It hasn’t taken a long time since the internet & basic technology has become a necessity in our lives. And Now it is difficult to imagine a life without smart phones & the web! If we do not think of the list of cons that have come with rapid changing technologies (Let’s save it for some other day), One cannot deny the fact that some of the technical advancements have indeed made our lives easier.
According to a study, around 13% of the population of the United States of America consists of Aged group & the numbers are increasing day by day. Technology has never been in a better form for Aged care. Our Seniors too are no alien to technology now. COVID 19 has impacted here too.
Nonetheless, Different studies say that the Seniors have slow adjustments to newer technology than the youngsters. Sometimes it becomes a little difficult for them to pace up with new things coming into the market which invades our day to day life and makes it difficult to work without them. Lots of products that come up in the market are not that extensive, customer friendly & appropriate for a senior use which causes them to be dependent on others. However, there are a lot more products which are easy to understand and use therefore helping the seniors to overcome everyday difficulties with more ease.
Increased development of smartphones in the past few years has made it easy for all. For those finding difficulty, It is very important to create dedicated programs to train the untrained elderly about how new technology works. Along with this, the younger people around the Seniors should also be educated equally so that they can help when needed. As more and more people are entering their senior age, technology companies also would have to take into consideration the needs and perspective of the users more. “How to Use” and “Get Started” manual comes as a big help in these scenarios.
Let’s look at some of the technological advancements that are helping in spreading better information for Aged Care.
1) GPS (Global Positioning System) Service
The navigation & location system has been around for a long time, but their features have improved leaps and bounds in the past few years. We get a more accurate result now. Now, let’s see how it helps. Seniors with memory loss diseases like Alzheimer’s /Dementia have the pattern of roaming around which could result in them getting lost if the locality is not known well. Safety is most important for these Seniors who are vulnerable to wandering. Therefore, the requirement for GPS services & tracking which can locate the lost seniors is huge. Number of companies make tracking products which can be placed in the sole of the shoe, ironed on the cloth or put into pockets or bags so that the lost can be found.
2) Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)
IoMT is a simple concept. It is basically a connected system of medical services, software programs & health systems. The rise of this concept is being driven by the growing number of medical devices which can collect, analyse and transmit health related data and connect to healthcare networks, sending data to a cloud network or internal servers. The benefit of IoMT starts from giving a better & precise diagnosis & lesser errors. Coupled with the smart phones, this technology helps the patient send their health information over to the doctor on a regular basis for a better surveillance on health and early diagnosis & prevention from any chronic disease. Devices like Fitbit, Apple watch & Samsung gear gives away real time health data of the wearer to healthcare experts.
3) Virtual Assistants
Different devices are available which can notify and remind when to take the medicines or have food etc which the need of an actual person around. Pill reminders and refill reminders are a great help in keeping everything up to dated and on time. Automated voices can make Seniors feel the presence of someone who is to help them. Devices like Alexa & google home helps in a lot of ways other than switching off lights and switching on TV. Virtual Retirement communities are another good option for seniors who are still active and looking for low levels of care.
4) Apps in Phone
Phones have invaded our lives like never. There is an app for everything starting from ordering food to ordering a ride. Even in a basic smartphone, you get apps for monitoring the heart rate, reminding the medication time and tracking the location. There are apps for sending medical information to medical experts on a regular basis so that they can track the progress and issues. Aged group can get their favourite books, favourite songs and much more on different apps to pass time. Several apps specific to Senior citizens are available in the app store to provide services on a fingertip. Cloud-based health tracking systems embedded in apps help seniors & their family to keep information about their medical condition and schedule at one place to be used at the time of the need.
Things like iPad have opened the entree of technology to all age groups. Aged group can play games, listen to music, connect to social media and chat with friends from a small phone or tablet making things really simple for them.
There has been instances of abuse in Seniors be it in any form such as physical, neglect or emotional. Camera features come into play in this. Things can be recorded on the camera and improved where needed. If a camera is too much of an invasion of privacy, there are other sensory devices that come in the market which can keep track of the activity around the seniors and automatic update notifications are sent to needed mobile numbers.
Varied kind of technologies are available to be used as per the convenience. The only thing is to learn how to use them and limit them for use and not let them be an addiction. The Internet is a portal to millions of information, be it Senior searching for an aged care or a senior assisted living services searching for Seniors for caregiving services.