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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 05/26/2022

Assistive Technology Can Help

Assistive Technology Can Help

The world of technology is exploding with options that could allow seniors and baby boomers to live in their homes longer. So why aren’t they all taking advantage of available technologies? The simple answer is because most of the people who would benefit from these technologies are unaware that they exist.

We are all familiar with the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercial advertising wearable pendants that can be pressed when a person needs help. But there is so much more available today.

There are currently devices available that can visually and audibly alert individuals when it is time to take their medication. Given the fact that approximately 40 percent of nursing home admissions are the result of individuals being unable to take medication without supervision, these devices can help more seniors remain at home. Sold in varying shapes and sizes, holding large to small pills, medication management devices can beep, flash, and text patients and caregivers when it is time to take a medication or text when a medication is missed. They can be purchased with monthly services to allow distant caregivers the ability to manage medications. Devices range from $299.00 to $999.00.

Tracking devices are also available that allow people to be found quickly if they wander. These tracking devices can be worn as watches, placed in a shoe as an insert, worn on a belt or worn around the neck as a pendant. According to the Montgomery County Police – Project Lifesaver, it is imperative that an individual is found quickly, because for each moment lost, the search grid expands to a size that makes it almost impossible for individuals to be found. With that in mind, when choosing a tracking device, it is important to know how soon the device will notify caregivers the person is wandering. Very few of the devices currently on the market can give an exact location. Newer models also include two-way voice communication.

The assistive technology market also includes devices that can monitor health, sleep patterns and movement in the house. House sensors can monitor water leakage, movement in the bathroom, movement in and out of a bed or a chair, as well as the opening and closing of cabinets or doors. Finally, there are sensors that can turn off appliances if there has been no movement in a certain amount of time.

Using the power of new technologies, caregivers can provide independent, safe living environments for their parents or other loved ones and still have peace of mind. By working with loved ones and professionals, seniors can easily create secure environments where they can age in place.

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