Covid Brought A Much-Needed Tech Infusion To The Lives Of Older Adults At Home And Senior Living Communities – Forbes
Using technology to connect
Covid-19 has brought us undeniable heartache and stress. However, it has also yielded some positive changes to our lives, and one of those is better and more widely used communication technology. Cell phones, especially smartphones, have become almost indispensable to daily life. Ninety-one percent of older adults own a cell phone and 53% of those are smartphones. And during Covid, they came into major use with food delivery from restaurants and from grocery stores. Some of the most popular food delivery apps, like Instacart, UberEats, Doordash, and GrubhubGRUB
, are still enjoying wide popularity.
Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime allow us to connect with loved ones and business associates no matter how far we live from them. Smart home devices provide entertainment, safety, and convenience for older adults in their home. These smart devices and upgraded internet connectivity have also made possible the advent of tele-health. Once an iffy and oft-rejected idea for connecting with patients, Covid brought tele-health into the lives of doctors across the globe and allowed many people to have private conversations with their doctor, with the enhancement of a visual component, without risking infection by going to a medical facility.
Doctor on video call with disabled senior patient
Smart speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant can play music, give you the weather forecast, provide reminders, and much more. Smart sensors monitor your home and send you alerts of anything suspicious. Video doorbells like Nest and Ring allow you to see on your smartphone who is at your door and alert you to a package that has been dropped off. They are especially appealing to people with limited mobility or as a security measure for those who live alone. These are all devices that allow us to have a “smart. Home.”
Home security system using cameras to monitor the different rooms of the house – smart home … [+]
The tech sector has been interested in the older adult world for many years now. Technology holds great promise for making life better as we get older, especially with the wearable technologies. Herman, now 87, lives in his own one-story home in a mid-sized town in the Midwest. He doesn’t want to go to an expensive senior living community and wouldn’t be able to afford most of them he has inquired upon, so his home has become something of a cyber-castle. In addition to the devices mentioned above, Herman’s sleep is monitored via a device connected to his ear, his refrigerator monitors what he eats (and doesn’t eat), a pill dispenser in his kitchen gives him his tailored medication, and smart appliances shut off if they sense they are untended.
smart toilet stool
In addition, Herman and his adult children, who are acting as a team to monitor changes that bear attention, have agreed to install more advanced monitoring devices if they become necessary for him. These could include a smart toilet to monitor frequency of use as well as the analysis of what goes into the toilet. This is tremendously useful for catching UTIs and other infections that become more common as we get older. They might also …….