By Guess writer, Mary Shannon
Seniors are, unfortunately, the most at-risk demographic for loneliness and the mental and physical health decline that goes along with it. And while many can turn to the church for spiritual and emotional support, sometimes, the elders in our life need earthly tools to stay connected with the ones they love in the here and now.
If you are looking for ways to keep your own senior in a position to communicate with their friends and family and to stay safe and healthy, keep reading. Here, we will look at a few technological innovations that are ideal for seniors.
Video communication devices
The GrandPad, Google Nest, and Amazon Echo Show are all excellent additions to a senior’s home, particularly for those with grandchildren who would like to video chat. These and similar devices make it easy to enjoy a conversation with loved ones, all while seeing their faces and expressions. Keep in mind, however, that these rely on a strong internet connection, which may not be available if your parents or grandparents live in a rural area. Most places still have access to LTE Wi-Fi services, which work well for video calling.
Smart pill reminder
According to HCP Live, the average senior citizen takes five prescriptions at any given time. This would be difficult for anyone to manage, but is especially so for older people who may have trouble with cognition or muscle control. A smart medicine distribution system, like MedMinder or Vaica, is a great addition to a senior’s home. The Digital Apothecary explains that these devices can dispense medicines and even track when they’ve been taken. Some can alert family members when meds have been missed.
Medical alert system
A medical alert system is essentially a piece of wearable technology that can help a senior get help if they experience an accident or crisis at home. According to Caring.com, these work by instantly contacting a monitoring center, where an experienced agent will make voice or video contact with your senior loved one. They will ask if they need help, and then will contact the appropriate authorities and family members to ensure that it arrives expediently.
We all have them, but many seniors don’t know how to fully unlock the capabilities of the smart device in their pocket. Fortunately, with a bit of coaching, even the most tech-resistant grandparent can learn to love their mini computers. Senior-friendly smartphones are popping up all over the place, and these devices are scaled down for seniors that don’t need unnecessary apps preinstalled. With their phone, they can make calls, send text messages, and even stay connected via social media, all from the comfort of their favorite chair.
Ring and similar video doorbell cameras are great for seniors. Not only will it let them look to see who’s at the door no matter where they are, it’s also a great deterrent against burglary. They are cost effective and, once installed, extremely easy to use. And if your senior loved one has a pre-existing smart home control, such as the Echo or Google’s smart home hub, their doorbell can be connected to that, making it even more convenient.
Technology makes the world a much smaller place, which means that seniors have more opportunities than ever to reach out when they need a listening ear or some help. The technology above can help them do just that without a significant cost or learning curve. Our seniors deserve the opportunity to stay connected with their friends and family, and a few simple devices can help them do just that and more.