Aging In Place Technology is growing thanks Boomers
Here at Aging In Place Builders, we're always looking for innovative ways to solve the problems of our clients in Western Massachusetts. One scenario that scares us to death is having one of our older clients heating up some water on the stove, and forgetting to turn it off before heading out to run some errands. According to the NFPA, cooking is the number one cause of home fires - so this is a very real scenario. This blog article will walk through some new technology that is dedicated to reminding/alerting those who may be getting forgetful as they age.
Bedroom/Living Room Aging In Place Tech:
- Alarm clocks are an important part of life (albeit not the most loved technology...). Companies like Reminder Rosie have taken advantage of the necessity for this technology and merged it with the common needs of an elderly individual. Features like a large interface, the ability to remind you of specific actions at specific times, and the ability to use a loved one's voice makes this clock a valuable piece of technology to keep your loved ones safe while you're not there.
- Medication Technology provides assistance to a task that can sometimes mean life-or-death. With 90 percent of elders over the age of 65 using at least one medication, this seemingly simple task can easily be forgotten. Technology like Reminder Watches, or Automatic Pill Dispensers help seniors keep track of their pills and take them at the correct time.
- On the more social side of Aging In Place, the Telikin Personal Computer helps seniors connect with their loved ones through video conferencing as well as through social media. The user interface for this simple computer was designed for seniors with bad eyesight, limited dexterity and slower adoption of new technologies. This computer allows you to easily video call your elderly loved one to check in, ensure that they look well and check up on Vital Signs if you use more integrated technology. In addition to peace of mind for the family, it helps the elderly user maintain human interaction which can curb depression and improve their quality of life.
Kitchen Aging In Place Tech:
- Isolation Valves for a gas or electric stove is one of the most important devices to consider if your elderly loved one starts to become too forgetful. These devices can be set to turn off gas/electricity after a certain amount of time which can prevent any forgetful accidents. The devices need to be installed by a professional but are well worth the investment to avoid the leading cause of house fires.
- Electric Tea Kettles (or other appliances) offer a cheaper solution to an isolation value plus heating water is one of the most common reason to use the stove. This type of technology can be found in any department store and offers your loved one an easy and safe way to heat up water for coffee/tea without the fear of forgetting to turn off the stove.
- Occupancy Sensor Lights can help prevent falls during the dark periods of the day. This type of motion sensor lighting can be easily obtained and installed by an electrician and also helps reduce electricity costs. The sensors can be triggered by sound or by heat/motion which gives you some options based on the movement of your loved one. This option isn't the cheapest but certainly provides peace of mind knowing that your loved one will be able to see where they walk when they walk up at night.
Bathroom Aging In Place Tech:
- Heading into the bathroom with Aging In Place Technology starts to get a little impersonal, but you need to start being predictive and proactive with your elder versus reactive to problems as they arise. Companies like AgeLabs are designing sensors to track everything from pill bottle motion/weight sensors to toothbrush pressure sensors and will send alerts to all parties. Although this might seem creepy, it's important to know if your loved one is adhereing to the routine that will keep them healthy.
- Aging In Place Toilets are also very popular technology in the bathroom. Although expensive, assistive toilets help keep things easy by automatically raising the lid, sanitary by washing areas that are hard to reach, and pleasant by heating the seat and playing music to mask any unpleasant noise. These toilets are growing in popularity as more and more baby boomers are realizing they want to be comfortable and safe while in the bathroom.
Aging In Place Technology solves tough issues with innovative solutions
More and more technology will be developed as edlerly problems become mainstream. However, it's important to remember that you're dealing with a human being who may not think they need help. Installing sensors to track movement, actions, and even using your voice to constantly remind them of things can seem incredibly intrusive and degrading. To ensure that you or your loved ones actually use the technology, make sure that whatever solutions you consider, you're keeping and honest conversation with all parties involved.