How Technology Can Help Seniors

Last Updated: 18.11.19

 

Reviews of computers for seniors show that despite their age, older people are getting more and more attuned to the technology of modern times. While mastering the new gadgets allows them to stay in contact with the people they love, developments like cameras and special phone apps make caring for seniors an easier task.

 

The world these days

If we’re honest with each other, technology has become ubiquitous with our way of life in most places around the world. It’s almost impossible these days to be a good teacher, student, or employee without regular access to the Internet and other similar forms of technology.

With that said, due to the rapid development of the industry in the last 10 to 15 years, not all groups of people are dedicated aficionados when it comes to computers, tablets, or cell phones. For instance, senior citizens are one group that is much less likely to use technology, mostly due to a couple of reasons.

Some of them find these new gadgets tough to understand and master enough to use them in their daily lives, while others swear by the regular, ‘old-school communication methods and don’t want to give the Internet a shot’.

If we’re being completely objective, this new way of life is – other than going to live in a secluded forest – almost unavoidable at this point. Therefore, given their free time, learning how to use some devices properly should be a top priority for seniors.

 

 

Can they do it?

Despite how helpful technology can be for just about everybody, there are some reports that indicate roughly 40 percent of seniors these days don’t use the Internet. 

However, more and more of them are warming up to the obvious benefits of this, maybe the most important one being communication. Tools like Facebook and other social media networks help seniors get in touch with members of the family or long-forgotten high school friends.

By using technology, studies have also shown a decrease in senior loneliness and better mental and physical health. These new means of communication offer older people contact with a larger part of society, something which earlier worlds deemed lost the moment a person stopped working.

Therefore, the entire concept of a senior citizen is being reshaped these days and it is quite a challenge for a group of people brought up with a series of concepts to adapt to it. It should also be noted that on average, older people have been shown to have a general willingness to learn how to use new technology systems.

Luckily, there are special classes available where they can learn how to use tools like the popular Apple products and certain Internet capabilities. For instance, the AARP holds classes where seniors learn more about smartphones but, if you can’t make those, a younger person such as a grandchild is probably a wealthy source of information on this subject.

 

Technology as a safety tool

Technology is also great for improving the quality of life from a health point of view, especially since, according to the Census Bureau, seniors make up more than 13 percent of the United States population, roughly around 43 million people.

As a result of the baby boomer generation, that number is growing every year and it’s going to continue to do so, especially since half of the baby boomers are not yet old enough to be classified as seniors. 

For centuries, seniors have kinda been on a routine when it comes to their daily care. There’s always the doctor who diagnoses and offers advice for medication needs and the caregiver who looks after the daily needs. Other than that, they may sometimes require assistance due to a variety of issues like memory loss, lack of mobility, loss of vision or hearing, and loneliness.

Thankfully, technology has evolved up to a point where senior care is better than ever and the options are good enough for everybody. With the increasing development in smartphones and advanced GPS, elders can sometimes be taken care of even without a human being physically there.

 

The Internet of medical things

If you think about it, the Internet is, at its core, a very simple concept: a connection of devices that can be turned on and off via an Internet connection which allows for the sharing of data. Lately, humans have understood that this can also apply in the medical world, thereby creating the Internet Of Medical Things.

The more professionals of the medical world are connected on a platform where they can interact, the more they will be able to learn from one another. According to Cognizant, the entire medical ecosystem is experiencing a new level of engagement from remotely monitoring patients and remotely connected monitoring equipment.

As you can see, this is a new milestone in helping seniors with their medical schedules, vital signs, and even implants that can assist them in keeping their health in check. Therefore, most of these pieces of technology focus on quickly spreading the information to the necessary parties, all in the name of helping our elders live better.

 

GPS services

While Global Positioning Systems have been around for decades, the last ten years have brought significant improvements in location accuracy and the details that the system of satellites is able to convey.

When it comes to senior care, this can help by locating seniors who tend to become lost due to memory issues stemming from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Research shows that more than 60 percent of people with some form of dementia will wander, while a person who is lost for more than 24 hours has a 50 percent chance of suffering serious injury or death.

Therefore, the need to quickly and accurately locate seniors is tremendous so that is why companies that produce GPS trackers which can be ironed into clothing, put in handbags, and placed inside shoes are popping up everywhere.

 

 

Cameras

According to the National Council of Aging, about one in 10 adults over the age of 60 is at risk of facing some sort of abuse, whether it’s physical, emotional, sexual, or any other form. Therefore, cameras allow seniors’ families or caretakers to make sure they are being treated properly without being there in person.

Furthermore, they can also be great for health professionals who track the movements of elders who are confronting with health and mental issues. 

If your senior does not like the feel of a camera watching him or her throughout the day, sensors are another alternative that can yield similar results. By installing these small, wireless pieces of equipment, you can keep track of how active your elder is every day. 

Even better, if the sensors pick up any changes in activity, they can automatically notify you or the caretaker via a text, phone, or e-mail. For instance, if your grandfather is not getting out of bed at a certain time or getting his medication when he’s supposed to, those sensors will do their job and let you know.

 

Phone apps

Let’s be honest here and acknowledge apps are the manifestation of the biggest technological tool in the world today: the smartphone. When it comes to older people, apps can be a tremendous help since any basic smartphone can download apps to track things like medication, heart rate, and even location.

Furthermore, the families and the caregivers will feel much better since apps can also collect information that will be transmitted to the doctors studying the impact of things like mobility in old age and medication.

In the simplest form, apps are great for keeping seniors occupied, especially since many of them love reading and, let’s be honest, something like the British Library app will make them gape in awe at their newly bought tablet.

 

Emergency Response Services

Emergency response services have become very common in the last two decades, especially for seniors who are aging alone and need something to rely on if they fall or get hurt. This is why technology firms around the world have managed to develop systems that can locate seniors and also send help to their location at the same time, to give them the best chance possible.

Furthermore, unique gadgets have also started appearing in this market. For instance, one company developed a safety belt that notices when the senior is falling and deploys airbags to protect the person from harm.

 

 

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