Getting Seniors Aging in Place on Board with Technology
The home care providers at Avila Home Care describe methods and benefits of using technology in aging in place homes.
There are many factors that one must consider regarding the safety, security, health, and well-being of a loved one who has decided to age in place. Fortunately, technology continues to evolve, making it easier than ever to fulfill the needs of seniors who are home-bound while easing the worries of their loved ones.
Although some seniors are hesitant to welcome new technology into their homes, the benefits of adopting these tools often outweigh the initial inconvenience of learning how to operate them. In many cases, incorporating technology into an aging in place home allows the resident to remain there longer than they would have safely been able to otherwise.
If your loved one is considering implementing new technologies into their home, follow the steps below to ensure that you set off on the right track:
- Identify areas of need where technology might fill a gap. As a family, identify what factors give your family the most pause. Are you concerned about your relative forgetting to take regular medications? Do you worry about your loved one’s ability to reach emergency services in the event of incapacitation? There are numerous technological tools that can assist with these common aging in place concerns.
- Emphasize your desire for your relative to connect with you through technology. Suggesting that your loved one learn how to use a mobile device or computer they have never encountered may overwhelm them at first. It will help to reduce hesitations if you present a list of benefits you have previously prepared when initially suggesting the adoption. You may state, for example, how much relief it will provide you if your loved one has access to a cell phone or email account. You can also explain that although this method of communication will never replace in-person interactions, it will help you to feel more secure and confident about their health and safety when you are unable to be physically with them.
- Make the adaptation of technology a group project. Try implementing the new technology into your own daily life or home first to ensure that you understand it enough to explain the tool clearly. Engage in an open forum of technology discussion with your loved one to show them that you are there to help them gain a mastery of it. If your relative is still uncomfortable with the technology you have suggested, work together to come up with a solution that uses technology in a way that they are more comfortable with.
- Plant the seeds of technology learning. Even if you are already helping your relative learn how to use their new technology, help them to understand that continuing education will only enable them to become more comfortable with it. Computer courses for seniors are often available at local schools and offered by certain non-profits. In these settings, your loved one may feel more comfortable voicing their questions than they are with you.
Although technology can make a major impact on the health and safety of seniors aging in place, no amount of technology can successfully take the place of a trained caregiver or home care provider. Technology and home care together, however, can make an excellent combination with benefits for all parties.
If you are interested in learning about how a combination of homecare and technology for seniors aging in place could benefit your loved one, contact Avila Home Care today.
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