Tech Gadgets That Can Help Seniors and Grandparents Age in Place
As more and more seniors choose to stay in their own homes as they age, new and improved technologies are springing up to make staying at home much easier for longer than ever. Experts forecast these technologies to be a $30 billion market by 2030. That being said, here are a few examples of the best technologies currently available for seniors and elderly grandparents. All of these devices can provide freedom and independence to aging loved ones while also providing valuable peace of mind for caregivers.
1. Medication Management Devices
On average, people over the age of 65 take a whopping five different medications each day. Medication management devices are a great way to remind your loved ones to take their pills so they can stay healthy and independent at home for longer.
CareZone is an excellent, simple app that buzzes your loved one's phone when it's time to take pills. Best of all, it's completely free to use. You can also add essential details to the medicine reminders, such as "take this medicine with food." All you have to do is take a picture of the bottle, and CareZone will automatically transcribe it and add it to your list of medications. On the other hand, we have Reminder Rosie, which takes a much more personal approach to the same idea.
Automatic pill dispensers like Hero are another great option. Hero stores and dispenses up to 10 different medications and reminds your loved ones to take them. The machine will also update the caregiver if the pills haven't been taken, so it adds an extra layer of peace of mind.
2. Personal Emergency Response Systems and Sensors
PERS devices continue to get more sophisticated, making them a critical tool for preventing accidents and managing emergencies. Medical alert devices can be pressed in an emergency such as after a fall to alert family members or emergency responders.
Some devices work anywhere, like LogicMark's Notifi911+. The Notifi911+ works everywhere you can pick up a cell signal and is small enough to be kept in a purse or pocket. Other devices monitor the home through the use of a base station, in the case of the FreedomAlert system.
Sensors are another great way to keep a close eye on your loved ones without being there always. Sensors like Lively can attach to objects in the home that are frequently used, such as the TV, coffee maker, bed, bathroom, front door, and favorite chair. The sensors can then alert caretakers of a specific activity. For example, Lively can ping your smartphone if grandma didn't make her morning coffee by 9 AM.
3. Care Coordination Technology
Care Coordination technology usually includes the use of smartphone apps and other devices. They are great for adult children, siblings, professional caregivers, doctors, and neighbors who need a way to stay in touch with each other when managing the care of an older adult.
A great option is CaringBridge, which is marketed for crisis management but works great as a communication tool as well. It is essentially a personal website that syncs with the iPhone app. It allows caregivers to get progress reports and sign up for care tasks, such as buying groceries and cleaning the fridge, tidying the house, and personally checking in.
4. Social Engagement Tools
Regular socialization is critical for seniors to prevent loneliness and mental health deterioration. However, house calls and personal visits may not always be possible. Luckily, current technologies make it possible for seniors to interact and socialize with others through a screen.
GrandCARE is a large touchscreen device that seniors and grandparents aging in place can use to video chat with friends and family. Caregivers can connect to their device via a unique website portal through the internet. The device also comes with a ton of other unique features, including the ability to browse the web, play games, and read the news. It can also be programmed to remind them to take medications. It can even integrate with telehealth and telemedicine monitoring to record things like pulse, blood sugar, and weight.
Another great option is GeriJoy, which is often used with elderly people who have Alzheimer's. It uses a unique tablet that projects a cute cat or dog to communicate and actually talk to your loved one. It isn't just spouting random gibberish, though. The companion is personalized by the caregivers who know them best and can provide personalized emotional support through real social interactions around the clock. GeriJoy can talk to your loved one about their past, the things they enjoy, and so much more entirely remotely.
5. Smart Lighting, Home Automation, and Bathroom Technology
As more and more smart technologies make their way into the home, aging in place continues to get more comfortable. With home automation devices, you can both protect and monitor your loved one without being there regularly.
Home automation tools like Google Home and Wink are great for automating smart devices around the house. Most smart devices, like lights, temperature, blinds or curtains, doors and locks, and even smart appliances like cleaning robots, washing machines, and refrigerators, can integrate with home automation tools. By automating aspects like these, you can help to prevent accidents or injuries. For example, lights that turn on automatically when they detect motion can help prevent an accidental slip and fall down the stairs at night time when it's difficult to see.
Other crucial automated technologies include the ones you can find in the bathroom. For example, the Tushy bidet toilet seat can provide more freedom and independence to an elderly person who has mobility issues and normally needs help in the bathroom. Walk-in tubs are also a great way to keep seniors safe in the bathroom. American Standard walk-in tubs have outward-opening doors, heated seats, quick filling tubs, and built-in grab bars. Best of all, some models can integrate with home automation tools to provide hydrotherapy, chromotherapy, and aromatherapy.
Technology keeps people safe.
Overall, there are a ton of amazing technologies out there designed to help seniors age in place comfortably without putting themselves in danger. More and more technologies are being created every day.
Do you use any technology we didn't mention above? What was your experience? Please tell us about it in the comments below!