Studies show that the vast majority of seniors wish to remain in their homes and independent throughout their later years. Technology is making it possible for more seniors to stay at home than ever before. These technological advances address the various safety concerns faced by older adults.
Below are some of the newest technologies allowing seniors to maintain their independence:
- Automated Medication Dispensing Systems
- Personal Emergency Response System
- Monitoring Services
- Big Button Cell Phones
- TV-Based Caregiving Platforms
- Health Tracking Gadgets
- Temperature-Activated Flow Reducers
Automated Medication Dispensing Systems
The average senior citizen takes a dozen medications on a daily basis, often at different times during the day. These medications do a great job managing chronic health conditions and extending lifespan. Unfortunately, the sheer number of medications taken daily makes it difficult to remember to take them correctly. In fact, 40% of nursing home admissions are because the individual is no longer able to manage medications independently. Automated pill bottles and medication dispensers that will send reminders to take medications and send alerts when a dose is missed are now available . Automated dispensing systems can even be programmed to send messages to a family member to provide peace of mind that the senior is taking their medications properly.
Personal Emergency Response System
Accidents, such as falls, and sudden medical emergencies are a significant factor affecting a senior’s independence. For example, a senior may be forced to lie on the floor for hours with a broken hip before receiving help. Seniors and their families need to know that help is available in the event of an emergency. Assisting Hands® offers a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) to provide seniors and their families with valuable peace of mind. The PERS allows the senior to connect to a 24/7 call center any time there is an emergency. The call center representative will immediately contact emergency services.
Remote monitoring systems allow family members and caregivers to track their loved one’s activity in the home. The GrandCare System uses a system of sensors to monitor activity in various rooms around the house. Caregivers can log into a website to get updates on activity, medication usage, and more.
Another popular monitoring service is E-Neighbor System by Healthsense. The E-Neighbor system looks for unusual activity in the home. If the system detects something out of the ordinary, such as a lack of activity, or water running for too long, it will alert the senior or family member.
Big Button Cell Phones
A cell phone can provide an important lifeline in an emergency. Unfortunately, many seniors are reluctant to use most cell phones. The screen may be too difficult to see, or the senior may not have the manual dexterity to press the buttons or touchscreen. Simplified cell phones, such as Jitterbug, are designed with seniors in mind. These phones have larger buttons, easy to read screens, and louder speakers.
TV-Based Caregiving Platforms
Caregiving platforms, such as Independa, allow caregivers to communicate with their loved one using a mobile app or web portal. Caregivers and family members can video chat, send pictures, play games, and even send medication and appointment reminders to the senior. The senior accesses the messages directly on their TV using a simple remote control. The system is very user-friendly since it does not require the senior to remember passwords or even access the Internet. These platforms can also alleviate the feelings of isolation experienced by many seniors by keeping them connected with friends and family.
Health Tracking Gadgets
Activity is a vital part of healthy aging. Wearable fitness technology is an excellent way to encourage your senior loved one to maintain an active lifestyle. Devices such as Fitbit and Nike+ are relatively inexpensive and are an easy way to track movement throughout the day. The senior can use the device to set personal exercise goals and set reminders to engage in physical activity. Some fitness trackers even allows the user to connect with other users through social media apps to compare activity.
Temperature-Activated Flow Reducers
A person’s ability to sense temperature decreases as they age. This decreased temperature sensitivity places individuals over age 65 at greater risk for scalds and severe burns. A senior can easily sustain a second or third-degree burn if water temperature exceeds 140 degrees. A temperature-activated flow reducer is an easy way to prevent burns and scalds. The flow reducer will automatically shut off the water if it becomes too hot.
Assisting Hands Health Care can help you understand how technology may be able to allow your loved one to live independently in their home. Feel free to call us at (561) 419-6281 for more information.