Nearly 90% of seniors prefer to stay in their homes as they age, according to the AARP. As seniors begin needing day-to-day assistance, high-tech monitoring systems and other gadgets can help seniors age in place independently. These technologies also offer family members peace of mind knowing they can easily check on the status of their loved one. The following are a few aging in place technologies to help seniors stay at home longer.
Teaching grandma to check her email is often met by skepticism and hesitation toward newer technology. The good news is tablets have proven to be a big hit for seniors who want to learn and use modern technology. Apple’s iPad and Microsoft’s Surface are designed for a variety of users. Apps make it easy to check email, monitor health, and Skype with loved ones.
To help seniors maintain a healthy lifestyle, new easy-to-use gadgets and devices can help them track and maintain their health. Wearable devices such as Fitbit or Nike+ devices allow them to monitor movement throughout the day and set goals for themselves. These are great for seniors who want to stay active and focus on their health.
Rather than calling your aging relative five times a day to check-in, activity-based sensors placed around the home can discretely reassure loved ones that a senior is up and doing their daily routine. If not, a family member, caregiver, or emergency response service is alerted by phone, email or text. Sensors placed around the home can detect if a senior fell, hasn’t left their bedroom, or hasn’t opened the fridge or medicine cabinet in five hours. These sensors require professional installation and the ongoing price depends on the service provider.
Emergency Fall Detection
These devices are worn around the neck or wrist with an emergency pendant. The button can be pressed in the event of a fall or an emergency and a call is immediately placed to 911 and/or to pre-programmed numbers of family members. Some features may include a “fall detection” feature to alert loved ones of a fall even if a senior isn’t able to press the button.
Voice Command & Smart Technology
Alexa and Google Home technologies give seniors greater capabilities to turn on music, find out about the weather, or activate smart home technologies through voice commands. Smart thermostats and smart lights can be programmed to turn on or off at certain times and are easily adjusted through voice commands with Alexa or Google Home. Adding these technologies to the home helps make simple tasks easier if vision or mobility is a challenge. These can also be used to set reminders like a simple timer, when to take medications, where you put your keys or when to leave for an appointment.
Medication Reminders & Dispensers
For many seniors, they struggle remembering to take their pills or may take them twice. Medication dispensing systems are automated and stocked by caregivers or loved ones with several days’ worth of medications. The system provides reminders when it’s time to take their medications and notifies caregivers when they aren’t taken.
At LTC Consumer, our goal is to educate consumers on the importance of long term care planning and provide resources for care and aging. Get in touch if you need help creating a long term care plan for your future.