Technology trends for today’s tech-savvy seniors
2020 showed us all how technology can keep us connected in countless ways. Thanks to technology, we shopped, ordered in, played online board games with friends, visited the doctor and even streamed our fitness classes. People of all ages can benefit from learning new technology — and doing so helps keep us feeling young, especially as we age.
Technology is a powerful tool that can improve safety, independence and quality of life in senior living communities. Here are a few of the technologies already being used. And some, you are sure to see in the near future.
Digital content for seniors
Many digital tools are available to keep residents engaged and entertained. Beyond Netflix, are Puzzle apps such as Wordbrain and streaming services, such as CuriosityStream, which presents award-winning documentary features. Spiro100 is another video streaming service that offers exercise and wellness programs designed to improve quality of life for seniors.
Artificial intelligence (AI)/voice assistants
Voice assistants empower residents and enhance the resident experience. Devices such as Amazon Echo (aka Alexa) and Google Home can help remind residents about when to take medicine or visit the doctor. They also allow residents to control the lights and adjust the TV.
Music therapy platforms like Muru Music use AI to create personalized playlists. Caregivers can easily program and play the right music at the right time to help stimulate memories and elevate mood.
Virtual reality (VR)
VR offers an immersive experience for older people. They can reenact their favorite hobbies using VR to create peaceful, calming experiences. Other immersive experiences include travel, music, art, nature and reminiscence therapies (a method that helps those with memory impairments recall past events using the five senses.).
There are a variety of wearable technologies that can track health and offer security.
Smartwatches have the capability to notify emergency contacts. Apple Watch even has fall detection and will automatically make a call.to your emergency contacts. Smartwatches specifically designed for seniors make it easy to manage health data and share information with caregivers and health care providers. Medical alert wearables are also available and include activity monitoring and emergency monitoring services.
CaT Pin (Conversations as Therapy) is a wearable pin that helps detect loneliness by measuring the number of words spoken in a day. This device sends a text alert to family, friends and caregivers when the number of spoken words drops below a set baseline and lets caregivers know to engage and connect.
When real pets aren’t an option, robotic pets offer many of the same benefits. They relieve loneliness, reduce anxiety and provide fun engagement for older adults and people with dementia.
Motion Sensors can monitor physical activity and improve safety. For instance, they can detect if a resident falls or show that a resident has been still for a long time. Caregivers are then alerted to check in.
GPS insoles, developed specifically for seniors with dementia and Alzheimer's, are placed inside a shoe insole and send location updates by text and email to caregivers.
Digital medication dispensers have sensors that release the right dose of medicine at the right time — preventing overdosing or underdosing. They also alert caregivers before a dose is missed.
Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina continues to adopt new technologies to meet the needs of today’s tech-savvy seniors. Visit www.prescommunities.org to learn more about all our lifestyle offerings.
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Mcknight’s Senior Living. https://www.mcknightsseniorliving.com/home/news/5-trends-will-future-proof-senior-living-industry-in-2021-leaders-say/. January 19, 2021
WhereYouLiveMatters.org. https://www.whereyoulivematters.org/the-future-of-senior-living/. February 9, 2021