Technology has advanced so much over the last decade that there are now 1000's of pieces of equipment designed to help manage elderly people’s health and wellbeing. These pieces of technology can really improve quality of life for the user and also for family members as they can receive daily updates to help improve peace of mind. Below we have created a list of our top technologies to consider getting for elderly relatives/friends and see how it betters their life.
Many elderly people have an array of daily medication needs however due to a selection of reasons, may not always remember to take them. This is where medication management apps such as Dosecast, MyMeds and MedHelper are useful. Simply download the app onto a phone, iPad or tablet, set the times for medication to be taken and away you go. An alarm will go off at the set times and acts as a reminded to the user. This can enable the user to maintain their independence for longer as family members may not feel the need to call up every day to check they have taken their medication as well as giving them some peace of mind.
Smartwatches are also an amazing piece of technology to get an elderly relative. Firstly they can provide live GPS information to family members who are concerned about their able bodied parents with mental health issues from wandering off and getting lost. Having the watch provide location data can be a huge weight off the shoulders of family members and can also assist emergency services if they get into trouble. Secondly, they can be set up to monitor a range of health signs including heart rate which if goes above or below a certain bpm will alert a family member or emergency services, this could be a lifesaving feature.
When a loved one decides to stay at home it is natural for family members to be concerned about internal and external threats to the home. A way to counter the threat of break ins is by installing a quality home security system, this can help deter any potential criminals from attempting a robbery or alert emergency services quickly if one does. In the event of an accident happening that causes the victim to become immobile, having a PERS (Personal Injury Response System) can be a vital piece of equipment. This is because the button can be worn around the user neck and when pressed will send an alert to a pre-determined number. This could save them from being stuck on the ground for hours or even days if they live alone and do not have any family or home carers coming in to check on them.
Due to Covid-19 many elderly people will have been introduced to apps like Zoom and Facetime since they were no longer able to see family members on a regular basis. But as lockdown restrictions are eased these apps can still remain an important part of their life's. They can be continued to be used on a much more regular basis in order to keep in contact with family and friends that live further away. This can also reduce feelings of loneliness by keeping their social life active.
As we age it is pretty normal to experience a decline in vision. Contact lenses and glasses in most cases will help people maintain their ability to see for a good number of years and can be a lifelong solution. Unfortunately, for some people their vision is too poor to be corrected using these methods and can be caused by a selection of different diseases including cataracts, macular degeneration due to age, glaucoma or through injury. Vision aids are always a good option and the technology involved in some of the procedures such as laser eye surgery is now very advanced however there are also more simple methods such as large print books, brail or amazon assistant that will read books aloud for those who are worried about getting the procedure. Each one will be suited to different people depending on their needs and can be used in conjunction with one another to really get the best out of them.
Improving the lighting in the home can also help those with vision issues as it can be much more difficult to see in poorly lit rooms and corridors when suffering with an eye condition so it is a good idea to put additional lighting in places around the house to make it easier to see in at night, making them motion sensored will also make the process smoother. Once your vision begins to deteriorate even familiar places such as your home can become more difficult to get around. Asking a family member or carer to come in and help remove clutter or reorganise rooms and corridors can be a great help and reduce the chances of tripping over wires, rugs as well as knocking over unfixed objects. At Angelcare we offer a cleaning service that caters to every clients needs, we can help with one off clearing out of rooms or keeping the house tidy with weekly visits. To make life even easier, consider creating an organisation system, for example, putting everyday items such as keys or wallet back in the same place daily. This will reduce the chances of losing them and time spent searching for them. For those with very poor vision contrasting colours (yellow and dark blue for example) are still distinguishable from one another and this can be used to help reduce spills, trips and falls. Put contrasting tape where countertops end, where steps go up and where sharp corners are. This can also apply to all areas of the house where there are slight level changes or at desks.
Technological advances will continue to happen and new pieces of equipment will be released to consumers to make living with age related disorders easier to manage, whether this be safety precautions or wearable technology that restores specific bodily functions. Embracing these advancements will not only life more comfortable for the user but also for their loved ones, knowing that they are doing as much as possible to provide support to their elderly relative.