Health Service Focus

05.12.19

Six Ways Technology Is Benefiting The Older Generation

Source: NHE Nov/Dec

 

According to Age UK, loneliness has been associated with a 40% increased risk of dementia. Research has also found that only around 10% of people aged 50+ take part in a sporting activity or exercise at least once a week. Evidenced by these statistics, tackling issues such as social isolation and a lack of a sense of ‘connectedness’ in the elderly population remains an issue to be improved upon. Technology can be an excellent resource to inform, entertain, and motivate those over 65 and help them stay connected with the modern world. It can also provide the support and assistance to allow elderly people to remain living independently and safely at home. In this article, we will discuss how six pieces of technology are benefiting the lives of elderly people.

 

According to CQC accredited care provider Helping Hands - “A change of routine and environment can be very daunting for someone who’s living with dementia.” Fortunately, new smart technology can be used to massively improve the lives of seniors and enable them to remain living independently at home for longer. A smart home is one that has been set up with technology to provide additional comfort and security at all times, even when no one is at home. For instance, you can now set up smart cameras that are programmed to alert you if there is any motion outside of your property. Smart cameras can also be set up inside the home so that caregivers can keep an eye on their elderly loved one and be altered in the event of an emergency. There is a massive range of smart technology available that can improve the lives of elderly people - from smart TV’s and cameras, to smart thermostats and lighting.

GPS gadgets

Statistics on aging.com state that more than 60% of those with dementia will wander. GPS gadgets can help find a senior who may become lost and ensure that they are located safely. GPS systems have improved massively over the years and now provide extremely accurate locations and details. GPS devices can easily be placed into seniors’ items of clothing to ensure that they can be found quickly in the event of becoming lost or having wandered off.

Phone apps

Phone apps are one of the most significant advancements in technology that have benefited elderly people and their caregivers. Seniors can now use any smartphone to monitor their health, get assistance with medication, and book important appointments online. For those who experience sight impairments,

‘Be My Eyes’ is an app that will quite literally connect those seeking assistance with a volunteer through a live video call. Other apps like Shazam, Lumosity and Car Finder AR also offer solutions to a huge array of everyday problems and unlock interaction with other people online. This can help keep their minds busy and also beat feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Social media

Research has found that 59% of seniors feel less lonely due to social media and a massive 82% find talking about loneliness much easier when anonymous and online. Social media platforms like Facebook, have made it easier and convenient for seniors to interact with their loved ones on a regular basis and stay updated on their daily lives. There is also a number of social media pages aimed specifically at elderly people. These sites can help seniors find friends to go on holiday with, or look for companionship in their local area.

Emergence Response Services

The introduction of Emergency Response Services (ERS) completely revolutionised elderly care. Seniors can use these devices to notify their loved ones in an emergency situation such as a fall. As people get older, lack of mobility, sight, or hearing can put seniors at risk of injuring themselves. ERS enable many elderly people to remain living safely at home and give caregivers peace of mind knowing that their loved one can notify them if they require assistance for any reason.

Voice assistants

Voice-activated technology can help improve the lives of seniors and allow them to remain living independently for longer. Elderly people can now install technology in their home such as Alexa Echo or Google Home, that can carry out a range of tasks for them based on voice comments. This may include - managing home temperature, organising calendars, and playing media.

Final thought

There is now a huge variety of technology on the market that can benefit the lives of seniors. Technology has never been better for elderly care and seniors have access to a huge range of excellent devices - from smart home technology and GPS devices, to medication apps and social media. All elderly people and their caregivers should be taking advantage of this technology to enhance their quality of life, combat loneliness, and improve their independence.

 

Ruby Clarkson

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