How Technology Changes are Making Seniors Lives Easier – Insights for IT Professionals

How Technology Changes are Making Seniors Lives Easier

An AARP survey found that 76% of Americans of 50 and older would prefer to stay in their current homes as they grow older. Advances in technology are making this possible as they make day-to-day life easier by automating household tasks and removing various obstacles to independence. 

Technology is changing the experience of aging in a fundamental way at a time when the global population of older adults is growing. For the most part, older adults are not as allergic to new technology as they’re made out to be and many of them own smartphones, tablets and computers. 

Smart devices

The growing population of aging adults has served as a wake-up call for tech companies and product designers. They are creating devices for older adults with large icons, large print and sharp color contrast. They reduce the number of clicks needed to navigate programs and help users find what they’re looking for intuitively. 

Smartphones and tablets: Staying connected with family and friends is a top concern for aging adults and a smartphone or a tablet is a valuable link, especially with apps like Whatsapp and Facetime that make conversing easy and affordable. 

Smartwatches: Smartwatches are helping to monitor the health and safety of older adults. Some of them can sense that a user has fallen and alert emergency services.

Smart stoves and ovens: These can prevent older adults from burning down a house due to having forgotten to turn off the stove or oven. 

Programmable thermostats: Older people tend to lose body heat faster and a programmable thermostat can help to ensure a home stays at a safe and moderate temperature despite the weather. 

Phone apps 

Phone apps make it possible to send personalized reminders to seniors to take medication, shop for supplies, schedule appointments, book transportation, and more. Family members can have the peace of mind of being able to keep track of seniors and know where they are at all times. 

Comprehensive health care apps: Many comprehensive health care apps perform crucial functions such as tracking blood pressure and glucose levels. For example, a handy feature on some apps is the ability to scan pill bottle labels to create a detailed list of medications to share with a doctor. 

These comprehensive healthcare apps make elderly care easier for aging adults and caregivers. Tandem Careplanning’s carefully vetted caregivers give the elderly the personal care they deserve. 

Emergency Response Services

Lack of sight, mobility and hearing can put the elderly at risk when they are on their own. Emergency response services have improved vastly over the past decade. Companies are even manufacturing various safety gadgets, such as a safety belt that deploys airbags around the hips when a senior begins to fall. It then sends a signal to a device so emergency responders can get to the location quickly.

Voice assistants

Virtual assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Home are useful for the elderly, thanks to their voice-command capabilities. If someone is in a wheelchair, for example, getting to traditionally positioned light switches can be difficult, and a voice-based assistant can come in handy. 

Robots

The next step in automation will probably be robots that make life easier for everyone, and potentially better and safer for older adults. Robot vacuum cleaners are already being used in many households and robots specifically geared towards elder care are beginning to emerge. 

Washington State University researchers have tested a robot with sensors embedded all over a home to identify when someone needs help and video technology to give instructions for tasks such as taking medication. 

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