Long-term nursing care has become notorious for its astronomical costs. There can be a monthly…
Safer and Healthier Lives for Seniors With Technology
Smartphones, computers, and other technology are frequently used by Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Zs. So, technology is often not the first thing in mind as a gift for older parents and grandparents. Yet, technology is helping millions of seniors overcome a wide spectrum of challenges, including safety, tracking health, daily living, and even loneliness. This article talks about some great technology your senior family members might actually use. It may even save their life. For a comprehensive understanding of technology for seniors, visit Techforaging.com.
Wearable technology, such as the AppleWatch and Reemo, gives many families great peace of mind. Below is a sample of how seniors and their families rely on wearables.
- Detecting falls and alerting emergency contacts
- Tracking location, which is especially important for people with dementia
- Monitoring heart rate, blood pressure, and glucose levels (when combined with DexCom) and alerting the wearer and emergency contact when a problem is detected
- Quick and simple communication with family, friends, and medical providers
- Access to medical documents
- Medication reminders to improve compliance
- Fitness and sleep trackers to encourage healthy habits
Technology can help seniors age in place more comfortably and for longer. Below are a few ideas of how a new appliance or other device helps reduce the need to rely on a home health aide.
- Robot mops and vacuums from iRobot help keep floors clean without heavy lifting.
- Smart refrigerators help make sure that food is safe to eat.
- Home Assistants like Alexa Echo and Google Home help seniors make voice-activated phone calls, order items, listen to their favorite music, and more.
- Smartphones, tablets, and other devices are great for ordering food, getting a ride somewhere, talking to loved ones, social media, and all the many things we rely on our devices to do.
- Cats and dogs make wonderful companions for senior citizens, but they require some care too. Technology-assisted feeding and litter boxes can reduce the burden on older pet owners.
Loneliness is a big challenge for many seniors. While nothing replaces the warmth of a hug from a loved one, some devices and apps help stave off feelings of isolation.
- Digital picture frames are an excellent way for loved ones to share snapshots of life. People can email pictures and videos from anywhere in the world, and they show up and display automatically.
- The AI app Replika gets rave reviews for feeling like a real friend with whom you can share meaningful conversations.
- Social media provides a way for people to connect with people around the world. If they join the right communities that share the same interests or challenges, they can provide a way to make new friends.
There are many situations where getting to a medical provider in person is challenging because of transportation, mobility, or social challenges. Virtual care provides medical access from home. There are many apps in the ever-growing and evolving space of telemedicine. Choose from a list of many different apps to fit your particular needs. Here are some categories of apps to consider:
- Having prescription medications available is critical for some people’s health. Many pharmacies mail drugs, so the senior gets them delivered to their door regularly. Apps from their regular pharmacy can track the medications they use, when they are scheduled for refills, and set up automatic refill and delivery options.
- Complying with medical advice is easier with reminders. There are apps for reminding patients to take medicine, get proper nutrition and exercise, and much more. A quick online search can find what you need.
- The American Bar Association recommends the Mind Your Loved Onesapp to provide family members with access to advance medical directives.. Everyone will know your preferences for medical treatments, end-of-life care, whether you are an organ donor, and more. They won’t have to make difficult decisions for you since you have already offered guidance.
Technology is one way to help your parents or grandparents live their best lives independently. As elder care attorneys, we are interested in helping them in other ways. We can maintain their assets, create proper medical directives, and many different situations. If someone you love is approaching 65 or above, ask who guides their legal, medical, and financial plans. If you’d like to discuss your particular situation, please contact our New York office or call us at 607-271-9270.