Technology has advanced in recent years and transformed every aspect of modern life – from how we interact online to how we work and monitor our health. Seniors are becoming more tech-savvy and using technologies to enhance their quality of life. With that in mind, here are six areas of senior living that technology can improve:
1. Social interaction
One of the major ways that technology can enhance the lives of seniors is by improving social interaction. Seniors now have access to a huge variety of communication tools, including live messaging apps and videocall. This has made it easier for seniors to stay in regular contact with loved ones and increase their social interaction.
Loneliness is a serious issue among the elderly, and recent statistics show that nearly one-third of seniors live alone. Senior isolation is extremely common and can lead to serious health issues and even death. One big reason seniors become socially isolated is because of untreated hearing loss. Age-related hearing loss can easily be treated with digital hearing aids that are rechargeable. This is why seniors must stay connected and maintain a healthy social life. Technology has made it easier for seniors to fight feelings of loneliness by allowing them to communicate with family members and friends online. Seniors can also use technology like the internet to join online support groups and connect with other seniors.
People become more vulnerable as they get older, and seniors typically have more safety risks inside and outside of the home. For instance, statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that one in three seniors have a fall each year. Falls account for 25% of hospital admissions in the elderly and often lead to serious injuries and fatalities.
Technology has been designed to make seniors’ homes safer and more user-friendly. For instance, an electric stairlift can be installed to make it easier for seniors to get up and down stairs safely. Seniors can also have a personal alarm installed in their homes to call for help in an accident or emergency. Technology can make seniors’ homes safer, but assisted living may be a better option if an elderly person is struggling to live alone. According to Frontier Management, some signs your parent needs assistance are: they need help with daily living activities, they suffer from physical health issues, or they have been diagnosed with a mental impairment. Assisted living facilities are equipped with the latest senior living technology to ensure that seniors can maintain a safe, healthy, and happy lifestyle.
There is also a wide range of technology that can help keep seniors safe outside of their homes. For example, seniors can wear a device containing a GPS tracker. This is a great option for seniors who have memory loss or a medical condition like Alzheimer’s. Seniors can also purchase a personal alarm that they can sound if they are attacked or feel threatened while out. These technologies can help keep seniors safe and reduce crime against elderly people.
Regular exercise helps seniors maintain good fitness levels and lower their risk of chronic health conditions such as high blood pressure and strokes. Being active will also help seniors avoid unwanted weight gain, and as they get older, a slower metabolism. In addition to the physical health benefits, regular exercise can reduce stress in the elderly and improve mood and wellbeing. Being active has dozens of great health benefits, and seniors should be encouraged to exercise for around 30 minutes a day.
Fitness technology like EA Sports Active on Nintendo and Wii Active Personal Trainer can encourage seniors to be more active by making exercise fun. Exercise games have revolutionized workout routines and offer a fun and easy way to get fit. Seniors can get involved in light to moderate activity and find an exercise routine that they enjoy. Many senior living facilities and nursing homes have invested in exercise video games and consoles as a way to increase residents’ fitness levels and improve their health and wellbeing.
4. Health tracking
Online tools have made it much easier for seniors and their carers to organize and manage information related to medical history, health conditions, medication schedules. Many doctor’s surgeries now use cloud-based health information tracking systems and offer patient portals where seniors can access their health records, seek medical advice, and book appointments online. This has made it far easier for seniors to track their health and seek medical assistance when they need it.
Seniors can also use wearable technology to monitor their health. For instance, an Apple Watch can track various aspects of health, including weight, daily steps, physical activity, blood pressure, and sleep quality. Wearable fitness devices can encourage seniors to lead a healthier lifestyle and increase activity levels.
5. Medicine management
Seniors often find it difficult to manage their medication, especially if they have multiple prescriptions. This can lead to missed pills, medication errors, and serious health complications. Medicine management technologies can remind seniors when to take certain prescriptions. It can also notify seniors and their caregivers when stock is running low, and a refill is needed. A medicine reminder app like RxmindMe can be downloaded onto a smart device to help seniors manage their medication and prevent medication errors.
Many organizations, including National Geographic, have released apps that allow people to access information online or via an e-reader. These apps can help seniors remain up to date with current information, learn about new topics, and discover what is happening around the world. Seniors can also download hundreds of educational books for free on Amazon and broaden their knowledge on a huge variety of topics and interests. Learning helps seniors keep their brains sharp and improve their memory and cognitive ability.
Technology is a powerful tool that seniors can use to enhance various aspects of their lives, including social connections, personal safety, and health. Elderly people and their carers should be aware of what technology is available and utilize it to their advantage. Above are some of the key ways that technology can enhance senior living and help seniors overcome the challenges of aging.