Using Technology to Age in Place

Though many seniors are technology savvy, many may be skeptical about the latest devices. But when a senior wants to age in place instead of leaving home, technology can be a lifesaver. Here are some technology options and products designed to help seniors.

Engage with Others

Technology offers many options for connecting with friends and family, which can help seniors avoid loneliness and isolation. Costs may depend on contracts and data packages, but there’s something in everyone’s price range.

  • Simplified computers: Look for easy-to-use computers and touch-screen capabilities. Try: Telikin’s line of products or The WOW Computer.
  • Computer-free emails: Explore options that allow users to receive emails and photos without a computer. Try: Presto Email Machine or PawPawMail.
  • No-contract cell phones: If a senior only uses a cell phone in case of emergencies, a no-contract one might be best. Try: Jitterbug or TracFone.
  • Amplified cell phones: These are great for seniors with hearing impairments or who have trouble seeing small screens. Try: ClarityLife C900 or Hamilton CapTel (also available as an app).
  • Video chats: For more tech-savvy seniors, suggest programs that allow you to easily see and speak with others. Try: Skype or Apple’s FaceTime.

Maintain Health and Wellness

Medication management and health monitoring are two components of preserving physical health at home. There are many options for helping seniors manage medications and monitor health.

  • Medication reminders: Explore monitored medication management systems that can issue reminders, dispense meds, monitor medication usage, and notify caregivers when doses are missed. Try: TabSafe or Philips Medication Dispensing Service.
  • Pill dispensers: Look into automated pill dispensers that remind users when to take a dose and what amount to take. Try: e-pill, Med-E-lert, or MedMinder.
  • Health management: Monitor blood pressure, pulse and heartbeat and check your blood glucose levels at home. Try: Philips Telehealth Solutions.

Remote Monitoring

Many families use intercoms or “baby monitors” to keep tabs on elderly loved ones. Today there are more sophisticated systems that can give family members peace of mind.

  • Home monitoring systems: A variety of devices are available to monitor activity within the home through sensors that detect movement. Many allow remote monitoring via a cell phone app. Try: Silver Mother or BeClose.
  • Personal emergency response systems: These send an alert to an operator who will call a local rescue squad or family member. Some can detect a fall or other health emergency, even if the individual cannot communicate a need for assistance. Try: Philips Lifeline, Mobile Help, or LifeStation.

Options like these can help improve an elderly family member’s quality of life and stay safely at home. More importantly, they can provide invaluable peace of mind for family caregivers.

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