Technological innovations are guaranteeing that seniors in this country can live more fulfilling lives while ensuring their safety and wellbeing. As the population ages over the next few years, its important to know there will be more seniors that ever before. Baby Boomers began crossing the sixty-five threshold in 2011, and it is estimated that by 2030, those aged sixty-five and older will number more than 71 million people. Unlike previous generations, for the vast majority of this big demographic, their preference is to “age in place.”
Aging in place means eschewing traditional assisted living or nursing home facilities in favor of maintaining an independent lifestyle for as long as possible in their own home. With new and emerging technology available to outfit a home, your aging parent can take full advantage of living and thriving on their own.
Installing sensors in critical places in your senior’s home allows them the freedom to live on their own while still being monitored by friends, family, loved ones, and caregivers. These sensors can trigger when it is time for your senior to take their medication, as well as tracking their movement throughout the house.
Should these sensors pick up any unusual behavior, for instance, say your dad or mom went into the bathroom and spent an inordinate amount of time, the system would trigger an alarm to warrant an investigation. Bathrooms are ground zero when it comes to accidents for the elderly, and knowing something is amiss is the first step in getting prompt medical attention in the event of a life-threatening accident.
A host of applications are hitting the market that pinpoint specific health indicators. Devices like FitBit are a big hit with Millennials, but they are also ideally suited for seniors. Physical activity is the key to a healthy mind and body, and these devices help monitor major physical activity such as the amount of exercise completed to the amount of steps taken to pulse and heart rates.
Many people remember the ”Life Alert” bracelets of the 1980s, which promised help when the wearer fell down and couldn’t get up. This new wearable technology promises even more monitoring support with data being uploaded and shared with community care givers.
Staying Connected and Staying Healthy
If left alone and isolated, the cognitive abilities of your senior can decline precipitously, but technology can play a role in forestalling that decline by keeping your loved one connected via social media or Skype. Its important to keep them connected and aware of their immediate surroundings. Living longer doesn’t mean much if you are not living well, and emerging and existing technologies promise to make those golden years truly golden, so you will not need to worry about your loved one.