Technology can have enormous benefits in improving the daily lives of seniors. In an age where seniors make up a greater portion of the U.S. population, entrepreneurs and tech companies are creating more and more innovative products and services that increase safety, social engagement, and overall quality of life for the elderly. We’ve highlighted some recently introduced technology that is helping seniors in their daily lives:
- Voice Command Technology: Want to know what time it is, set an alarm, hear the weather forecast, or even listen to your favorite song? Voice command technology is an emerging trend that has seen enormous growth due to its convenience, safety, and intuitive features. While voice technology is popular among all ages, it is specifically useful for seniors with mobility issues, impaired eyesight, or slight memory loss.
- Google Home: This device can perform a variety of household activities that can cut work in half. With the proper connection, your loved one can control household devices such as washers and dryers, thermostats, dishwashers, and lights with voice commands.
- Amazon Echo: With the simple phrase “Ok Alexa”, your loved one can get weather forecasts, traffic updates, order something from Amazon, or listen to his or her favorite music. Ask Alexa a question and she will search the Internet for the answer.
- Wearables: Wearable technology is another way seniors can stay safe, happy, and healthy. These devices can help your loved one call for help during emergency situations, while other products can measure vitals and physical activity. The advancement of wearable technology continues to help seniors live more convenient, independent lives.
- Nu Eyes: For seniors with low vision, Nu eyes are hands free electronic smart glasses for the visually impaired. The glasses are worn like a normal pair of glasses, allowing your loved one to have hands-free use to take them anywhere.
- Lechal Insoles: Seniors with low vision and dementia are finding wearable shoe technology like Lechal Insoles to provide comfort and convenience. These insoles, which sync via bluetooth to an app on your phone, send vibrations to guide your loved one in the right direction. For example, if you are walking and a left turn is coming up, a vibration will be sent to your left foot. For seniors who are prone to wandering, the insoles also include a GPS tracker so you can keep track of where your loved one is at all times.
- Memory Care
- Eatwell Dining Set: Loss of appetite, physical disabilities, and frustration are often responsible for various eating and drinking various problems for seniors with dementia. The Eatwell dining set is designed to make mealtimes more pleasant and convenient. The set is designed strategically with exteriors and utensils colored in red and yellow, and the inner color blue. To avoid spillage, the dining set includes anti-slippage material on the base of the cup and handle of the mug. And, the bottom of the bowl is slanted, making food easy to scoop.
- Reminder Rosie: This device is your loved one’s own personal talking clock that reminds him or her to take their medication at a certain time. Skipping doses or forgetting to refill a prescription can lead to unhealthy behavior or decline in health; Reminder Rosie lessens the chances of forgetting a dose. Rosie also has the capability to set other reminders such as feeding the dog or taking out the trash.
- Senior Living Design: Innovation in senior living design is evolving dramatically. Technological advances, sustainable buildings, and creative architecture are improving quality of life and care for seniors.
- Circadian Lighting: One of the most common symptoms for seniors with Alzheimer’s is sleep disturbances. Studies show that those with Alzheimer’s may spend approximately 40% of their night awake and a large portion of the solar day asleep. These disrupted circadian rhythms lead to more falls, depression, and agitation. One of the main causes for these sleep disturbances is light. By providing cool light during the day and warm light at night, circadian lighting technology has become a recent innovation that can help stabilize circadian rhythms and hormonal cycles in seniors, allowing your loved one to have normal sleep cycles.
- Lighted Grab Bars: According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each year, 2.8 million seniors are treated in emergency departments for fall injuries. As a result, a trend that has recently begun to appear in nursing homes and senior living facilities is the lighted grab bar. Most falls happen at night during trips to the bathroom when turning on a bright light, then turning it off. This can cause momentary blindness and a high risk of falling. Lighted grab bars with sensors provide just enough light to guide the way to the bathroom and back without having to turn on bright, blinding lights.
Voice command devices, wearables, memory care products, and senior living design are only a few ways technology is changing the way seniors live. With the advancement of technology and innovation, these devices allow seniors one to have more independence and less anxiety, leading to a better quality of life.
Have any other devices or solutions to recommend? Comment below!