May 27, 2021
The US aging population in Washington DC is increasing, and most seniors prefer to age in their homes. However, you need technology solutions like the Internet of Things (IoT), Ambient / Active Assisted Living (AAL), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and wellness technology solutions that can support independent living. Unfortunately, poor technological knowledge, physical impairments, and poor understanding of technology terms are the main obstacles to adopting this technology to seniors. Other concerns include sensitivity to personal information intrusion, such as internet search history, family health history, and bank account information. Technology solutions for the elderly can be broken down into several beneficial categories, such as:
- Technologies improve barrier-free communication for older people.
- Emergency aid technologies such as alarm system
- Physical wellbeing technologies for aging in place
- Devices for mental well-being such as biofeedback devices, neurofeedback headbands and electroencephalograms (EEG).
- Home security.
- Telemedicine and healthcare apps.
- Fraud protection.
Implications for Building Age Friendly Communities
Creating an age-friendly community has always been an afterthought for most people. With the aging population and increasing dependency, the integration of technology solutions to monitor our seniors has been welcomed by many. International bodies such as the World Health Organization are currently pioneers in promoting age-appropriate retirement homes. However, key factors such as data protection and technology literacy remain crucial to drive adoption of this technology solution for those as they age. Often times, most manufacturers innovate and develop smart devices without consulting the end user. However, this top-down design has to change if the manufacturer wants to improve these products. The goal of a technology solution for the elderly includes, among other things:
- Improve care.
- Increase quality of life.
- Technology solutions significantly lower the emotional and financial costs associated with caring for aging.
- So that older people can stay in their homes, remain independent and maintain autonomy
- Provide lower cost (and preferable) alternatives to institutional care for policy makers in elderly care
- Providing alternatives to address loneliness and its effects on mental health.
- Bridging the gap between seniors and essential medical benefits.
Thirteen effective and useful technologies for aging in place
Although the introduction of new technologies into the daily lives of seniors can be challenging now as it is a significant transition in their life. However, the benefits of this technology are worth trying. Here are the top 13 useful technologies to consider:
1. Older surveillance cameras
Monitoring the elderly is now a reality thanks to surveillance cameras for the elderly. Regardless of your location, you can always see what’s happening at home on your computer or smartphone. Such a camera remains useful, especially if you don’t live with your parents. With statistics showing that at least one elderly parent in ten in the U.S. is abused by adults, it’s time you started watching your parents. Older surveillance systems have become increasingly popular for the following reasons:
- With an elderly security camera, you can monitor seniors with Alzheimer’s disease.
- You can listen to your parents if you install a camera surveillance system that allows bi-directional audio.
- If your parents are in the nursing home or are being looked after by a caregiver, you can make sure they are not abused by monitoring them through the elderly nanny camera.
Most modern intelligent surveillance cameras have HD video recording, motion and sound sensors, voice activated systems, night vision cameras and the ability to communicate with connected devices. Rest assured that you will be monitoring every activity inside and outside your parent’s home.
2. Video doorbell
This elderly technology solution is effective for seniors with mobility issues. As the parents get older, they can become paranoid, especially at night. Because of this, if they don’t know who is ringing the doorbell, they may be reluctant to open the door. Fortunately, the homeowner can see who is at the door through the app with a smart doorbell. You can also connect the camera to your smartphone and monitor your parents’ visitors remotely. Some versions also have additional features such as night vision and motion sensors.
3. Smart thermostat
Older people continue to be at high risk of suffering more when the weather changes. People with limited mobility are now sensitive to the cold as their movement is restricted. While a thermostat proves to be essential in regulating the home temperature, older parents often have trouble setting traditional thermostats. Hence, you can choose a smart thermostat that is remotely controlled via a voice activated system like Apple Homekit to meet those needs.
4. Smart Medication Dispenser
Older people have a high prevalence of infections due to weakened immunity. Therefore, it is very likely that they will take various medications on a regular basis. While taking care of them or hiring a nurse is important, you can install a smart medication dispenser to minimize risks like accidental overdosing. Companies like Med Minder make remote controlled and monitored smart pill dispensers. In addition to checking to see if medication has been taken, you can include a recorded message to remind your elderly parents when to take their medication.
5. Personalized reminder device
In addition to a smart medication reminder, you can also purchase a personalized reminder device for aging parents. This device remains essential for parents with dementia. You can improve their ability to live independently by having a device that reminds them to do their daily chores like walking the dog and taking medication. In addition, most personalized reminder devices remain voice activated systems that contain personalized alerts. Hearing a message from a familiar voice can be comforting for most parents.
6. Remote Fitness Monitor
As parents get older, they are unlikely to prioritize their physical wellbeing. Therefore, it is your responsibility to ensure that you stay fit to minimize the risk and prevalence of lifestyle conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. Smart devices like wearable devices help you monitor vital signs like heart rate, sleep level, and activity level.
7. Activity monitoring
You can make older parents’ homes safer by installing activity sensors, such as motion sensors, in strategic points to make sure they are safe and healthy. You can rest easy at all times by having a surveillance system that tracks your parents’ movement and sends you real-time activity reports.
8. GPS Locator Watch
This device gives you the flexibility to be elsewhere while keeping an eye on seniors. You can always be comfortable knowing your parents’ GPS location. This device is important if your parents have symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. With such devices, you will immediately receive the postcode and address of your loved ones. You will also receive notifications if you forget to wear the device.
9. Voice activated smart home
As the parents get older, their manual dexterity deteriorates and affects their independence. Your finger movement deteriorates and the power to control tasks decreases significantly. If aging is affecting your life to this point, it is important to consider automating your home. Upgrade your home to a modern, voice-activated intelligent environment. You can choose smart devices that accept a variety of voice commands. Plus, you can also consider syncing home devices, which smart devices can sync with to make them less mentally and physically able to live independently.
10. Cabinet sensors and automated doors
If your parents live in a place where criminal activity may be happening, it helps if you can install smart home systems that can detect suspicious activity. Connect your parents’ doors and closets to your smart home system and you will receive a notification if a break-in, movement in the house or opening of doors is possible.
11. Smart lights
A motion detection system that amplifies lighting in the area where it is most needed can reassure your parents’ safety. Insufficient lighting in the home often contributes to falls, and installing smart lighting in bedrooms, sidewalks, and stairs is an effective fall prevention strategy.
12. Smart beds
The bedroom is one of the best places your parents can feel comfortable. You can improve this by including smart lights and adjustable beds for convenience. Besides, the beds can also reduce pain symptoms, improve blood circulation. Some beds also contain memory form, which is effective for those who have arthritis. Parents physiological makeup dictates that their body needs more rest, and an adjustable bed can affect comfort at home.
13. Simple communication interface
It’s important to keep in touch with your parents, especially if they live alone. Unfortunately, modern smartphones can be a challenge for the elderly. A simple user interface that provides instant access to important communication tools like messaging, the web, and email can improve communication with your parents. Manufacturers can personalize such devices by programming them to provide alerts. They can also be used for smart calls in an automated home.
The main goal of aging is to ensure that seniors lead independent lives in their homes as they get older each day. While some parents age without needing much security, others need supportive services, supportive demotics, and constant caregivers by their side. A smart home with personalized reminder devices, cameras for seniors, wireless sensors and other innovative technologies is essential for those who want to stay independent, safe and comfortable in their own four walls in old age. At AIVI Global, we help you automate your home to ensure your parents continue to live safely and independently. Contact us today for a free estimate!
This press release was created by the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce blog. The views expressed here are the author’s own.