How Can Technology Help Improve Elder Care
A great question today is how can technology help improve elder care? Today, more than ever, you can feel more secure about your elderly loved ones when you’re not immediately with them. Why? Because there are so many advances in technology that benefit seniors and their families, helping to keep them safe and happy.
So how can technology help improve elder care and what can you do to stay on top of it so that you ensure your loved one is in the best hands? Let’s explore.
The New Age of Elder Care
Since the beginning of time, senior care has looked relatively the same: a doctor diagnoses a problem and a caregiver (family, friend, nurse, etc.) looks after their needs. Many seniors require assistance in the following areas:
- Loss in vision or hearing
- Loss of mobility
- Memory loss
As the baby boomer generation ages and enters their elderly years, they’re at an advantage over all the generations before them. That’s because new technologies have been created that actually help improve senior care. From smartphones to GPS, it’s never been easier to care for, track, and monitor seniors – often without ever being physically present! The future of elder care is advancing on new frontiers.
If you have an aging loved one, you’re always looking for ways to ensure that they’re safe and well cared for. Whether that means they’re getting regular monitoring for a health condition or could use a little companionship, technology is allowing more elders to age in place and to ease the worry from family members.
How can technology help improve elder care – here’s how:
Devices to Diminish Wandering
One of the most common issues that our aging population faces is wandering. This is particularly prevalent with those who suffer from cognitive or memory disabilities and deterioration. Caregivers of those who suffer fear that they will get lost, hurt, or worse.
Luckily, there are several devices available now that have been created with this specific problem in mind. These wander-prevention devices that are available today can be installed to alert caretakers if their loved one gets out of bed, opens a door, etc. Additionally, there are pendants they can wear that contain GPS tracking that works well for seniors who are independent but struggle with getting lost and confused.
While at first, this may seem like an intrusion of your loved one’s privacy, cameras or nanny cams can be an incredibly useful tool in keeping an eye on them when you’re unable to be with them. With rampant stories of elder abuse in the news, it provides a great deal of peace of mind to be able to monitor your aging family member.
Smartphones have changed the way we live our lives, mostly for the better. When it comes to seniors, they can use their smartphones to manage a number of aspects of their health and well-being.
For example, there are apps available that will help them keep track of their medications and when to take them. Or, apps that sync with watches and other gadgets that keep track of stats like heart rate and location. These phones also make calling for emergency services quick and easy, should the occasion arise.
In addition to phones being used to monitor and promote the health of our seniors, they provide an excellent way to connect with them when you aren’t physically present. Many seniors look forward to video conferencing or Facetiming with their loved ones as a way to maintain connection and companionship.
Advanced Sensors and Monitoring
It’s no secret that most aging Americans wish to remain in their homes for as long as possible. And thanks to advances in technology, this is possible for many who are still functioning independently but could use a little extra monitoring. There are advanced technologies that allow you to monitor just about everything in your loved ones’ home.
From sensors that will turn off the stove or oven if it’s left on too long to ones that will alert you if the faucet has been left on for too long. You can manage your elderly friend or family member from anywhere you are, allowing you peace of mind that they are taken care of.
Another great technology that’s perfect for the elderly is the introduction of locked medication dispensers that unlock only when it’s time. Many also have alarms that will sound for missed dosages.
These tools can provide a great sense of relief for many caregivers who are unable to remain with their loved ones at all times but still want to make sure they’re getting the best care possible.
Patches and Implants
Confusion with medications is a big problem for seniors who are navigating life on their own. Today, there are advanced patches and implants that can help monitor this and make sure they’re getting what they need when they need it.
For example, many seniors struggle with type 2 diabetes and are often unsure of what their glucose levels are. There are now glucose sensors that work by waving a transmitter over it and it will alert them to whether they need help or not.
Technologies like this help to take the stress and guesswork out of taking care of oneself. This technology can not only ease the mind of the patient but also their loved ones.
This one may seem a bit out there, but there are robots available to help care for elderly patients. While these may not be as mainstream as the Jetson’s yet, they are increasing in popularity and will likely become more popular as time and technology advance.
These robots can roam around elderly individuals’ homes, reminding them to take their medications, play music for them, help them connect with their family, and more. The possibilities are endless.
Encouraging Technology to Help Improve Elder Care
How can technology help improve elder care? While some elderly patients may be excited to adopt new technology that allows them to continue to live independently, others may be more resistant to change. As their caretaker or loved one, it’s vital that you stress the importance of accepting new technology to improve their care and allow them to continue to live a healthy, independent life.
It’s an exciting time for senior care! With the constant introduction of new technology, seniors and their caretakers are finding it easier to allow them to remain comfortably in their own homes.