Older adults have many options for where to live as they age. Most seniors prefer to stay at home, in the house they have loved for years, whenever possible. In fact, AARP reports that of seniors 65 and older. 87 percent desire to stay in their home and in their community as they grow older. Many older adults are able to fulfill this dream, with the Institute on Aging reporting approximately 11.3 million seniors living successfully at home alone.
Living at home, alone or with a partner, is called “aging in place.” Fortunately, aging in place is quite possible, even for seniors living with a variety of health or mobility challenges. Thanks to technology, supportive communities, and nearby resources, seniors everywhere are able to age in place for longer. If your loved one is living at home alone or with a partner, check out these gadgets and technology options to support their wellness and independence.
Voice-Activated Smart Home Systems
Seniors living at home can benefit from a variety of voice-activated smart home systems on the market today. Simple systems such as the Google Home can provide news updates and trivia to keep seniors entertained, while more advanced options can allow your loved one to simply tell their thermostat to increase the temperature.
Most family members have real concerns about safety when their older loved one ages in place. Installing security cameras can provide some peace of mind by enabling you monitor their activity from afar. There are a variety of apps that provide access to real-time footage on your phone to be sure your loved one is eating lunch, walking safely, or even participating in their in-home physical therapy session.
Security cameras aren’t just useful for a caregiver, however. They also can also provide substantial benefits to a loved one aging in place. For example, camera systems offered by companies such as Nest give seniors the option of seeing who is ringing the doorbell from the comfort of their couch. They can even talk to visitors through the system, allowing them to skip hurrying down the stairs to answer the door for a solicitor.
Automated Medication Dispensers
One of the most complex tasks seniors aging in place must complete is medication management. Unfortunately, when a mistake is made—or a dose is missed—the ramifications can be deadly. Concerned family members can take a deep breath and know their loved one is safe when they use an automated medication dispenser.
Automated medication dispensers can give reminders when it’s time to take medications, which can decrease the chance of a forgotten dose. More complex systems, such as Livi, offer even greater peace of mind by delivering notifications to family members if a dose is not taken or when medications are running low and need re-ordering.
Seniors living at home, alone or with a partner, can be more susceptible to falling. Thanks to wearable technology options, family members and emergency personnel can be immediately contacted if a fall or other serious health event happens. Seniors can also feel safer when they know that help is readily available in emergency situations.
Falls and other emergencies often happen at nighttime, when darkness makes mobility even more challenging. Using motion-activated sensors to turn on lights can make heading to the bathroom in the middle of the night exponentially safer for seniors aging in place. Using similar technology, motion-activated sensors on doors can deter a confused senior from wandering out of the home without someone noticing.Access to technology and gadgets designed with seniors in mind has given older adults all over America the chance to stay at home longer without risking their health. If you are ready to explore options for your older loved one, start with Livi, an automated medication dispensing system made to give seniors medication independence without compromising safety. Here’s to living at home, safely and well.