4 Ways Technology Helps Maintain Independence with Age
Technology is changing the way every one of us lives – from those first in line at the Apple store for a new iPhone, to those still suspicious of their Nokia 3310.
While we usually associate techy gadgets and software with the young (and young at heart), there are a wide range of products and services designed with older people in mind. Here we’ll explore just a few ways technology is helping our older populations.
Staying safe at home
With the help of sensors and monitors, vulnerable people living alone can be easily checked up on from afar without the need for invasive “Big Brother” cameras. Sensors can be attached to almost everywhere, from fridge doors to bathrooms. Alerts can then be set up to let someone know if unusual behaviour is detected – such as no movement downstairs by 10am, or a worryingly high numbers of night-time bathroom trips.
Alcove is one of a number of companies who sell packages of these sensors and a management app for family members.
Most of us have difficulty with our memory as we get older. Calling someone the wrong name or forgetting where you put the TV remote isn’t the end of the world – but forgetting whether or not you have taken your medication can be much more serious.
Cue the automatic pill dispenser. These handy gadgets can be stocked with up to a week’s worth of pills, which are then dispensed in the right dosages at the right time. The automated dispenser can also provide reminders for when the medication is due and can notify you (or a family member) if they’re not being taken.
Staying in touch
Video calling software allows family members and friends far and wide to talk face-to-face. As well as more common software like Skype and Facetime, you can buy tablets specifically designed for complete techno-phobes. These are hugely simplified, with very few, large buttons to press (meaning less ways to get it wrong!)
This technology is also finding its way into other services, including care. With SuperCarers Go, you can buy remote care packages – whereby a qualified carer will check-in with your elderly relatives via video call. This is a great (and much cheaper) alternative to short visits, allowing care budgets to be put towards less frequent but far more meaningful long visits.
Finding the right carer
Introductory services like SuperCarers use technology to quickly match up those who need support at home with experienced, vetted home carers. SuperCarers has also built easy-to-use tools which make directly managing care yourself simple. This allows families to bypass agency middle-men and office staff, resulting in a significant decrease in price – but still ensuring carers are paid well for their hard work. Day care prices start at £14 per hour (Greater London only), and live-in care prices at £750 per week (nationwide).
Connecting people who care
SuperCarers is an introductory service which helps connect individuals and families with trusted, experienced and vetted carers. Unlike a traditional care agency, instead of directing the care itself we focus on finding excellent carers, making personalised matches, and providing you with the tools to make the management of care easier. By cutting out the agency middle-man, we are able to reduce costs while still ensuring carers are rewarded well for their hard work. Meaning everyone can focus on what matters most – caring.
Have you got a health question?
We've teamed up with AXA PPP healthcare to bring you articles, information and tips from their clinical teams on a wide range of health topics. And if you have a health related question of your own – about your or your family's health, medication or upcoming procedures, for example – you can also access their, "Ask the Expert" service. Available around the clock, 365 days a year this free resource allows you to ask the team of friendly and experienced nurses, midwives and pharmacists about any health concerns you may have– whenever you need us, 24 hours a day, every day.
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