Technology is not just for millennials
There’s nothing more comforting than going home. Whatever you’re doing, however much fun you’re having, stepping inside your house just has that comforting, familiar feeling.
So, you can see why as you get older, living independently really is a huge deal.
These days, with the massive advances in technology and engineering that are available, living at home is becoming a viable option for many elderly people who may have previously been entered into a care home.
That’s not to say that care homes don’t have their place in society of course, and there are many occasions when they are the best option. But people are often able to stay in their own homes for much longer, which is fantastic too.
Some more traditional installations like the stair-lift and accessible baths remain a great help to those with reduced mobility, and riser-recliner chairs are still an item that have the potential to be a real game-changer. These things can mean moving around the house is no longer a struggle, improving mental and physical health massively.
Alongside these, we have everyday technology like mobile phones and tablets. Many of the older generation have embraced these and regularly use them to stay in contact with family over FaceTime, text messages and even WhatsApp groups. The internet is a wonderful tool for those who cannot get out as much, offering supermarket deliveries, information about local groups and clubs, and of course news updates.
As more care is required, there is more technology on hand. There are personal alarm pendants with emergency buttons that connect immediately with a 24-hour local team should they be needed, and a whole host of kitchen gadgets and modifiers from easy-grip handles to kettle-tippers for those tasks we take for granted.
Little things like this really make a difference.
There is a huge range of more technical equipment available, beginning with basic security devices like window and door sensors, doorbells with cameras, and sensors that turn on lights when you enter a room. There are intricate in-home monitoring systems on the market too that learn the patterns of your ‘usual’ behaviour using smart sensors and can then detect when a person has had a fall or left the oven on for example — without the need of surveillance cameras (which let’s face it just seem a bit ‘Big Brother’).
Some of the most popular gadgets recently are the voice-activated virtual assistants such as Google and Alexa. These are relatively affordable and fantastic resources for those with reduced mobility — they will play your favourite song, remind you when to take your medication, or call your friends or family and much more. Once set-up they are fairly easy to operate and can be a real life-line for those confined to the house. Even the mere act of speaking out loud can have positive effects on our well-being.
New gadgets are being created every day and with some encouragement or maybe a few local courses, anyone can learn to use these devices. And if that means an elderly person can enjoy more years in their own home, somewhere rich with precious memories and cherished items, then it is one hundred percent worth it.