elderly man driving

Gadgets may help your aging loved ones stay safe and secure at home.

As our parents age, we may witness their declining health. We wonder about their safety, security or if they will need Home Care someday. In a recent healthday.com article, reporter Dennis Thompson conjured an image of the advertising campaign, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up,” reminding us that we’ve been using technology for the aging to get help quickly for nearly 20 years. As technology has progressed, it’s gotten more sophisticated.

Professionals from the field of caring for senior citizens are beginning to endorse technological support for their care. Harry Wang, director of health and mobile product research for a technology trends firm, shares information from an AARP survey, “about one in 10 caregivers of senior citizens use tracking sensors that can remotely detect a potential safety hazard in the home . . .about 16 percent of caregivers said they had used some type of emergency response system.”

So what are some of the current technologies?

  • GPS equipment can help locate someone who is lost due to dementia.  One example is SilverCloud GPS Tracking.
  • Home monitoring systems follow a person’s movements, turn off the stove or monitor a person’s medication usage.
  • Need to protect medications? TabSafe, according to an article in the Miami Herald, “organizes medications and sends visual and audible reminders” to homecare patients.

AARP’s senior vice president for livable communities, Elinor Ginzler, along with Harry Wang, mention three things that will make technical equipment more accessible to seniors.

  • It should be designed for ease of use while being engaging for seniors to help them feel young.
  • Devices need to be reasonably priced. “The No. 1 barrier is the cost of the system,” Wang said.
  • Marketing needs to be positive and inspiring for seniors to adopt new items. Ginzler said, “The message needs to be, ‘We want to make sure you can stay in your house and be independent the way you want to be, and we can respond if you get in trouble.”

As a companion, it is a good idea to watch for trends and see what new tools develop to help grandma stay home. As the demand for these items increases, the price for them will become more affordable.

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