5 Ways Technology Advancements Have Improved Elder Care
Believe it or not, the medical alert bracelet was once considered a huge breakthrough for elder care. This simple, engraved bracelet alerts others to a person’s allergies and other medical issues in the event that they become incapacitated.
In the past few decades, monitoring seniors and providing high-quality elder care has improved by leaps and bounds, thanks to improvements in technology. The advancement of smartphone technology is likely the single most valuable contributor to improved elder care.
Smartphones aren’t the only types of technology consistently evolving, though. Read on to learn more about the gadgets that may benefit you as a caregiver of an elderly loved one.
- GPS helps locate lost or wandering seniors: Short for “Global Positioning System,” GPS has been around for decades, but has made noteworthy improvements in the last 10 years. The most improved feature is pinpointed location accuracy. GPS is available in trackers that remotely monitor your elderly loved one, which is extremely useful for caregivers of the elderly, as they are more likely to become disoriented or lost. These trackers can be put on a keychain, placed in the soles of shoes, ironed into clothing, or placed in wallets/or handbags.
- Cameras prevent elder abuse: Video recordings can protect seniors from abuse, which is a very real issue for seniors. Owing to mental, physical, and cognitive decline, seniors are prime targets for physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse or neglect. Video recordings can prevent abuse or nip it in the bud when it is spotted. Placing cameras in the home gives caregivers peace of mind, and the audio and visuals are clearer than ever before.
- Smartphone apps promote self-care: These handy gadgets are useful for virtually everyone, including seniors and their caregivers. For example, you may opt to use a medication reminder app to ensure your loved one takes his or her pills at the same time every day. Another valuable app choice is syncing wearable technology to your phone, so you can monitor your loved one’s heart rate, location, and much more. If your senior loved one deals with loneliness, they may benefit from a smartphone or tablet to occupy themselves. Any number of apps can help pass the time, but keeping up with friends and family on social media may be one of the most satisfying.
- Emergency response services can help seniors in peril: Seniors who fall or get hurt when they’re by themselves, with no help around, are in a dangerous situation. Emergency response services have greatly improved since the 1990s when they were first introduced in the “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” commercials. With the help of GPS, seniors are easily located and someone is called to go help them as quickly as possible.
- Remote monitoring keeps seniors safe: Today, monitoring devices are much more sophisticated than those medical alert bracelets previously mentioned. There are sensors that can automatically turn off a stove that was left on too long, or water sensors to alert the caregiver if a faucet was left running. Almost everything in their environment can be controlled, such as locked medication dispensers that have timers and alarms for missed doses.
The main takeaway? Advancements in technology have improved and are keeping seniors safer than ever before. These tools can help elders who have a degree of independence take better care of themselves, and they also help caregivers have peace of mind.
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