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Technology that improves senior care! New and innovative devices and products that make life easier for older adults. It isn’t news to us that technology is experiencing rapid growth and change. It is easy to feel overwhelmed by all the advances and changes. But there are numerous ways that these advances in technology can help to improve senior care and the quality of life for seniors.
There are innovative and new devices that can help monitor and assist seniors with exercise and mobility, reminders to take their medications, improve brain health and be able to engage more with others. If you’re a long-distance caregiver, using technology to help in senior care from far away can help you feel more confident in your loved one’s safety and social engagement.
The amount of technology that is now available is more than any other generation has had before us. The current senior population is embracing this and expects to use technology in their daily lives.
Many new products are quickly forgotten. But the secret behind a good design is that it must be simple and easy to use. If you can’t figure out how it works, it won’t help you! Check out how technology can help in senior care and all aspects of life.
Technology That Helps Seniors Exercise
in senior care, exercise is a vital part of staying active and healthy. Exercise keeps both our minds and bodies healthier. New devices coming onto the market can help with both mobility and motivation. There are wearable electronic devices like Fitbit that can help you keep track of how much you are moving and encourage you to set new activity goals.1
In the area of what was once considered science fiction is the development of robotic exoskeletons.2 A robotic exoskeleton is an external suit or brace that can be used to provide stability and boost stimulation to tired muscles.3
Technology That Provides Medication Reminders
Keeping track of when you last took your medication is a huge senior care challenge; especially when you are taking more than one. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that among the 65 and over age group, 40% of people are taking 5 or more medications a day.
There are now apps available for use on your smartphone that will sound an alarm reminding you to take your medications. Some apps such as Pillbox will also show you a picture of all the pills you should take at each time.
A more advanced system such as PillPack will synchronize your prescriptions and supplements with both your physician and your pharmacy. Your medications are then pre-packaged into labelled daily packs and delivered regularly to your door. The system also keeps track of when your next refill is due and contacts your physician before you run out.4
Technology That Improves Brain Health
How you interact with your environment and what is important to you as a consumer is driving new developments in products for maintaining and improving brain health. Designers and developers are realizing that the over 65 population is drawn to and wants to engage with new technology in creative ways. Products are being built that help to improve senior care: both the daily care and quality of life.
These tools can be used either by an individual or with a caregiver. Mentia is an iPad game by Deva World that allows users with dementia to interact with an animated character on the screen. The user (or caregiver) can easily select paintings, books, music and settings that are relaxing, enriching and entertaining for the mind.5
Technology That Provides Memory Assistance
BlipIQ is a program designed for people who experience memory loss. The program allows the user and family members to upload and engage with various forms of memories. Through stories, videos, audio, pictures and texts you can engage with others family and BlipIQ helps to keep the puzzle pieces of memory active.6
Even virtual reality is being used as a means for improving your brain health! While wearing a virtual reality headset the user can choose to participate in a variety of activities. From experiencing the natural wonders of the world like Yosemite National Park to travelling virtually to explore the pyramids of Egypt. The virtual reality headsets can be synced so multiple people can experience the adventure together, leading to great conversations from across the globe.
Technology That Increases Engagement
Loneliness and isolation are two of the biggest health problems facing seniors today. Technology such as smartphones, tablets, and computers allow seniors to stay connected with family and friends. Once considered the domain of the under 20 crowd, texting, Facebook and picture sharing has taken off with seniors.
There are a multitude of devices, programs and apps that help to keep you connected. Lyft is a ride-sharing company that offers people a comfortable and convenient way to travel even when they no longer drive. Recently, Lyft (and other ride-sharing companies) have partnered with healthcare facilities to assist seniors with transportation to the doctor’s office, medical appointments, grocery stores and visits with friends and family.7
The explosion of new inventions, technologies and devices can be exciting as you discover how you can use these innovative designs to improve quality of life for yourself or a loved one.