For many seniors, aging in place is very important. After years of independence, the idea of losing your way of life when you reach senior age is hard to consider.
If you want to live through your golden years as comfortably as possible, you need to do some upfront planning. Of course you should have sound financial and economical plans in place, but what about technological plans?
No matter how healthy you are or how well you take care of yourself, aging changes everyone. Fortunately, technology can help you cope with some seemingly inevitable physical, mental and emotional changes.
For instance, if you find that it’s difficult to remember what medications you take or exactly when you take them, you can purchase a smart pill dispenser that’ll make sure you’re getting the medications you need exactly when they’re required.
1) Smart Pill Dispensers
For people of all ages, medications can be lifelines to good health. Taking a dose as prescribed is so important that when a mistake is made, the results can be dire.
Although many want to take their medications properly, there are often barriers that get in the way. When your vision declines, it can be difficult to read small labels and tell the difference between various pills. Another issue is that it’s easy to forget to take medications or neglect to take them at a specific time.
Today, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT), smart pillboxes are readily available. These devices take advantage of digital technology to make sure medication regimens are followed.
One such device is the GMS Med-e-lert Automatic Pill Dispenser, which is an automated piece of technology with 28 individual trays. In total, the dispenser can carry up to six does per day, and each day holds up to 18 aspirin-sized pills.
When it’s time to release medication, the dispenser puts the necessary dose in a delivery slot and triggers an alarm and flashing light. After the medication is out, the user has 30 minutes to take the medication.
2) Smart Medical Alert Devices
Since HelpCloud already reviewed three of the best-selling medical alert devices earlier this year, the smart device talked about in this article will be a smart watch. Instead of wearing a medical alert device around your neck, you can get a medical alert smart watch that’s convenient and matches your style.
Medical Guardian recently released the Freedom Guardian emergency response system.
The watch clearly displays the current time, date and day of the week in easy-to-see displays. Since it’s a GPS watch, it can also help you contact a loved one or emergency services in the event of an accident.
3) Smart TVs
Simply put, smart TVs are able to connect to the internet.
With the help of WiFi or Ethernet, a smart television can stream TV shows and movies that’re on the web, from services like Netflix, HBO and YouTube.
Even though all smart TVs help you access the content you want to watch, they all have their own advantages and disadvantages. One system that’s proving advantageous for elders is the TCL S405.
TCL’s S405 is a Roku TV with a great picture quality.
A Roku TV is a standalone smart TV that has a simple, intuitive interface.
The built-in TV display on Roku makes it easy to install the applications you want to watch the most. It’s also possible to watch free content on the Roku, like PBS, YouTube and more.
4) Smart Beds
With a smart bed, you can adjust your mattress’ firmness, position, temperature and more. If all of the available customizations weren’t enough, some smart beds allow your partner to have the same control.
Although there’s a lot of smart bed technology on the market, SleepIQ has a big buzz surrounding its name, and for a good reason. SleepIQ is Sleep Number’s patented technology that tracks your heart rate, breathing, motion, bed exits and overall sleep quality.
SleepIQ also allows you to create a sleep goal, which is essentially the number of hours you’d like to sleep every night. You can update your goals as time passes and as you learn more about what a good night of rest looks like for you specifically.
5) Smart Fridges
While exact features change based on the fridge, most smart refrigerators can help you with things like keeping track of expiration dates, playing music while you cook and creating grocery lists.
Although the name “Family Hub” might deter someone 65-years-old or older from buying a fridge, this shouldn’t be the case. With Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator, you can plan meals, schedule your days and shop from your fridge.
Seriously, you can create shopping lists on the fridge and then buy groceries directly from the touchscreen. When you’re not in the mood to cook, the fridge can even be used to order pizza.
Anytime your hands are full or dirty, the Family Hub has a voice assistant who can help.
You can use S Voice to read you step-by-step directions and record your voice. When you’re ready to use the display, you’ll be greeted by a massive menu that’s very user-friendly. The LCD can also be used to mirror a TV, so you can stay current on your favorite media as you prepare your meals.
Inside the fridge itself, there’s a built-in camera that helps you see everything in the large, four-door space. The camera is very helpful when you’re at the store and trying to remember exactly what you need to buy. After you get home, the fridge can analyze your new groceries and give you suggested recipes that utilize your available ingredients.
6) Smart Home Assistants
When you start thinking about smart devices, one of the first things you need to consider is what type of smart hub you’d like. If you want to have various smart devices but have the option to control them from one place, you need a hub of some kind.
There is some debate in the technological community about what devices are classified as hubs. A few people believe that smart home assistants, like the Amazon Echo or Alexa, aren’t usable of hubs. However, depending on your needs, a smart home assistant might be the perfect addition to your technological arsenal.
One good way to figure out exactly what type of hub you need is to speak with a tech support company, such as My Fast PC. You want to connect with a knowledgeable staff member who can help you understand exactly what you need and ensure you get the help required to keep your system running smoothly.
Amazon Echo is a popular device with adults because of its digital assistant, Alexa.
To use Alexa’s help, for example, you could say, “Alexa, remind me I have an appointment with my doctor tomorrow at 9AM.” Alexa can also answer nearly any of your questions, from “Alexa, hat time is it?” to “Alexa, what’s the weather like outside?”
With Alexa as your hub, you can use the Echo to control your devices.
When you move from one room to another, you could demand “Alexa, turn off the lights in the living room and turn on the lights in the bedroom.” With a smart thermostat, you can tell Alexa what temperature you’d like your house to be without ever touching a control box.
Alexa also has an “Ask My Buddy” system, which allows you to contact various people when you need help. So, if you ever fall or find yourself in a predicament, you can have Alexa alert a loved one via text or call or connect you to 911.
7) Smart Lights
There are many smart light kits available for beginners.
Philips Hue has one of the best starting packages that offers white bulbs, colored bulbs or a mixture of the two. Philips Hue also has a variety of table lamps, light strips and candle bulbs available at several prices.
After your Philips lights are installed, you can use Alexa or another voice assistant to control them. Philips also has a smartphone application that lets you use your phone like a remote for your lights.
If neither of these controls appeals to you, there is even a Hue Motion Sensor that controls your lights automatically. When you enter a room, the Hue sensor will turn on the lights, which is especially perfect for a bathroom, basement or laundry room.
When motion is no longer detected, the Hue sensor powers down the lights.
Smart Devices for Smart Senior Citizens
As you grow, you gain more independence and knowledge.
During the later years of your life, you have the opportunity to benefit from many years lived, but countless hours of growth and change can also take their toll.
At some point or another, tasks might become more difficult or harder to remember. When this happens, you need the right support system in place so you can continue to age with dignity.
There’s no one right solution for everyone, but for some senior citizens, IoT devices are exactly what’s required to age in place. With one or more of the devices above, the aging population can take advantage of all that modern technology has to offer to live the best life possible.