Technology has changed tremendously over our lifetimes and is here to stay. Devices such as smartphones, laptops, smartwatches, and virtual assistant technologies are now part of many households. They help us gather and share information, stay connected with our loved ones, and enjoy entertainment no matter where we are. Fortunately, we can also leverage technology to ensure that the seniors in our lives remain safe, healthy, and happy, even in their final moments.
Here are ingenious ways to use technology to deliver care and comfort to your loved ones even when you’re away.
VR Headsets and Training Caregivers
VR headsets are popular in the gaming world but have other applications such as simulating experiences for the wearer. These virtual realities are great for training wearers since they enjoy a fully immersive experience.
Embodied Labs is taking advantage of this immersive experience to deliver better care and comfort to seniors by improving training experiences. By using virtual reality (VR) headsets from Embodied Labs, caregivers can better grasp the realities of a patient suffering from illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and macular degeneration. Through this technology, caregivers can understand their patients better and also communicate with family members better.
Telehealth Devices and Chronic Illnesses
A majority of older adults suffer from chronic illnesses such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer, hepatitis, asthma, and coronary heart diseases. These illnesses require continuous monitoring, which may be impossible due to geographical, financial, and practical reasons.
However, through telehealth devices, physicians can deliver healthcare at home. These are devices that help patients monitor vitals at home and transmit data to physicians. Through continuous monitoring, physicians can prevent illnesses or control illnesses to avoid deterioration.
Remote monitoring watches can track a senior’s blood pressure, heartbeat, temperature, oxygen levels, activity levels, sleep patterns, glucose, and hydration. Wireless scales are excellent for tracking patient weight and sending the results to doctors. High-resolution cameras enable virtual consultations between patients, primary physicians, and other health practitioners such as radiologists and therapists. All these devices use HIPAA-compliant software to ensure patient data safety.
Alexa Device and Entertainment and Comfort
Amazon’s Alexa is a virtual assistant technology developed to work with voice-activated commands. Users can control other devices and set reminders by talking to the virtual assistant. No buttons or screen time required.
Alexa is excellent for seniors for several uses. First, seniors or caregivers can set medication reminders to ensure medication adherence. Seniors can also receive updates about the news, weather, politics, and calls from loved ones. A senior to stay connected even when they have dementia.
What’s more, Alexa also helps seniors stay entertained at home even when you’re away. It’s a great way to ensure that your loved one is happy as they listen to jokes, audiobooks, and music. Since it’s a virtual assistant, you can also set commands to control most televisions. Furthermore, you can control more than the television to keep your loved one comfortable. With Alexa, you can control the smart thermostats, lights, locks, kitchen appliances, cameras, and sensors. Seniors can also order food, groceries, and medication from local stores and pharmacies.
Technology for Exercise
Maintaining an active lifestyle in old age is vital for health. However, seniors struggle with fitness because of conditions such as dementia. If your loved one has challenges tracking their weight and exercising, devices such as wearable watches and fitness apps are an excellent solution.
Most active smartwatches send alerts when it’s time to exercise. Online apps such as YouTube offer access to numerous exercise routines that seniors can follow from anywhere. What’s more, most gym instructors are now available online. Seniors can enjoy one-on-one gym sessions or join exercise communities online to stay fit and feel connected to others. The best part about active wearable devices is that they track activity levels and crucial vitals. As you exercise, you can see the number of steps you took or miles you ran and cycled in a day. You can also view your blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels. Some watches even have emergency buttons that you can use to call for help should anything go wrong during your workout.
Social Connection and Information
Staying socially engaged is crucial to maintain overall wellness. Fortunately, social apps help thousands of us stay connected, even if we’re continents apart. Cross-messaging platforms such as WhatsApp are an excellent way for family members and friends to connect with seniors. You can send messages and organize group voice and video calls.
Social apps such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram also help seniors connect with people beyond families. They can receive and share information, voice their opinions, connect with old friends, and feel that they’re part of the online community. Platforms such as YouTube are great for learning and viewing new activities. Your parents or grandparents can take advantage of YouTube tutorials to take up new hobbies after retirement. Cooking, sewing, knitting, sports, and DIY projects are available on YouTube for curious minds.
Let’s not forget how search engines such as Google and Bing connect us to direct information at the tap of a button or a voice command. Seniors also benefit from search engines because they can use them to find answers to questions.
Technology and Senior Safety
While many seniors spend their time at home, it doesn’t mean that they’re completely safe. House accidents happen when people fall, cut themselves, or stumble in the darkness. However, you can keep your senior safe through in-house monitoring devices. You can use cameras to track movement throughout the day. However, if the senior is uncomfortable with cameras, you can install sensors to track movement. Sensors are small and monitor activity in the bed, fridge, doors, bathroom, and medicine cabinet. If you notice unusual sleep, feeding, and medication activity, you can respond. Other safety devices include wearable tracking belts and inflatable hip protectors to prevent hip injury after a fall.
Technology is here to stay and using it to make seniors’ lives easier is essential. StoneGate Senior Living aspires to provide care and comfort to seniors while leveraging the advantages of modern technology. Reach out today for more information about our services.