Technology for Seniors – Beyond Safety
Do you remember the now famous commercial, “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”? Most every person who has watched television in the past 40 years knows that ad. At the time the first pendant alert system came out it was revolutionary. That tool has advanced over the years, but that pendant technology is still one of the most commonly used safety items for seniors, to this day.
The new technology we now have at our fingertips has changed the way we live completely. Seniors get a bad wrap though when it comes to technology. They might be slower to learn something new, and we know how mom loves it if you would just fix her phone (TV remote, computer, etc.) for her, but she can learn new technology. For more than just safety, technology can be brought into the home to help our elders live more comfortably than ever before. Here are just a few of those options.
Hi Tech Kitchens
Most of us have wandered away from the stove and lost track of what we’re doing. The doorbell rings, you get a call, and suddenly 5 or 10 minutes later your food is burning, or worse, you just got an open and hot burner you’ve completely forgotten about. But what if your loved one has dementia/Alzheimer’s?
Intelligent stoves are now a reality from a company called iGuardStove. Using motion sensing technology, the device you place on or near your stove monitors your activity. If the sensor doesn’t detect someone is present, then after a certain period of time, it will turn off your stove. It can even send out a text alert when the stove has been turned off. It’s ideal peace of mind for a loved one when you’re not home to monitor what’s going on.
One of the most revolutionary products that have come onto the market are digital assistants like the Amazon Echo or Google Home. The device can answer questions, help you stay organized, and assist with the overall running of your home. Robots for companionship and assistance are developing to help aging populations worldwide. One of the simplest and most accessible is the companion cat or dog created by US toy-maker Hasbro. You can learn more about the Companion Cat here. For seniors who have had to give up a beloved pet for some reason, these life-like furry friends have made a huge difference in fighting off loneness and depression in seniors.
One of the most important trends in our culture is the importance of taking an active role in maintaining our own health. Our current generations of seniors will live longer and are more active than ever before. There are now a plethora of devices to monitor fitness levels and count the number of steps you take. It’s a great start, but if you look further there are fully mobile health monitoring devices that can potentially predict strokes, monitor sleep, body mass and weight, and check blood pressure and glucose levels. What’s more, there are free Apps you can use to help communicate these readings to your physician.
These are just a few of the items out on the market now. We’ll keep sharing new products and innovations as they come to market.
In conclusion, it’s important to consider your own individual and family’s needs and goals. Begin by mapping out the most important goals your senior family member has in helping them stay independent. From there evaluate where technology can help meet those needs.
Learning to embrace a high quality of life at any age takes planning. But right now there are more options available than at any time in human history. Remember to stay patient, learn together, and enjoy the journey.
Written and posted by Jean Widner of the BestLivingTech.com Team.