Many seniors prefer to stay home and age in place, and while you want to honor your loved one’s wishes, you also want to make sure they stay safe and healthy. The good news – new technologies can extend the length of time seniors can stay at home. Although there was a point where seniors and technology didn’t mesh well, as new technologies become easier to use, it’s easier to incorporate new tech into the life of your senior loved one. Looking for ways to ensure they can age in place as long as possible? Here are some excellent new tech options that can allow seniors to age safely at home.
It’s important that seniors stay as active as possible, and regular exercise is essential for reducing falls, maintaining flexibility, and preventing mood disorders. Activity trackers, such as the Fitbit, are designed to help individuals lead more active, healthier lives. These products use new technologies to help users become more aware of their daily activities. Since these trackers display activity stats in real-time, it’s easy to make sure users are reaching their goals. Some of the things activity trackers will track include stairs climbed, calories burned, steps taken, activity level, distance traveled, and quality of sleep. Certain trackers even make it possible to track body weight, BMI and percentage of body fat over time. This is a great way to help seniors be more aware of their activity so they can take measures to do better, and loved ones and caregivers can check in to see how they are doing as well.
Wii Home Fitness
Sometimes it’s difficult for seniors to get out to the gym, or the weather could keep them indoors. With Nintendo Wii and Wii home fitness, they can bring fitness activities right into their home. Some of the most popular fitness games that can be used with Wii include Just Dance, Zumba Fitness World Party, The Biggest Loser Challenge, and Get Fit with Mel B. Wii Fit Plus comes with many improvements over the original Wii Fit, coming with yoga exercises, aerobics exercises, balance games, strength training, and more. Not only can these video games help with regular fitness, they’ve been shown to help improve mental agility and cognition in seniors as well.
Computers with Webcams
Computers with webcams are a piece of technology that can help seniors stay in touch with loved ones. Smartphones and tablets also offer the ability to connect with loved ones via apps like FaceTime and Skype. However, many seniors have a more difficult time with smartphones due to too many features and very small text. A computer that has a webcam can allow seniors to enjoy face time with friends and family who don’t live nearby, and social interaction is an important for maintaining mental health as seniors age.
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Medication Dispensing Systems
According to USA Today, by the age of 70, seniors are often taking 12 different medications a day. Remembering to take medications at the right time can be a big barrier to aging in place, but technology can help. Using medication dispensing systems can help seniors maintain their independence while ensuring they stay on track with their medication regimen. These systems are automated assistants that are stocked by a loved one or caregiver with enough medication for several days. Systems offer reminders to seniors when they need to take their medications, and some will even notify caregivers if medications are not being taken.
Mobile Brain Games
Research has found a correlation between regularly using brain games and improvement in brain health and cognitive capacity. For seniors with tablets or smartphones, there are plenty of great mobile brain games and apps to try out. Words With Friends is a game similar to Scrabble, and seniors can enjoy playing this game with their friends, so there’s a social aspect to playing too. Crosswords Classic is an exciting mobile game that offers fun crossword puzzles for seniors that enjoy them. Luminosity Brain Trainer is an app that offers daily training sessions in various brain games, and they are designed to improve cognitive abilities, such as problem solving, attention, processing speed, and memory.
For seniors who aren’t as mobile as they used to be, household chores can become difficult. However, technology offers multiple ways to take care of routine household chores with ease. Robotic vacuums like the Rhumba or the new Moneual Rydis H68 Hybrid can easily keep floors clean, cleaning hard flooring and carpets throughout the home. More advanced options even find the best paths for rooms they clean and come up with cleaning patters that do the best job. They’ll even dock and charge themselves back up when they get low on power, making them a worthy investment for seniors who have a tough time with sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming floors.
Fall Detection Buttons
Since falls are one of the biggest risks for seniors living at home, fall detection buttons or similar types of technology can ensure seniors get help if they do fall. Some types are worn around the neck to allow seniors to press the button at any time if they need help, and they’ll be immediately connected to someone who will send help. Fall detection sensors can also be used throughout a home to detect a fall when it occurs, notifying emergency responders.
Of course, while technology offers many great solutions for seniors who want to age in place, it should only be used to supplement caregiving. In some cases, you may need the physical presence of a family member or a caregiver’s assistance to ensure your loved one’s safety. As your loved one’s care needs change, new types of technology or different arrangements may be needed to keep them healthy, happy, and safe. Remember, it can take some time to figure out what works best for the situation and your loved one. If you need help implementing home modifications to help your loved one stay safe at home, Sage can help. Contact Sage today by calling (610) 518-2221 or request a consultation using the form below to find out how we can help you and your loved one age in place.