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TECHNOLOGY FOR AGING IN PLACE

TECHNOLOGY FOR AGING IN PLACE

TECHNOLOGY FOR AGING IN PLACE

Ask almost any senior where they wish to spend their older years, and most will tell you they wish to stay in their homes. That can present some tough challenges for some people as they get older. Enter “gerotechnology,” a clever term that combines geriatrics and technology. Fortunately for the huge aging Baby Boomer population, technology has already taken giant leaps when it comes to aging in place. Here are just a few examples:

FITBIT offers innovative wearable devices and self-tracking and personalized digital interventions to help improve wellness, disease management and prevention. But now, Fitbit has introduced Fitbit Care, a bundled subscription service offering that can help improve outcomes for some of the most common and costly conditions in healthcare, such as diabetes and hypertension. Fitbit Care offers health coaching services that enable you to take ownership of your health. This is a truly innovative program, and you can find out much more about the platform on the company website.

AMAZON ECHO has already proven itself to be a smart home technology wonder for seniors. Among other applications, the popular voice-activated device can play music, read audio-books, make phone calls, send messages and emails, and provide weather information.  Also, it can control devices like thermostats, lighting, and outlets, all with voice commands.

SMART MEDICATION DISPENSERS are not just for seniors. Who hasn’t forgotten to take a scheduled medication at one time or another? Smart med dispensers alert you when it is time for you to take your medication, using preset alarms. Some models even talk to you (“It’s time to take your morning pills). Some dispensers actually release your pre-loaded pills for easy access. Others allow you to pre-load up to one month’s worth of medication. Most people take some form of medication or supplements, making this type of device handy for almost everybody.

GRANDCARE is a large touchscreen system that connects to your internet, and offers one-touch video chats, photo/video sharing, music, messaging, games and more. But more importantly GrandCare has activity sensors, medication management features, and telehealth devices that can message or call designated caregivers if there is an emergency or a health issue. Both seniors and their loved ones will benefit by the sense of security this type of system offers.

The gerotechnology industries are still really in their infancy, but already great strides have been made. There are shoes that seniors can wear that will actually alert someone if they fall. Smart shoes also have built in GPS systems, so that if a person with dementia happens to wander off, his or her loved ones can easily track and find them. Home security systems now have features that focus on seniors, such as in home cameras that can allow a trusted person outside the home to monitor and even communicate directly with a senior in the home. Safely remaining in your home throughout your lifespan is becoming more common and easily achieved through emerging and already existing technologies.

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