You see, with the growth of the older population, there are a ton of companies struggling to meet their needs and create products they will want to use. At least, what they perceive the needs to be.
Personally, I tend to be a little pragmatic when it comes to products. That may or may not be a good thing. But, in terms of real-world aging in place ideas, it is. In the spirit of keeping technology relevant, here are 5 products that are technology you can use right now for aging in place.
Smart phones are everywhere today and older people can experience many benefits from having one. As you’ve probably heard, there is an app for just about everything. Here are a few things that a smartphone might help an older person do.
- Think smartphones are too complicated? get a launcher app that removes the clutter and simplifies the phone’s screens. (Samsung phones have Easy Mode built in).
- Use a magnifying glass? Turn your phone’s camera into one that displays enlarged objects on your phone’s screen.
- Want to keep track of your blood sugar or blood pressure? There are standalone apps and ones that connect up to monitoring devices.
- Like to play games? There are plenty of apps available for brain fitness, dexterity and more.
- Need reminders for medication or appointments? There are several apps that can help you do that.
- Older people on-the-go might enjoy video chats using Skype or FaceTime with family or friends.
- Trying to watch what you eat? There are plenty that offer calorie counting, sodium intake and more.
The number of apps specifically designed for older people is growing as companies work to develop technology that is beneficial to older people.
Falls are the number one cause of fatal and non-fatal injuries among older adults. And, the older a person gets the more potential there is for a fall. So, it makes sense that one great way to reduce the possibilities of a fall is being able to see your way to the bathroom at night. Make that a reality by installing lights that come on automatically at night when someone goes from the bedroom to the bathroom. These lights should be set to a lower intensity so as not to startle (or blind) a person in the middle of the night.
There are many options available on the market from lights that are part of a home automation system to lights that work independently. The second option is very affordable and easy to install.
Activity and health monitoring
Technology you can use can take many forms. It can offer an additional level of support and assistance for older people and their loved ones, without being intrusive. There are many systems on the market today that can help a loved on stay more independent and help a loved one provide care for that person. For instance, GrandCare and Independa provide activity and health monitoring, while also allowing for communication with loved ones. (Among other features.) Systems such as BeClose and Lively provide activity monitoring to help families know if their loved one is doing OK.
The number of in-home monitoring systems is growing, mainly because it makes sense to help older people stay safe at home longer. They range in functionality, but most provide essentially the same core service. Though, many offer additional services, such as minimal home automation, video conferencing, email and photo sharing.
Computers are everywhere now and tablets are among some of the most popular. Not only are they convenient, but they also provide a host of benefits for people of any age. Older people can use tablets to video chat with friends and family (and grand kids, of course) on apps such as Skype or FaceTime. There are also apps for tracking appointments, health or medication reminders. You also have the basic abilities to send and receive photos, email, browsing the Internet, listen to music and watch movies.
Getting to things that are on top shelves or in the back of cabinets can be difficult for nearly anyone. By installing cabinets that automatically lower (or pull out, if you want lower tech) allows a person to easily reach all the contents. There are several options available in the automated cabinets, which generally lower straight down or out and down.
These cabinets mean no more tip-toeing to reach, which can reduce the chance of falls and sprains. it also means that you can have your cabinets more organized (or organized as you like), since you don’t have to place items on one or two shelves so you can reach them.
Technology you can use
So, there you have it. Our five examples of technology you can use right now for aging in place. What do you think? Have any you’d like to add to the list?