Technology continues to change, seemingly on a daily basis. What wasn’t available yesterday is the hot trend today, and more people are taking advantage of the many conveniences tech gadgets and programs provide every day. The desire to learn about and use technology spans every age group. Even seniors are quickly seeing the advantages that being tech-savvy brings.
When it comes to living independently even as age or healthy conditions bring new limitations, several innovative gadgets are making us take notice. Today, technology helps seniors to remember their medications, stay in touch with family, share information with their doctors and even improve brain health. Busy adult children appreciate the freedom that these innovations provide to aging loved one and the way in which they help them to stay healthier, more engaged and safer at home.
In searching for good gadgets or programs for seniors, think user-friendly and simple in design. Limiting the number of buttons to press or choices to make and providing a larger display are often critical. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular options.
Helping Seniors Stay Active
Exercise contributes to a healthy body and a healthy brain. It is important for every system in the body, linked to decreased depression and can boost cognitive functioning. Wearable devices like the Fitbit help seniors to find motivation and get moving. As they move more, people wearing these devices often feel inclined to set new goals and stay active.
As seniors move more, some increase their risk of falls. This is especially true when they live alone and lack support from an in home care provider. Falls are a leading cause of death for individuals over the age of 65. Just the fear of falling also prevents many seniors from trying new activities or even leaving home. While fall alert bracelets have long been available, today’s technology is far superior.
Apps like Equilibrium assess seniors and measure their risk of experiencing a fall. The app then uses predictive analytics to make recommendations for possible changes to medications, diet, exercise or environment. Outcome objectives are then set. The results are then sent to the wearer, a family caregiver or the senior’s physician or physical therapist.
Medication Reminders for Seniors
Seniors often take medications to manage certain health conditions. In many cases, they are taking more than one. This sometimes makes it difficult to keep track of when they have taken medications and if they are following doctor’s recommendations. Several apps are available for Smartphones that sound an alarm when it is time for a senior to take their medicine. The app Pillbox takes this one step further and shows seniors a picture of each medication when it is time to take it. This helps avoid confusion and can be especially helpful for individuals with early stage dementia.
Pillpack is a popular program for seniors that is based around technology but does not require the client to use technology. With this system, all of the senior’s prescription and non-prescription medications are coordinated between the doctor and pharmacy. Then, they are packaged in single-dose packs that the senior takes at the indicated times. The system will automatically contact the doctor to arrange refills when necessary, and new packs are auto-delivered as required right to the client’s door.
Isolation is a serious problem for many seniors. It causes many health problems and can contribute to cognitive decline. Helping seniors to stay engaged with friends, family and the community is another way in which technology is used. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram provide families with a simple format for communicating, sharing pictures and keeping aging loved ones involved in their day to day activities.
Lyft is a ride sharing program that helps seniors to get to social events, doctor’s appointments and out in the community to run errands when family members, friends and professional caregivers are unavailable. With an Amazon Echo, seniors can ask Alexa to call a loved one, order food delivery or remind them with an alarm when it’s time to head to adult daycare, the rec center or church.
The explosion of new technology is certainly impacting seniors and helping them to age in place comfortably and safely. Combined with services from an accredited agency like Salus Homecare San Gabriel Valley, these apps and gadgets offer exciting new opportunities and are helping to improve quality of life for seniors.