Over the past few decades, technology has been advancing rapidly, and it affects all aspects of life, including senior care. Seniors are now living longer, healthier lives and staying active later in life due to the technological advances available to them. These technological innovations are particularly helpful for Alzheimer’s care facilities because they make it easier and safer to monitor patients. If you have a senior in your life or work with seniors, there are plenty of easy ways you can use technology to improve the quality of their care. Here are some of the ways that recent technological innovations can be used to improve the lives of seniors.
For families with elderly relatives, keeping an eye on their whereabouts can be a major challenge and source of stress. It’s important for seniors, particularly those with memory loss or chronic physical conditions, to stay safe throughout the day. GPS tracking devices and apps allow families and medical providers to stay informed of seniors’ locations in a simple, non-invasive way. Trackers can be placed in clothing items, and they can prevent seniors with memory loss from wandering off and getting seriously injured.
Voice command technology has been popularized over the last few years by companies like Amazon and Google, and they’re a great resource for seniors with mobility or vision issues. Devices like the Echo can provide information from the web using voice commands, so seniors with poor eyesight can still access information quickly without having to read. Voice command technology can also be used to do things like changing the thermostat or even order a taxi, which makes the life for seniors with mobility issues much easier.
In the past, when someone needed a medical test, they would have to go to the doctor, which takes time and costs money. This can be very challenging for seniors, who need their medical metrics monitored more often than younger people. Luckily, medical technology has advanced to the point that many simple tests can be done safely at home. The most basic of these are at-home urine tests for diagnostic purposes as well as insulin monitoring for diabetes, but there are many other types of tests that are being developed. Seniors can do these tests on their own or with medical assistance to be aware of health issues before they become serious and therefore receive better medical care.
Remembering to take medication is a challenge for anyone, but it’s particularly hard for seniors who are struggling with memory loss and other health challenges. Forgetting to take medication can result in life-threatening health problems, so it’s vital that seniors have resources to help them manage these challenges. There are now pill boxes that come with alarms to remind seniors to take their medication at the same time every day. There are also apps for smartphone-savvy seniors that can serve as reminders to take medication.
Devices such as the Fitbit are very useful for helping seniors manage their general wellness on a day to day basis. These devices are worn on the body and keep track of metrics such as calories burned, heart rate, sleep cycles, and more. These devices not only help seniors stay aware of their health, but they can allow doctors and family members to do so as well. This allows doctors to give the most timely, effective advice possible to their senior patients.
Skype and other video conferencing services have made it simple for doctors to have consultations with patients without having to go into the office for a visit. Many seniors struggle to make it out of the house for doctor’s visits, so virtual check-ins make it easy for seniors to get the care they need. The video component of the call allows doctors to assess physical symptoms visually for more accurate diagnoses.
Devices with robotic components can automate tasks for seniors that they might typically struggle with manually. For example, they can be programmed to handle basic personal care tasks to simplify seniors’ daily routines. Robotic assistance devices also have software components that interact with the seniors through both voice and text to determine their needs and can interact with their existing phone and social media pages to connect with others. They work similarly to voice assistants but have an added digital and visual component to manage a broader range of tasks, and they’re also developed to be medically focused. They can take note of a senior’s medical needs and their changing health from day to day to help them get the best care possible.
Smart Disability Tools
For seniors struggling with disabilities, many disability management tools now offer a smart component that allows them to better manage their health problems. For example, many in-home disability assistance features, such as ramps and grab bars, can be adjusted to the senior’s needs through lighted pathways. There are also customizable lights and sensors to help remind seniors with memory loss of important tasks that need to be done, such as taking medication. Smart hearing aids are another new tool that can connect with a phone or TV to bring a phone call or a TV show directly to the senior’s ears while filtering out unnecessary noise. Many tools also provide emergency assistance features, so if a senior falls or experiences another medical emergency, they can easily contact medical responders as well as family or friends to ask for assistance. These tools bring peace of mind to loved ones and help seniors find the independence they desire.
Technology is a vital resource for seniors transitioning into retirement and managed care. Although this is a major lifestyle change, it doesn’t mean that seniors should have to give up living a comfortable, happy life or doing the things they love, and these technological advances provide senior living help to manage that. As technology continues to advance and become more affordable and accessible, seniors have plenty to look forward to in terms of their growing care options.
This post was written by Holly Klamer
Holly Klamer is a connector with Senior Living Help that helps provide comprehensive resources on various senior living options. She loves working in the ever-changing world of digital and is fascinated by the role content plays in today’s marketing.