How Technology Improves Aging in Place
While the benefits of aging in place greatly outnumber the challenges, there are a few difficulties that must be mitigated. Fortunately, in our age of constantly evolving technology, these problems are easily and conveniently solved. Here, the aging in place specialists at Avila Home Care detail the challenges faced by those choosing to age in place, and how technology helps to rectify those challenges.
Maintaining Health and Safety
The most important concern for anyone aging in place is safety and health. Many seniors live alone, and do not have friends and family nearby to check on them. While a caregiver, like those at Avila Home Care, can be an invaluable help in this regard, there are several devices that can assist seniors in staying safe and healthy as well. Monitoring systems, such as Lively, MedMinder, LifeLine or GreatCall Urgent Response, can help the elderly take proper amounts of medication and receive help in emergencies—they even provide GPS tracking to better help locate missing or injured seniors. They can also provide reminders to eat, rest, exercise or do other important tasks, which are especially valuable for those with dementia or Alzheimer’s. Many of these systems provide alerts to a loved one, letting them keep up on their loved one’s habits and alerting them if something unusual is occurring. In this way, friends and family can watch over elderly loved ones from afar, and seniors know they will be keeping themselves safe and healthy.
Senior citizens are also more susceptible to outside threats, such as break-ins. There is a wide array of security systems on the market, many of which work through automatic sensors, detecting who is coming in and out of the house. With live camera feed viewable from devices across the country, loved ones can keep a watchful eye on their elderly family member, and warnings are automatically sent to friends and family, as well as 9-1-1, when an intruder is detected. In emergency situations, such devices can be the difference between life and death, and are invaluable for maintaining peace of mind.
Increases Socialization and Provides Entertainment
Besides safety, isolation and loneliness are the next most major concern for anyone aging in place. Fortunately, there are a litany of programs, devices and applications to help keep seniors connected to loved ones. Social media is an invaluable tool, helping those who live far from each other stay in touch in real time. Smartphones, with programs and apps such as Snapchat, FaceTime and Skype, allow face-to-face interactions with people across the world. For those less technologically inclined, there are “senior-friendly” cellphones, with large keys and easy-to-use interfaces, that still allow for phone calls and text messaging.
iPads, Kindles, Nooks and other tablet devices make entertainment portable and convenient. Applications such as Netflix, Hulu and HBO Go allow seniors to watch all of their favorite shows and movies quickly and easily. There are thousands of free or low-cost music and game applications that can provide hours of entertainment as well. With these technological capabilities, no senior need feel isolated.
With old age comes difficulty moving around, which may leave some seniors concerned they will not be able to age in place. But yet again, technology comes to the rescue: applications and programs exist to help seniors get around, and receive the products and services they need. Ride services like Uber and Lyft can pick up seniors right from their door, and take them anywhere they wish to go. Food delivery services such as Peapod, Instacart and Amazon Fresh provide fresh groceries right to your home, allowing seniors to forgo the tiring trip to the grocery store. With Amazon Prime’s next day shipping, and the ability to purchase nearly everything online, immobile seniors need not fear having their wants and needs met.
Avila Home Care is Available to Solve the Problems Technology Cannot Fix
Of course, technology cannot be everything for everyone: sometimes, all a senior citizen needs is a comforting touch, or the ability to share a meal with a companion. For technology adept and averse seniors alike, Avila Home Care is able to step in where technology simply does not meet their needs. Our dedicated caregivers provide the warmth and companionship every person needs and deserves. For more information, we would love for you to contact us today!
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