Technology for Aging in Place

As we look at the benefits of in home care and how to allow seniors to remain where they want to be, it’s important to consider technology for aging in place. The purpose of this technology, of course, is to support the elderly individual, allowing him or her to more easily and happily walk through day to day life in their home.

We will look at three major components of this topic: how to introduce seniors to new technology, what types of technology are available, and the benefits of technology for aging in place.

Introducing Seniors to New Technology

Learning something new is tough for anyone. It’s the same for seniors, and because many seniors haven’t grown up with a lot of technology, it can sometimes be very difficult for adult children to introduce a new type of technology to them.

Here are a couple suggestions to make the process easier:

  1. Have a grandchild explain the new technology to your mom or dad. This can be less threatening and more enjoyable for the senior, who might tend to think you are constantly pushing if you are the one doing the teaching.
  2. If the above isn’t an option, consider hiring a tutor who can explain things simply. There are even classes particularly created for older adults. If the senior wants more interaction with people their age, a local class could meet several needs at the same time.

Whatever the means of learning, be sure to always thoroughly explain the purpose behind the technology to the senior. Emphasize the importance of maintaining their independence and ability to stay at home.

What types of technology are available?

technology for aging in place

Photo Credit: Kate D.

In the past few years, all kinds of technology has been created that is specifically useful to seniors. However, some more general types of technology, such as cell phones and Skype, can be just as useful.

These two in particular can help the adult children stay in touch with elderly loved ones and make sure they are doing well on a regular basis. Once the senior is more comfortable with a cell phone or Skype, he or she will most likely come to enjoy the ability to stay in touch and even see their family face to face if they are long-distance.

Other beneficial technology for aging in place includes apps for medication reminders and doctor’s appointments, easily accessible alarm systems when help is needed immediately, and devices to be able to quickly read in large type.

The list goes on and is becoming more and more advanced. Some families have even started using wireless blood pressure and vital sign monitors that can detect when anything is abnormal and alert necessary parties if necessary.

Benefits of Technology for Aging in Place

With all the different types of new technology coming out on a regular basis for seniors, you have to decide what is most important for your senior parent or loved one. While some of the technology may be outside your loved one’s needs or beyond your budget, it’s never a bad idea to look into your options.

According to the AARP,

90 percent of people age 65 and over want to age where they are, though less than 10 percent are using the personal and safety technology that is already available to help them do just that.

This is obviously a sad statistic since so much of this technology is so easily accessible and very low cost or free.

CareFamily’s main goal is to support families in their effort to keep their parents in their home with the right care and peace of mind. Technology that is specifically designed for aging in place can be another great component to help in that goal.