Even though a survey by AARP found that more than 75 percent of older persons want to age in place, doing so is not always easy, especially when one’s health deteriorates and their requirements grow. Thankfully, various adaptable goods and safety equipment may be employed to make staying in a long-term residence safer and more successful.
In this article, we compiled expert-recommended assistive technologies and products that provide you with state-of-the-art technology to use in your home to maintain your independence.
Assistive Technology For Safer Aging in Place
Medical Alert Systems
A medical alert system is one of the most useful tools for someone aging in place. These keep an eye on older people at risk and alert preset contacts and emergency services in the event of a fall or the pressing of the alarm button.
These alarm systems come from user-friendly smartphone apps and wearables like necklaces and bracelets.
Whether you have at-home caregivers, are in an assisted living facility, or are aging in place while attempting to maintain as much independence as possible, a medical alert system can be a low-cost yet life-saving tool.
Smart Home Devices
Any electronic item connected to your smart home system that can communicate with other devices and make certain decisions on its own is one of these gadgets. They are simple to set up and connect to a smartphone app where you can configure your customized settings.
Seniors who struggle with daily activities, including nutrition, medication, exercise, and sleep, can benefit from smart home technology. Because technology has grown so much, it is more readily available than ever.
Here are some smart home upgrades recommendations for aging in place from Forbes Health:
- Voice-controlled home devices such as Amazon Echo and Google Home – perfect for the occasional user who needs help with automated lighting, medication and appointment reminders, media access, calling pals, and simple ordering of food and household goods as they run out.
- Smart doorbells – provide a range of services, including video surveillance, individualized ringtones (including those that frighten off predators), and two-way discussions.
- Personal monitoring devices like the high-tech FitBit Ultra – can assist you in monitoring your exercise level, amount of sleep, water intake, and other health-related activities.
- Smart lighting – Smart light fixtures and light bulbs allow you to remotely turn on and off the lights in your house using sensors, voice activation, or other controls via a smart hub.
- Smart Hub – allows you to control numerous devices from a command center. You can operate your home’s smart television and other (compatible) devices, lock and unlock doors and turn on and off lights.
- Smart Stoves and Ovens – Smart stoves can be configured to turn off automatically after at least five minutes of inactivity. Additionally, it might include gas sensors, timers, and activity monitors to inform family members and caretakers when the stove is left on and unattended, as well as remote access for turning the appliance on and off.
- Security Cameras – can assist you in monitoring your house while you’re away. As you age, family members may use smart cameras to watch for falls or other crises (with your agreement).
- Smart Medication Dispensers – Some of these dispensers have their smart hub and smartphone app, and they may store up to 90 days’ worth of various prescriptions that you can load, your pharmacist, or a carer. In this manner, you or your family members can track your medicine intake and get notifications when doses are missed.
- Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors – When environmental threats are detected, they warn your smartphone app. For instance, Google Nest Protect alerts you to smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide leaks via an app’s lights, colors, loud beeps, and smartphone notifications.
Consider using an electric or self-powered rising seat that gently tilts you forward to assist you in standing for a comfortable lift from your preferred recliner. These seats, frequently covered with thick memory foam, can be put on a couch, armchair, or office chair and are comfortable to sit in for extended periods. After a long, exhausting day, having a hand up can increase your independence and improve your health.
A Hoyer lift is designed to offer manual or electrical assistance when getting out of a lying-down position, such as from a tub or bed. Reviews indicate that a full-body Hoyer lift may need a caregiver’s aid, even though certain devices on the market are self-operating.
A sit-to-stand lift is one of the additional Hoyer lifts, and it can be extremely helpful when a lifting seat doesn’t offer the stability you need. Most of these gadgets remain stationary next to your favorite seat and assist you in rising to your feet. Some hoist you up automatically while you hang on, while others require you to physically pump the handles to raise yourself, ensuring your safety.
AARP Aging-In-Place Smart Technology Recommendations
Here are more aging-in-place technology must-haves for seniors from The American Association of Retired Persons that can make your daily life at home comfortable and convenient.
A computerized pillbox that resembles a standard seven-day model. When it’s time to take medication, one type is locked; the other is unlocked.
A voice-activated talking clock that reminds you when to take your medication. You can utilize it for further reminders (feed the cat, take a short walk).
A wearable fall detection personal help button for home use that is worn around the neck or wrist.
A versatile system that monitors daily activities can show anything, including diets, discharge plans, and exercise routines, and it has medical monitoring capabilities (glucose, oxygen, blood pressure, and weight). Dad can watch videos, look at Facebook or family photos, listen to music, play games, read the news, and video chat with family using an interactive touch screen.
A portable personal emergency response device can be used at home or on the go.
This business offers an indoor base station and a portable PERS device with GPS satellite location tracking. When you press the help button, the response team will seek medical attention; then, they will phone or email your relatives to let them know where you are, including the hospital. MobileHelp debuted a fall-detection technology in January that may summon assistance even if you cannot talk or press a button.
This PERS calls for assistance from a monitoring team through a base station inside the home, alerting EMTs to any existing medical issues. The business also provides a mobile PERS that you can use to call 911 or a family member while away from home.
You have an assistance button on a necklace or bracelet that you wear. An intriguing feature is that Life Alert will set up your phone to speed-dial the monitoring station. There is a unique app for mobile devices.
Technology, in addition to house adjustments, significantly impacts how comfortable older individuals can age in place. They enable senior citizens to age in place and promote independence, safety, and comfort. In their daily routines, seniors can benefit from smart technology such as activity trackers, heating pads, and doorbells. These gadgets can help elderly stay in touch with their loved ones and friends, giving them a constant sense of security.
They also make life easier and aid in the adjustment to a new normal following an illness or injury. Alarms, smart speakers, and other assistive technology are among the many smart home appliances that have been available for some time. However, it wasn’t until recently that people realized how useful these technologies might be for seniors who desire to live freely at home. However, it’s never too late to persuade your older parents to take the smart home leap.