Technology comes in different forms. Every basic thing that you rely on runs on some form of technology. Sometimes I wonder how life was before it. Even when people want to go offgrid they cannot really wean themselves off the gadgets completely. Basic advancements like electricity help make our lives lovely and simple. Whether it’s electricity that you use to power your washing machine and fridge or more advanced technologies, life is a lot better for old people with deliberate products engineered for their needs.
I remember the day my great aunt got her first smartphone. She asked me for help getting around the basics. Granted she is in her early 70s I nearly gave up explaining after ten times of how to send an email and a text , how to zoom the keyboard. However there are a lot of things she got around to with her smart phone. Her contacts are saved and customized with photos.
All her reminders for events and appointments are on her Google calendar, birthdays and life events of all her family members. She is able to wish all the special people in her life good wishes on special days. Her medicine apps track her progress as far as medication is concerned, this is accessible to her family and care takers when needed.
She is able to store her photos and enjoy revisiting them easily when she feels sentimental. She also Googles home remedies when her arthritis acts up and simple recipes that she enjoys making when the little ones visit. Smartphone helps her link with her circle of friends from her church that she prefers to interact with instead of being on social media, she now jokes it’s the one invention she can survive without.
There are other inventions geared specially for old people. These technologies tend to be more subtle and can be incorporated into daily life and this way ease life or make elderly more independent in their everyday living.
How elderly people can be tech savvy
- Install a raised toilet seat ,
Most senior citizens have problems with their limbs and hips. This may arise with aging, diseases like arthritis, hip and back surgeries, and general weakening of muscles. Some issues in the toilet occur due to low toilet levels by raising the toilet level a senior gives them a good toilet experience. Toilet seat raisers with arms and rails provide more independence in the toilet. Ensure you put all the essential products for use near for easy reach. This include toilet paper, flushable wipes.
- Long reach toilet aids
These include the bottom buddy, freedom wand and juvo toileting aid. They assist seniors and handicapped people to attend to their toileting needs and wipe themselves without assistance. Toileting aids are effective for holding tissues or wipes and have a long reach and good grip. Once you are done simply release the tissue into the toilet
- Automatic soap dispensers and hand dryers with motion sensors
These are great for hygiene and increase the feeling of satisfaction. The caregivers can easily refill them when they run out.
- Install automatic toilet night light with motion sensors that are especially useful when need arises at night. These help prevent confusion and falls related to dark rooms and hallways.
- Portable Footstools provide a resting position that relaxes the legs as one continues to use the toilet,
Seniors bathroom must be geared towards easy self-care, efficacy and safety. They must also be good quality, durable and easy to clean by wiping or using detergents. Below what you can do to make a bathroom more senior friendly.
- Install grab rails and bars for your toilet and bathroom to avoid to provide support. They also help in getting in and out of the shower or tub. It can also be used to hold a towel when in the bath. Ensure you get strong railings into the walls as opposed to using suction cups or gum.
- Bathing aids that seniors can use include Foot cleaning brush ,long handled bath brushes and sponges get to the hard to reach areas like back and legs, lotion applicators with handle keeps sensitive skin moisturized and generally allows bathing with no assistance
- Non slip bath mats in the shower and tub to prevent falls and thick mats and carpets break falls easily when they occur out of the tub.
- Shower chairs allow for seniors to have a shower while in seating position esp. when they have balance control issues. You can preset the shower settings and place the chair in a convenient way for them to shower easily. Check for showerchairs for elderly with good rubber tip leg grip to avoid falls
For Bedroom and outdoors
- Adjustable beds
Bedridden seniors need comfortable beds that regulate pressure and prevent terrible bed sores from lying in one position. You need a good mattress to go with this special bed. A good bed with railings for easy lifting and getting out of bed. Put a thick mat on the edge of the bed to break any fall.
- Mobility aids
These basically add stabilityand improve balance when elders are walking and moving about. They relieve pressure from the knees and hips, and can also be used for people with weight issues. Examples are Walking sticks, standing canes, stepstool with handles, stairs assistant. These include varieties of wheelchairs electric or manual.
- Lift chairs
Assist elderly in getting up and down from chairs without needing support. Whereas you can use furniture rises and retain old furniture you need to use cushions to make the seats more comfortable. Best to get a reclining chair for elders that is super soft and comfortable at the same time easy to use. They are adjustable, easy on the back and hip muscles while being perfect for sitting and standing.
- Air purifiers
Elderly people have delicate respiratory systems. Air purifiers help in removing particles from the air that can be harmful and cause allergies e.g. pollen, smoke, dust etc. This with proper cleaning with detergents go a long way in the general wellbeing in the health. However one needs to be careful with the purifiers
- Handled reaching aids
Are great for picking objects that are out of reach in the house or outdoors.
- Padded Seat cushions
Can be used in your car, office chair or existing sofa to increase comfort and ease prevent spine and back pains.
There is more technology that is geared towards safety and monitoring when you are near or away s a caregiver.
- Monitoring system for seniors
These are useful in monitoring progress of your loved one. There are several systems with multiple functions, generally must have social connections to ease loneliness and loneliness. Daily check-ins and help buttons, portable alert systems to caregivers, activity monitoring health monitoring like fever thermometer and to do lists. They are generally easy to use with huge buttons and color contrast.
- Doorbell/telephone signaler with flashlight
These are great especially for those seniors with failing hearing when it gets difficult to hear the Doorbell or phone. Blinking light catches the eye hence increasing independence.