregivers if loved ones with dementia begin to wander out of protective areas.
Home assistive devices
will allow seniors with mild cognitive impairment or limited mobility to remain independent. LED lights, medication dispensing devices, telephone dialers and stove shut-off systems, like “Iguardstove” are now readily available and relatively cost-effective.
allows those with hearing loss to hear the television more clearly. With TV Ears technology, users can set their own headset volume and tone while others around them set the television volume to their preferred level.
Innovations like video intercom systems,automatic thermostats,smart lights and occupancy sensors will all make life a little easier and safer for seniors. The wide array of digital technology that is available on the market today allows both local and out of area family members to become an active and interactive part of the daily activities of their loved ones. Science has kept stride with the increasing needs of an aging population, and is giving us marked improvement in health, safety and socialization related issues.
Technology can become overwhelming, especially so for seniors, and even more so for the very elderly. Those who can benefit the most are likely to be the most resistant. Contact us when you need timely solutions for your caregiving related needs.