How Tech Can Help The Elderlyadmin
Senior citizens aren’t exactly known for their technological prowess, but today throughout the United States, many seniors are currently benefiting from the latest advances in mobile technology. That’s because caregivers are increasingly relying on mobile apps, websites, and other “age tech” to make it easier to provide high-quality care.
What is age tech, exactly? Technically, it’s an all-encompassing term that applies to any software or hardware designed specifically for older people. It ranges from battery-powered medical alert necklaces, which senior citizens wear themselves, to smartphone apps dedicated to medication management, which their caregivers use to track dosages, refills, and more. As the pace of technology continues to speed up, every year brings new resources to caregivers and their older patients.
Whether you’re a professional caregiver or a senior citizen hoping to retain your independence, it’s important to know about the most popular age tech available today.
Smartphone apps are an increasingly common and effective way to increase independence and improve quality of life for senior citizens. You’ve heard the phrase “there’s an app for that,” but did you know there’s an app for reminding senior citizens to take their medicine, or for writing notes with a visual impairment?
As technology continues to advance, caregivers now have access to more specific and useful apps for seniors. The following are some of our favorites apps for caregivers and seniors:
Care.ly is often promoted as an app that connects seniors to their medical providers, but it’s much more than that. It’s also a social network for friends, family members, and other caregivers who can use it to update each other on an individual’s progress, share photos of happy moments, and make sure every visit, phone call, and doctor’s appointment is tracked in one place.
Carely prevents seniors from becoming socially isolated, and it also spares caregivers and family members from the inconvenience and possible communication issues that often occur when coordinating care. Instead of making ten calls, they can make a single post and deliver the information to all necessary parties.
Unlike Carely, CareZone revolves entirely around medical updates. Caregivers use multiple features to keep track of seniors’ medical needs, including a journal, a calendar, a contacts list, and photo storage. They can grant others access to the calendar, which includes an alert system for medications. You can also copy doctor’s instructions or document symptoms in an interface that updates automatically.
Personal Caregiver is another medical tracking app, but its focus is squarely on prescription medication. This reminder app is a sophisticated but intuitive way to collect comprehensive information about each and every prescription, from manufacturer and refill dates to possible side effects and doctor’s recommendations.
You don’t have to be a senior citizen to benefit from the brain-boosting power of this fun app, but its main benefits – such as improving memory and concentration – are especially useful as people get older. Luminosity “learns” each user’s cognitive abilities, then chooses from more than 50 games that are designed to gradually “train” the brain.
Sensors and Wearable Technology
Wearable devices and household sensors are not substitutes for in-person care, especially if a senior citizen needs supervision to stay safe. However, these modern innovations provide instant and intelligent feedback that people cannot. Plus, they allow many senior citizens to retain their independence longer.
Motion sensors by SmartThings are designed to keep track of the movements of seniors who have Alzheimer’s disease. For example, one sensor may be on a keychain, activating only when a senior leaves the limits of their property. Other sensors monitor daily and nightly activities within the home, such as sensors in the bedroom that keep track of sleep patterns and wakeup times.
Lively and BeClose make specific accessories, such as pillbox and toilet sensors, for older users.GrandCare also integrates blood pressure monitoring, weight measurements, and even glucose levels into their monitoring devices. These types of sensors work by communicating with a wireless hub. Thanks to hubs and integrated apps, caregivers and family members can access information in real time about their loved ones and patients.
Of course, sensors and wireless hubs are also being used for reasons that have nothing to do with degenerative conditions. Smart homes are no longer science fiction fantasies; they are modern realities comprised of a variety of wireless devices that communicate with one another and learn homeowners’ preferences. Smart home technology includes thermostats that remember your loved one’s temperature preferences, lighting that dims and brightens automatically, and much more.
Senior citizens often depend on multiple prescription medications to avoid health complications and maintain their quality of life. Fortunately, it’s now easier than ever for them to access the pills they need. ScriptDash is an online pharmacy that offers free delivery and automatic refills, all through an online interface that is simple and user-friendly.
Eddy Health Alert
You’ve probably seen commercials for wearable senior gadgets, but Eddy Health Alert offers some benefits that older alert necklaces don’t. For example, when seniors press the button to receive help, operators use their existing phone lines to communicate directly with the user. These multilingual, highly-trained staff members stay on the line with your loved one until help arrives.
Tech Is Not Just For The Kids
As generations age and the number of senior citizens continues to increase, the market for age tech will only continue to expand. Healthcare products for people older than 50 have quadrupled in funding since 2010, and only time will tell how the next advancements will change the lives of seniors for the better. Apps and wireless technology are slowly transforming what it means to be a senior citizen today. As features become more intuitive, seniors can become more independent and caregivers can have more time and energy to provide the one-on-one attention each patient deserves.