Help for Seniors Wanting to Remain at Home
by Wendy, Retirement Enthusiast/Coach
Here are some new ideas and innovations designed to help seniors remain at home and remain independent.
The links are to Amazon to show you a page of items available. Check out the products and reviews before you buy... even if you buy locally, check the reviews first.
Smart Home Technology:
Advances in smart home technology have made it easier for seniors to control various aspects of their home environment.
Voice-activated assistants like Amazon Echo or Google Home can assist with turning on lights (smart lightbulbs on Amazon let you change colors and more!), adjusting thermostat settings, or even locking doors. Smart sensors can also monitor activities and alert caregivers or family members of any oddities or emergencies.
We used a tiny Blink Camera that would allow us to check in, via the app on our phones to see what Mom was doing. She loved it and would smile and wave into the camera's light when it came on. It made her feel secure!
They loved talking to Alexa Echo and asking for Frank Sinatra songs, or "oldies," and listened instead of tv sometimes... They loved the memories from music!
Telehealth and Remote Monitoring:
Telehealth services allow seniors to receive medical care and consultations remotely. This really started during COVID when Doctors didn't want sick people in the office. Doctors can conduct virtual appointments through video calls, reducing the need for seniors to travel to clinics.
If Necessary, remote monitoring devices, such as wearable Health Sensors , can track vital signs and health indicators, providing real-time data to healthcare professionals and alerting them to any concerning changes.
Seniors can use various delivery services to get groceries, medication, and other essential items delivered directly to their doorstep. I use Amazon like a crazy woman... :) Love it. But also had Kroger groceries ordered for pick-up during COVID times.
My senior friend finally tried ordering Meijer groceries earlier this year, and he loves it. Faced with a sudden medical issue, it made sense, and he could still order exactly what he liked.
Social Engagement Platforms:
Virtual platforms designed specifically for seniors provide social interaction and engagement opportunities. I have a
Senior Community here if you'd like to join. Lots of seniors, but few visit to chat... still it's out here! Join and I will approve you in!
Facebook is another social platform... just be careful who you are approving into your friends. Seriously!
Home Modifications and Assistive Devices:
Certain modifications to the home can make it safer for seniors. This may include installing grab bars in bathrooms (so small and easy and yet so helpful in the shower and even getting OFF the toilet), taller toilet seats work, non-slip flooring, or stairlifts. There are even home elevators that do little to harm the home. They are installed relatively easily and will lift you upstairs!
Additionally, assistive devices such as mobility aids, medication reminders, and personal emergency response systems can enhance safety and independence. Mom wore a pendant that she could tap on when she needed help, and it automatically called me and my sister immediately... then we called her back to see what was wrong.
Transportation can be challenging for some seniors, especially those with mobility issues. Ride-sharing services specifically catering to seniors, volunteer driver programs, or specialized transportation services can help seniors access medical appointments, grocery stores, or social events. We've never tried these... I never used Uber or any of these services either, yet.
Virtual Fitness Programs:
Staying physically active is crucial for seniors' health and well-being. Online fitness programs and online exercise classes for seniors allow us to maintain strength and flexibility. At almost 97, mom does exercises with stretchy bands etc, simply to maintain the bit of strength she has.
Use it or lose it... then you are at the mercy of whoever is caregiving for you.
Personalized Caregiving Apps:
Mobile applications can help caregivers and family members coordinate care for seniors. These apps may include features like medication reminders, appointment scheduling, task management, and communication tools to ensure that everyone involved in the caregiving process is on the same page.
Fall Detection and Prevention:
Falls are a significant concern for seniors. In my Certified Senior Advisor training, they talked about falls being the worst for seniors. I've seen many in the last year, that fall at moms Assisted Living, and go to the hospital. They often return a shell of themselves, get worse and worse, and are gone. We are so blessed this was not the case for my mother's fall, but it happens to many.
Wearable devices with fall detection capabilities or smart floor sensors can alert caregivers or emergency services in the event of a fall, allowing for a prompt response. You've seen the commercials: "Helppp, I can't get up!" It's not a joke.
I still swear by Brain Games for Seniors. I thoroughly enjoy and challenge myself daily with them!
Technology-based memory support tools, such as digital calendars, reminders, and voice-activated assistants, can assist seniors in managing their daily routines, medication schedules, and important appointments. Just search for APPS and you will likely find an app for whatever you need.
These ideas can empower seniors to age in place, maintain their independence, and enhance their quality of life while remaining in the comfort and familiarity of their own homes.
Mom is living a good life, at 97, in Assisted Living -- but she is also in the old-old category of life. She needs some assistance.
Help yourself to live your best life with a little help from Modern Technology -- lots of it to help Boomers today!
** Links provided to Amazon so you can read more and/or reviews!