As more and more aging adults choose to stay at home rather than move to some type of senior living center, the resources and technology available to help make this a reality are also increasing. Not only do they provide safety and security for the seniors themselves, but they offer loved ones peace of mind. Knowing that their parent or loved one has measures and systems in place to help them maintain independence while also staying safe is truly invaluable.
It can also be a lot less expensive to stay than to move to assisted living. Much of the available technology is reasonably priced. Even coupled with some home remodeling, it can be significantly less expensive than moving.
An article by the AARP says that the aging-in-place industry is expected to grow from a $2 billion industry to a $30 billion industry by 2020. What this means to you: There are a lot of options to make life easier, and better, for aging adults. If you or your loved one has opted to age in place, here are some technology must haves.
From recorded reminders to automated dispensers, there are many products available that can help ensure that medication is given in the proper dosages and at the right times. Medication errors can be a serious cause of injury, so knowing this aspect is taken care of is especially key.
Most people are familiar with the early iterations of safety alert wearable technology. If there was a fall, and you couldn't get up, these systems could alert authorities ... as long as you were at home and connected to a landline. Advances in the previous technology have made it so that your safety isn't contingent upon you being connected to your landline. Systems like Lively Mobile work anywhere and include additional features like GPS and fall detection, among others.
Communication and connecting
A quick tutorial on a video chat app like Skype, FaceTime or Google's Duo can offer a wide variety of benefits. When distance or obligations make it so that an in-person check-in isn't possible, a video chat can be a very comparable substitution. Not only can this provide a way to observe from afar, but it can also be used for socializing. Staying connected to friends and family, even when getting out of the house isn't as easy as it once was, is still very important.
As far as cell phones go, Jitterbug is a great option for seniors. Its interface is easy to navigate, and it's a tried and true resource for seniors.
Growth in the areas of cab alternatives has also brought with it a new industry in transportation specifically tailored for seniors. Jitterbug's parent company offers a ride program through their cell phone services in a partnership with Lyft. There is also Grandparent, which caters exclusively to seniors.
There are many choices that will allow you or your loved one to manage appointments and visits without compromising safety.
The options available for remote monitoring have grown exponentially in recent years. The ability to monitor your loved one's activity is a helpful alternative to in-home care or nursing homes. Some systems are more passive while others are more reactive, depending on how much oversight is needed or desired.
From sensors and cameras to video chat and cell phones, keeping your loved one safe at home is a real, viable option today.