9 New Tech Devices For Elder Care That Help Seniors Live Happier & Healthier Lives

Advice For Caregivers

9 New Tech Devices for Elder Care that help Seniors live Happier and Healthier Lives

Image Credit: Susan Murtaugh / flickr

 

According to the U.S. Census, the most rapidly growing elderly age group is called the “oldest old.” This group, which encompasses individuals 85 and older, is expected to grow to 19 million people by 2050. This means that approximately five percent of all Americans will be in this highest age category.

While it is a positive development that people are living longer, it also means that more resources will be needed to keep those individuals healthy and happy.

As this age group is growing, the tech industry is starting to pay more attention to creating and marketing new tech devices for seniors. Most of this technology has three primary purposes.

First, some is designed to keep seniors safer, whether they are aging in place or living in senior living communities. Second, this technology is focused on making seniors healthier by monitoring their health conditions. Finally, some of the technology is created to make seniors happier and more content.

Here are some devices that you may consider using to help your senior family member age in place.

 

Technology to Keep Seniors Safer

With their technology improving all of the time, medical alert systems are among the most helpful devices to keep aging seniors safe in their own homes. Companies such as, Medical Guardian, sell fall alert systems for as low as $30 per month.

Many of us became familiar with this technology in the 1980’s when the “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up” commercials first aired. Since then, medical alert devices have become much more sophisticated. Now, many systems can detect falls, and loved ones are alerted even when the user is unable to activate a button. The systems’ batteries last longer, and the range is farther than earlier generations of medical alert systems.

Pill dispensing systems also make it safer for senior citizens to age in place. Some of the prescription systems are so high tech that they can be programmed to dispense specific meds several times a day in varying doses. A caregiver is notified if the pills aren’t retrieved promptly. These pharmaceutical dispensing systems lower the risk of accidental overdoses. They also help remind the aging of complicated pill schedules.

One doesn’t think about home security systems as being tools to help older adults age in place safely, but the technology can undoubtedly be utilized that way. Motion sensors placed throughout the house can monitor a person’s activity. Systems can be programmed to alert family members or neighbors if irregular activity is detected.

 

Technology to Make Seniors Healthier

Many seniors don’t enjoy exercising. When your hips hurt, and you have lost your sense of balance, traditional exercise is the last thing on your mind. Even those who are able to move with ease may have lost their desire to exercise regularly.

To encourage seniors to move, especially those who are undergoing physical therapy following a fall, stroke, or other degenerative diseases, some have turned to the gaming world for inspiration. Neuro Rehab VR is a company that has found a use for virtual reality for seniors. Their systems are so advanced that they can tailor each exercise to a patient’s need and ability. While wearing the VR devices, the elderly users focus on the virtual scenario instead of focusing on the pain associated with the movement.

TrueLoo is another system that monitors the health of aging seniors. TrueLoo scans the urine and the excrement of a senior citizen to see if any health concerns should be addressed. Since even a simple urinary tract infection can lead to hospitalizations for seniors, the TrueLoo system can save lives.

Blood sugar monitoring systems are also saving lives every day. If your aging parent has diabetes, you can be alerted when your mom or dad’s blood sugar becomes too high or too low. This is especially helpful for people who aren’t able to monitor their health.

 

Technology to Make Senior Citizens More Content

Alexa, Siri, and other virtual assistants allow senior citizens to interact with technology easier than ever before. Seniors can learn simple voice commands to communicate with family members, call for help, find out the outdoor temperature, or listen to music. Some elderly citizens have embraced this technology, and they use it to ask questions about the world around them. This interaction, even though it is with a computer, may reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Some aging seniors may miss having the companionship of pets. One company markets virtual pets to seniors. These furry companions aren’t living, breathing cats and dogs, but they are soft, respond to a few simple commands, and don’t need daily walks or food.

Finally, Kindles and iPads are great tools for aging senior citizens. They are relatively easy to learn how to use and can be used as a one-stop-shop entertainment tool for those who are unable to leave the house. Not only can aging loved ones experiment with screen brightness and font sizes to make reading easier, but these devices can also be used to listen to audiobooks.

If your elderly parent or grandparent misses getting a daily newspaper, show them how to subscribe through their device. Not only will they be able to see the text easier, but they also won’t risk a fall when going out to pick up the paper on the front stoop each morning.

Although some senior citizens complain about how technology has changed the world they live in, many developments now enable the older generation to age in place longer than ever before. These devices and developments allow seniors to live happier and healthier lives.

Technology also allows family members to breathe a sigh of relief because they can check up on their family members without having to go to their homes continually. It is much easier to sleep at night when you know that your loved one is safe, happy, and well.