Published on December 29th, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi0
6 State-of-the-Art Technological Innovations Transforming the Lives of Senior Citizens
Advances in technology have exponentially increased over the last thirty years. Yet, there’s still a gaping divide age in technological utilization between Baby Boomers and Millennials today. Adults and children who have grown up in a technologically proficient society are more likely to adapt to this onslaught of the latest-and-greatest technological advancements. Unfortunately, senior citizens have struggled to keep their heads above the digital waters of 2020 and are falling farther and farther behind.
Many seniors admit feeling that they’re “too old” to stay updated on the latest technological trends. In some cases, these elderly folks believe that smartphones and AI won’t change their lives for the better. Other seniors may not have enough support to complete the necessary training and master a new skill of this nature, i.e., sending an email unsupervised or posting a family photo to Instagram.
While it’s a joyous occasion to receive a handwritten card in the mail from Grandma or Grandpa every once in a while, it would also be very meaningful to receive an instant message or video chat here and there. That way, high-tech grand kids glued to their smartphones can nurture an unbreakable bond with their elderly grandparents.
These relationships between the older and younger generations are particularly critical, given that an astonishing number of seniors experience feelings of loneliness, which can have negative impacts on mental and physical health. Harnessing the power of technology can help seniors improve their quality of life, and luckily, there are plenty of ways to help them get started.
There are a variety of reasons that seniors may struggle or shy away from operating a computer. Some examples may include anxiety about the complexity of using a computer, deficits in focus or vision, a lack of time or support, or not perceiving the benefits one can bring. When looking at computers for seniors, there are a few things to keep in mind.
For one, desktop monitors have the most extensive screen options, which may be best for elderly users coping with the effects of impaired vision. Although laptops offer more freedom to move around, a desktop computer may be a better option for those elderly folks worried about mishandling or damaging the computer in transit.
While health monitors aren’t exactly the newest invention in senior technology, their technological advances make them more robust and less cumbersome. Smaller monitors like the VitalBand can track seniors’ heart and respiratory rate, physical activity, sleep, and oxygen saturation, similar to other competing health tracking devices.
Tailored specifically for seniors, health monitors boast state-of-the-art features such as medication reminder capabilities and fall-monitoring technology. Monitors worn as watches are less noticeable and potentially embarrassing than fall alert pendants.
Internet-connected and alarm pill containers
Pill containers connected to the internet have proven successful in reminding senior citizens of their daily medications. A combination of clocks, lights, sounds, and even reminders from physicians plays a vital part in internet-connected pill containers.
What is perhaps the most attractive feature of these devices is their weight sensors. Without user intervention, the internet-connected pill containers will assess whether someone has taken their dose for the day by measuring the container’s weight. As a bonus, a physician or a family member can check the status of elderly patients’ daily doses using an app. That way, they can gently remind their loved ones to take their potentially life-saving medications, should they inadvertently skip a dose. Other pill containers may also utilize an alarm, which relies on sound to notify the user when they need to take their medication.
Walking sticks are a thing of the past. Canes with built-in technology are the new gold standard of mobility aids. Commonly referred to as “smart canes,” these devices come stocked with improvements such as shock-absorbing capabilities, SOS buttons, and GPS. The tracking capabilities are especially pertinent, as they allow seniors to maintain their independence on walks and outings, while family members have the comfort of knowing their location if needed.
Senior-friendly exercise equipment
Maintaining good exercise habits is vital for health and longevity. However, daily walks around the neighborhood can be a significant challenge for seniors who are at increased risk of falls and injury.
That said, designing an exercise regime explicitly tailored for the elderly loved ones in your life is a must. Should a senior’s mobility deteriorate due to insufficient exercise, they may remain unable to maintain optimal independence and physical health. Specifically designed with stability in mind, this exercise equipment is indoor and outdoor-friendly, meaning seniors can derive the benefits of exercise no matter the weather.
Advanced mobility aids
Engineers have revolutionized the standard walker by leaps, a mobility aid currently credited with allowing seniors to move around with ease. Some now come with a braking assist, which comes in handy when walking downhill or sitting on the walker. Additionally, electric wheels can prevent the user from tiring out when walking uphill. Other mobility aids identify the person’s stance using it and adjust positions accordingly to prevent falling.
Gift your elderly loved one with a high quality of life by purchasing the devices mentioned above. Whether your aging grandparent or parent decides to age in place or stakes their claim to your basement suite, you can rest assured that these senior citizens will remain out of harm’s way.