There is an exciting new wave of senior-friendly technology on the market that was designed to make an elder’s life more enjoyable while giving their family members peace of mind.
Most of these new tools were created to provide security, connection and comfort to elders who want to live out their final days in their own home.
Already on the market is a gadget called the E-Pill, which reminds seniors to take their daily medications. Another monitoring tool in development is a fiber-optic ‘magic carpet’ that detects when a person has fallen. Small sensors in the carpet send signals to a computer that can identify changes in walking behavior, which could also predict oncoming falls. This is great news for elders who live at home when you consider falling accidents account for half of their hospital admissions.
In addition to monitoring tools, there is a slew of new technology designed to help older people stay in touch with family members. Many seniors are already using tablets, which are simple to operate and easier to read than smartphones.
Older Americans can also use their tablets to download apps that can do things like call for help during an emergency, easily access their contact list or sharpen their brains with mind games.
Experts believe technology helps “live-at-home” seniors feel less isolated by staying connected to current events and the outside world. A recent Pew study found regular Internet use reduces elderly depression by 33 percent.
That’s why it’s no surprise to learn social networking is on the rise among seniors. The study found 46 percent of elders were active on social networks in 2013, up from 33 percent from 2011. The study also reported seniors who use social networks socialize in real life more than elders who do not.
The uptick we’re seeing of older Americans using technology “is really about them wanting to connect and communicate and find the information they need,” said study author and telecommunications professor Shelia Cotton.
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