For most senior citizens, the ability to preserve their independence is imperative to their self-esteem. That is the reason you will find it difficult to convince your parents or grandparents to leave their apartments or homes and live under specialized care. They want to be able to move about on their own and take their own decisions. They refrain from asking for help or constant attention as they do not want to compromise their freedom at any cost.
That poses a significant threat to their health and wellbeing. For example – over 40% of the nursing home admissions of the senior adults result from failure to take medications at the correct time. By the time people are 70 years old, they are on 12 or more medicines per day. It becomes difficult for the young adult and the adult citizens to keep track of regular work files and worksheets, so keeping track of multiple medications, doctor’s appointments, timely utility bills and grocery shopping from time to time is indeed significant challenges in the life of an older adult.
How is technology making life safer for the elderly?
Thankfully, the advent of technology is facilitating seniors to preserve their independence. Here are three ways it can help you and your loved ones regain your freedom once more –
- High-tech sensor technologies
These include sensors inside a residence, on mobility assistance devices and beds. Depth-sensing devices, motion detectors and a plethora of other sensors can safeguard the seniors against falls and injuries. The disability friendly mobility aids with sensors can help increase the level of the user’s comfort by sensing their weight, body structure, and height. Sometimes, detecting the terrain including the slope or ruggedness can help in the prevention of injuries by subsequent adjustment of the wheelchair.
- Artificial intelligence
All kinds of hardware and software running on Artificial Intelligence and machine learning have the power to “understand” and “learn” the habits of the users. From learning the medication timings, food habits, regular routines to reminding the user about their appointments, online payment of bills, placing the orders for daily commodities and reminders for refilling prescriptions, these AI-powered devices can achieve it all.
- Old age-friendly wearable devices
Seniors can benefit from mechanisms akin to FitBit and Apple Watch that can monitor their heart rate and other vital signs. They can monitor physical activity and exertion. The development of tech enables these devices to place a call to the family or the doctor in case the person faces a threat from the fluctuation of any vital sign. More importantly, the data goes into a community database that their caregiver can access and check regularly.
Modern technology has allowed seniors to take charge of their life back again. Wearable technologies and AI support constant monitoring of the vital stats of the user. The mobility aids with embedded sensors make their movements comfortable and safe. These devices and software programs enable continuous connectivity with the concerned parties along with updating of data automatically.