When our parents were young, phones were affixed to walls, mail was only the paper variety, and if adult children lived far away from their parents, checking in on them was as easy as asking a neighbor to stop in to visit. If someone was unable to leave home due to sickness or frailty, isolation could quickly set in. Social circles became smaller, and long-distance family members frequently felt helpless if they couldn’t be there in person to assist. But life has drastically changed since those times, and technology has changed how we communicate and manage the everyday activities of living – and can even help seniors stay independent at home.
Technology for older adults has allowed for innovation in home care, and for individuals who otherwise might not have been able to manage living alone. With the increase in smart technology, social media and interactive telecommunications systems, maintaining independence in the elderly is easier than in the past, allowing for greater connection, comfort and engagement.
Many new types of technology are now available, with countless applications for home care for older adults, from healthcare apps to improved social engagement functionality. Not only can these tools bring peace of mind to seniors and their families, but, even more notably, they provide a greater level of freedom, additional independence and an improved overall quality of life and wellbeing. Even if a senior is home alone, he or she is still able to connect, converse and engage with others outside of their immediate surroundings. Not only that, but should a medical emergency arise, technology helps keep seniors safe. Here are a few of our top picks to help seniors stay independent:
- Webcams: Placing webcams around the home allows family members and caregivers to check in on an older adult 24 hours a day. Webcams also allow loved ones who live far way to video chat with and visit with their loved ones “in person.”
- Alarms: Alarms can now be set up with a digital camera positioned at a senior’s front door, offering a means to confirm who is at the door before opening it. These can be connected to a computer or smartphone.
- Sensors: As with webcams, sensors can be installed in and around the home to monitor a senior’s movement. These are especially helpful for seniors with wandering problems. Most sensor systems can be hooked up to a television or computer with an internet connection.
- Medical Alerts: These systems have been around for quite some time, but continue to be upgraded to improve functionality and efficiency. They are worn by the individual, who can simply push a button in the event of a fall or other emergency situation. The older person is then connected to 911 or another emergency response provider. Some systems can even determine if the individual wearing it has fallen, without needing to even press a button at all.
- Automatic Pill Reminders/Dispensers: These are incredible tools for people with dementia or early stage Alzheimer’s who still live independently. An alarm sounds, notifying the senior to take his or her medicine, and the correct dosage is dispensed. If the person misses a dose, a message is sent to the caregiver after a set amount of time.
- Games: Technology has also given us enjoyable, creative forms of entertainment, such as those for the Wii game system, which promotes physical activity, as well as memory enhancement games that boost cognitive functioning, like puzzles. Games provide hours of fun, but can also help improve physical and emotional health. And with an internet connection, games can be played with friends and family who live far away.
To help lower worry and stress when you can’t physically be with your aging parents, and to help with maintaining independence in older adults, Carolina Hearts Home Care offers a free in-home assessment to determine the best home care solution, as well as to recommend technology that may be beneficial. As the experts in home care services in Aberdeen and nearby areas, we’re here for you any time. Contact us at 1-855-277-2005 to learn more.