New Assistive Technology for the Elderly

Some of the best new technology that assists older individuals and their caregivers is actually incorporated into popular products on the general market. Caregivers can use devices such as smartphones, fitness trackers or smart watches to help older relatives track health or daily activities. Those same devices let elderly individuals maintain some of their independence in later years.

Smartphone Apps for the Aging

While stereotypes have senior citizens eschewing smartphones, these pocket-sized computers actually have a lot to offer. Caregivers can enable GPS on these devices and find an older relative wherever they might wonder if the person is carrying their phone, which is a great tool when working with patients with early onset dementia.

The connectivity options on a smartphone can also help older relatives stave off feelings of loneliness. Family members can show seniors how to use Facetime or Skype for face-to-face conversations with grandchildren, and since everyone shares pictures in digital fashion today, grandparents with smartphones aren’t left out of the loop.

Smartphone apps can also help seniors keep up with medication and daily activities. Alarms can be set with text notifications reminding older individuals to take medicine, eat or walk to the mailbox for exercise. Some apps interface with systems for caregivers or medical providers, letting them keep tabs on important information such as activity level, blood pressure or blood sugar. These apps reduce the chance that an older person living alone might suffer a sudden health concern without the ability to notify anyone they need assistance.

Seniors that don’t want to carry a phone around might be talked into a smart watch, which comes with many of the same benefits.

Fitness Trackers Aren’t Just for Runners

Fitness trackers make great tech companions for active seniors, even if they aren’t able to live on their own. Fitness trackers monitor movement and activity and can encourage older individuals to stay mobile. Some of these trackers also monitor pulse and blood pressure, which make them valuable tools for older individuals who have heart problems.

Today’s technology offers many tools to help seniors stay active and independent. Caregivers can also make use of these tools to keep up with older relatives’ needs without staying constantly in sight of them.

 

Posted on August 31, 2016