Assisting Elders with Technology

Dec 25, 2020

In the past nine months, many of us have learned to use technology in ways that far exceed what we thought was possible before covid became a word in our vocabulary.  We are using face-time apps to hold meetings with co-workers and to socialize with friends and family. We are ordering groceries and take-out food from our phones, tablets, and computers. We are linking into computer networks from across town or several towns away.

As we age, some of us are going to need assistance with a variety of tasks in order to stay independent in our homes.  There are a variety of technology tools available today that can help provide some of this assistance.  Here are just a few of the devices available to help people stay in their home safely.

Medication Management services can help with prescription refills, dose scheduling, and reminders.  Some services allow caregivers to remotely check on their loved one’s medication status. Medication regimens can be complicated, and these new tools can help keep it organized. 

Wearable Fitness tracking devices can be used to monitor exercise routines. But, they can also be used to track heart health, brain activity, and other data that can be shared with doctors and caregivers.

Bluetooth headphones. A set of headphones can help a person hear television, music or newscast without having to have the speakers turned up to a level that might disturb the neighbors.  Add Bluetooth capabilities and the headphones do not tether the user to a space limited by the length of the cord, nor is there a concern of tripping and falling over the headphone’s cord.

Convenience apps available for cellphones allow us to do a myriad of activities. We can place an order for groceries, call a taxi or ride-share service, We can place a voice-controlled device in our home that turns the lights on and off, locks the doors, allows us to view a visitor without opening the door, adjusts the thermostat. The list goes on and on.  

Bluetooth trackers. Everyone loses their keys, eyeglasses, television remote, etc. There are now devices that help you find your lost item via a sticker on the lost item and an app on your smart phone or tablet

Monitoring for emergencies. The tried and true monitoring device that allows a person to call for help from anywhere in their home is still an important type of technology, which allows independence with a safety net for emergency situations.

Robotic pets. There are robotic stuffed animals that move and sound like a real pet. These devices can bring comfort to an elder who is otherwise unable to have a live pet in their home.

Specially designed tablets.  There are several services that provide computer tablets that have been designed for a specific user. The tablet may be completely automated to allow use by a person living with dementia. Or, it might have easy to see buttons and targeted apps for socializing, music, games, reading. These specially programed devices allow the user to access electronic services with a minimum of technical knowledge.

SeniorCare has received funding to help put certain technologies into the hands of seniors. Call 978-281-1750 and ask to speak with an Information and Referral Specialist if you would like to learn more about the tech services available through SeniorCare.