Technology For The Elderly
In Britain, we have an ageing population which means, there are more old people than young in the UK. This is because, on average, people are living longer and having fewer children. Counties in the South West of England are some of the oldest in the UK. Therefore, the older generation is a huge market for consumables and they have a lot more influence over technology than you may think.
Engineers across the globe are designing products to improve the day to day life of the elderly and the disabled. Many products which are popular across generations, such as the Amazon Echo, have huge benefits when it comes to elderly accessibility. This article will discuss some of the key areas where technology is advancing to improve the lives of the elderly.
Stairlifts is an obvious one. As we get older, day-to-day activities, such as climbing the stairs, can become a big challenge. It is not uncommon for people to decide to move house once they reach a certain age to avoid the inconvenience of stairs. Or they may decide to move their main living areas, including their bedroom, to the ground floor of their property. However, with the advancing technology of stairlifts, relocating is becoming less necessary. The very first stairlift actually dates back to Henry VII but the first modern stair lift was invented in the 1920s and used rollers. Since then, stairlift technology has come on a long way. MultiCare Mobility sells all the latest stairlifts which have many modern features and custom designs, including perched seats and wireless remote controls. The aim is to provide a comfortable, practical, and affordable stair lift which is the perfect fit for you and your home. This technology allows you freedom and independence at home. Browse through our stairlift products, or contact one of our experts to find the perfect stairlift for you.
With new products on the market including Google Home and Amazon Echo, voice search is progressing in a way which can really benefit the elderly. The likes of Siri on Apple products have been around for the while and saves us the hassle of typing by offering voice search. You can even use your voice to send a text message or call somebody in your contacts. This prevents any accidental finger slips or having to navigate a confusing setup.
The advantage of a smart speaker over using Siri is that it does not even require you to stand up to find where you last left your phone or another device. From the comfort of your own sofa, you have easy access to seemingly endless information just using your voice. Smart speakers can play music, make calls, send and receive messages, provide information, news, sports scores, weather, and more instantly. Owning one of these products can help the older generation stay in touch with family and provide entertainment.
Other Smart Devices
Smart Speaker devices can also be connected to other smart devices. For example, Google Home can be connected to a Smart Camera Doorbell created by Nest which will send you notifications of people at your door before they ring the bell. There are devices which allow you to automatically control your whole home from turning on the lights to opening your garage door using just your voice, your smartphone, or a wireless remote. Technology is advancing in a way that can make your whole house connected and easy to control. Nest also have a smoke alarm product called Nest Protect, a Smart Thermostat, and indoor and outdoor cameras. They can all be connected together and controlled via one Nest app. The devices can communicate with each other so If the Nest Protect detects a high concentration of carbon monoxide, it will tell the thermostat to turn off the boiler to prevent further leakage. This is very clever and potentially life-saving. Nest can make your home safer, more secure, more comfortable, and cheaper to run.
New apps are being produced every second of every day. There is now an app for almost everything you could imagine. Some of these apps are designed to improve the quality of life of the elderly. This could be by keeping you connected with friends and relative, games to improve cognitive skills, plans/calendar to help keep you active, or making services, like the doctors, more accessible.
There are many mobile game apps which are specifically designed to help keep the mind active. They have been proven to enhance memory, spatial awareness and cognitive skills. Another bonus is that video games like these can be an excellent way to bond with your grandchildren. The names of some brain training apps for the elderly are Lumosity, Peak, Elevate, and, CogniFit Brain Fitness.
There are many apps which aim to help the elderly easily keep in touch with loved ones. It is often not practical for them to be by your side 24/7, but they may worry about you when they are away. Apps such as MyDodl, GPS Smart Sole, and Howz, help reassure loved ones that you are safe and well. MyDodl is a means of sharing message, images, and videos. It also sends a notification to a friend/relative if a sent message has not been received. GPS Smart Sole requires that you purchase GPS technology that can be inserted into the sole of your shoe. This creation allows you to wear a shoe that keeps your family and loved ones up to date as to your whereabouts via their smartphones, tablets or web browser. Howz is a next-generation approach as its flexible set of monitoring devices around the home feed into an app. It checks for changes in a person’s normal routine and makes sure that you are up at the usual time, points out that you have been up in the night or haven’t left the front door open.
Other apps make commonly used services more accessible. A popular app which provides this is Uber. Often old age can force adults into giving up driving due to slower reaction times or mobility problems. Relying on public transport is difficult for people who live in rural areas or have limited mobility. This is where hiring a taxi from an app like Uber can be a really handy and safe alternative. Other services that are now available on apps include:
Much like the stairs, baths can also become daunting when we start to age. They are not as relaxing and enjoyable as they were when we did not have to worry about slipping and lifting/lowering ourselves in and out. However, this has been thought of and a solution has been created in the form of walk-in-baths. They are specifically designed for the elderly and disabled. They include a powered seat that moves up and down to help you get in and out of the tub. This allows you to still enjoy a nice, warm relaxing bath no matter what your age.
Going to the GP regularly can be a pain, especially if you have limited mobility. There are not BioStamp patches you can wear which monitor your temperature, movements, heart rate, and all these vital signs which can be transmitted wirelessly to an application. This saves you the hassle of trekking to your doctors and could be the solution to Doctor’s data problems and long wait times!
Here at MultiCare Mobility, we provide our customers with a wide range of stairlifts, scooters, power chairs, recliners, wheelchairs, wheelchair lifts, and chair lifts. We are proud that our services help improve the lives of those with limited mobility and we want to help in as many ways as possible. This is why our expert team also keep up to date with the latest industry news. We are happy to offer advice and information which could be potentially life-changing for our clients. Please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0808 301 9111.
Sarah Wirth works for Multicare Mobility specialising in Marketing and Trend-Analysis.