Tech to Help You Age in Place
America’s beloved space family “The Jetsons” lived in a home many thought would be the future of human existence – flying cars, robot maids, conveyor belts moving from room-to-room, and machines that take care of your morning routine with just the push of a button.
Today’s world may not be quite as advanced as the 1963 TV cartoon predicted, but technology is undoubtedly making its way into the average American home and changing the way we live. Most notably, it’s innovating home health, wellness and accessibility.
Advancement in “smart” technology is revolutionizing the idea of independent aging. Products, services and tools are being created every day to assist with daily household functions. From health, to safety, to making communication with loved ones easier, these technologies help older adults enjoy the lifestyle they built in the comfort of their own homes.
Looking to add “intelligence” to your home?
Consider this age in place technology to help make life a bit easier:
1. Smart Home Devices
Smart home devices might be the closest thing to “The Jetsons” in 2018, and the advances in this technology get more amazing by the year. Amazon sold over 11 million Amazon Echo devices in 2016, and smart speakers will account for 50% of the total installed base of smart home devices in 2017. The number is expected to reach 68% by 2022.
Products such as the Echo, Amazon Dot, and Google Home give older adults the ability to complete tasks like turn the lights on and off, set reminders for meds and doctor appointments and ultimately control their life using just a voice command.
Setting up a smart home is easier than ever but choosing the right system often seems like a daunting task. Consult this list for everything older adults need to know about smart home technology and which products work best for their situation and budget.
2. Digital Health Monitors
The number of connected wearable devices worldwide is expected to jump from an estimated 325 million user in 2016 to over 830 million by 2020. These wearables not only perform the primary tasks of a computer but track biological functions like heart rate, calories burned, number of steps taken and other critical information relevant to an individual’s health and wellness.
Every older adult should consider wearing a fitness tracker, not just out of the house but while inside the home as well. The wearables continuously monitor vital signs and allow seniors to signal for help in the case of emergency.
3. Smart Security Devices
While many cities and towns are safe, the days of opening the doors for friendly strangers are long past. Every home, especially those inhabited by older adults, needs an extra level of security for peace of mind, even when the house is empty of people.
There are several options in home security available and many work on a smartphone. Homeowners can see people knocking at the front door, lock or unlock doors, and set alarms with the touch of a button.
In-home motion sensors are one of many technological features Friends Life Care offers these services.
4. Doctor’s Make House Calls Again
Consultations with doctors via video-conference are slowly catching on, with well over a million virtual visits reported in 2015. Doctors are not only checking on patients via online consultations but also prescribing or renewing medications and sending the script straight to the pharmacy
The convenience and easy of these “telehealth” check-ins usually cost less than an in-office visit, open up doctor office waiting rooms, and are attractive to employers and most health plans.