5 Technological Gadgets Changing the Lives of Seniors
Technology is fun! We are living in an age of electric cars, watches you can talk to - and that talk back, wireless headphones and virtual reality video games. But technology can also enhance the lives of seniors.
Below are the five technological advancements impacting seniors today:
Gone are the days of bulky pendants for infirm seniors who've "fallen and can't get up". Today's medic alert jewelry is quite fashionable and many resemble a smart watch. They also monitor much more than in years past, including:
- Blood pressure
- Sugar levels
- Gather data that can be interpreted by your caregivers for better care
- Suggest dietary needs
- Sound an alarm in case of sudden immobility, falls or loss of consciousness
Telehealth involves using mobile or wireless devices to tend to healthcare needs. Including:
- Using an app to meet with physicians via video
- Website-based chat services to obtain medical advice
- Accessing medical information via a secure online portal
- Heart Rate and Glucose Monitors which transport data to treating physicians
The American Telemedicine Association (ATA) indicates that telemedicine is "a significant and rapidly growing component of health care in the United States," with approximately 3,500 service sites in use today.
Medical Alert Systems
According to AginginPlace.org, Medical alert systems, also referred to as personal emergency response systems (PERS), medical emergency response systems (MERS) or fall monitors can provide a significant aid in allowing seniors to safely stay independent longer. Services include:
- Fall sensors
- Direct access to nearest fire station
- Access to police to report suspicious activity
- Monitors for fire, smoke or carbon monoxide
- GPS location detection and tracking for those who still drive or take walks
Medical alert systems are no longer just for those who've "fallen and can't get up" they offer so much more, and as technology expands, seniors may enjoy even more autonomy.
Daily Living Systems
These systems combine activity monitoring, telehealth, medication management and social connection into one comprehensive caregiving technology. This multipurpose system tracks things like:
- Daily activity
- Health information in real time (heart rate, weight, glucose level, blood pressure, oxygen)
- Uploads information to a safe website
- Caregivers can specify when to receive alerts i.e., "alert me when mom doesn't go for her daily walk"
Perhaps one of the most interesting features of these devices is they come with features like Facebook or Skype so the user can connect with loved ones.
Once upon a time, doorknockers were innovative technology. Then came doorbells but the doorbells of today offer far more that a charming melody. This technology is easy to install and customize. Some of the features include:
- Flashing lights along with chime
- Two-way speakers
- Motion sensor lighting
Nothing is more disconcerting then an unexpected visitor. These doorbells enhance a senior's safety by allowing them to never have to open a door not knowing who is on the other side.
Seniors who embrace technology can improve the quality of their lives. If you are, or have an elderly loved one, the future holds wonderful things for seniors who are not technologically averse and are willing to give the new tech a try.
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