Technology is fantastic. It has made the world smaller, safer, and easier to navigate. It can also help to keep your elderly relatives safe.
Here we run down some ways technology can keep your parents or in-laws safe, especially if they live alone.
1) It Can Help Them Remember To Take Their Pills
Motion sensors are nothing new but applying them to pill bottles and medicine cabinets is a simple way to make sure your loved one is keeping on top of their medication.
There are some companies that collect and send that data to an online portal and allow you to check your parent has had their pills for the day.
2) It Can Raise The Alarm If They Need Help
Pendant alarms are fairly commonplace now. Worn around the neck or wrist, they allow the wearer to call for help if they fall. Two-way communication is opened and help can be dispatched via an operator in an alarm receiving centre.
Some have ‘man down’ sensors in them that can detect if a person has fallen down. This is useful if they fall due to a medical emergency, such as a stroke or heart attack. It is also useful if the fall itself renders the wearer unable to call for help.
3) Technology Can Detect A Problem Rapidly
If your elderly relative is living alone, you might be worried that you wouldn’t know for a while if anything happened to them during the night.
Motion detectors linked to an alarm receiving centre can be lifesaving by detecting a lack of movement between certain times.
If, for example, your elderly relative goes to bed as normal at 9 pm but fails to get up in the morning, a flag will be raised and you, or a nominated person, can go and check on them.
4) It Can Reduce The Need for Dexterity
Voice control and voice recognition technologies are going to be a real game-changer for the elderly. Many people struggle with their dexterity as they age, which can make using a phone or remote control very difficult.
Turning on the lights, setting the kettle going, or even drawing the curtains will be much easier in the future, thanks for the Internet of Things and voice recognition.
Even household voice search devices, such as Alexa, can help your relative remember appointments and find answers to questions.
The Future Is Bright
There are many technologies that are emerging that will help with elderly care and safety in the future.
Self-driving cars will allow the elderly to move around independently for longer. A car is a lifeline for many elderly people, but some are unsafe driving. Self-driving cars will solve this problem.
Robot technology is improving rapidly. In the near future, it is feasible to imagine we will have robots to carry and bring things, dispense medications and even prepare meals on demand.
Medical technology is improving too.
Implants for Parkinson’s Disease have been shown to dramatically reduce tremors. Emerging technology from America is allowing people to correct their gait by implanting chips in the knee to correct the signals sent to and from the brain that control the foot. This helps in stroke survivors, for example, where the foot might be numb.
These technologies are a little way off being available yet, unfortunately. If you’re worried about the safety of your elderly relative, it might be a good idea to speak to your local authority. They can recommend devices and technology to help keep your loved one safe. They can also recommend alternative elderly care solutions.