Helpful Technology for Seniors: Recharge Your Life

Technology has become a way of life and will only continue to increase in prevalence – even for the senior population. Instead of shying away from the latest innovations, seniors can embrace devices that have the potential to enhance their independence as well as their quality of life. There’s a wealth of helpful technology for seniors, many of whom are recharging their lives with the help of gadgets. Take a look!

Telecommunication Technology Togetherness Concept

 

Promoting Independence

Seniors typically take several medications per day and this daily task can become overwhelming. The number of medications prescribed as well as the frequency of dosages is easy to forget. The risk of medication errors has always been high but rarely addressed. However, many devices have implemented apps and voice assistants which provide reminders and alarms set to the individual’s needs. Some devices also allow family members to check on the well-being of loved ones with wireless sensors. These unintrusive devices allow seniors to remain as independent as possible.

 

Social Connections

Some seniors face feelings of isolation and are unable to readily connect with family and friends. The use of social media has helped counteract these feelings. The age of waiting for phone calls or letter to arrive is over. Now, seniors can experience the instant satisfaction of receiving brief texts, seeing pictures posted or using webcams to check in with the people they care most about.

 

Overcoming Technological Intimidation

At times, seniors have had an attitude of skepticism toward technology. This is likely due to continuous product revisions and ongoing updates and advancements. According to a Pew Research Center study, a significant majority of older adults say they need assistance when it comes to using new digital devices. A mere 18% feel comfortable learning to use new devices on their own. In contrast, 77% indicate they would need someone to walk them through the process.

To overcome this fear, seniors with tech-savvy friends or caregivers can request help as needed. Education is also provided by senior centers and libraries as well as your local Office of Aging.

 

David York Agency Can Help

Technology is always moving forward and it’s easy to feel left behind. However, embracing technology can greatly enhance the quality of life for many seniors. From promoting independence and social connections to stimulating the mind with ongoing education, technology is a great tool for seniors.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, please contact us at 718.376.7755. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, or LinkedIn.

How Technology Can Help Seniors

There is an unsubstantiated assumption that seniors are not capable of understanding new technology. We think it’s time to challenge that way of thinking. Today’s post is all about acknowledging just how much technology can help seniors, and why we should help them integrate new technology into their lives.

Shot of a senior man using his digital tablet while relaxing at home, use of technology to improve quality of life

Technology offers an array of important benefits which apply directly to seniors. In fact, there are a number of devices that specifically cater to the needs of the elderly. If we don’t encourage seniors to use technology, we run the risk of denying them a world of support and a diminished quality of life.

 

Yes, Technology Can Help Seniors

There are many new devices that can support seniors’ health and safety. Missing medications is a thing of the past. We can now use digital pill dispensers and pill alarms to ensure accurate and full dosage compliance. Seniors can also benefit from voice-activated reminders that track meals, medicine, and appointments. Another useful piece of tech? Personal Emergency Response Systems. These simple devices ensure that help is available at all times in the event of an emergency. All of these tools are vital ways to help keep seniors safe and independent for as long as possible.

Did you know that technology can also improve seniors’ social connections? According to a study at Michigan State University, seniors who used social networking sites experienced decreases in loneliness, lower rates of depression, and better health. For people with limited mobility, social networking is a powerful way to reduce their isolation (see our previous post Using Technology to Eliminate Loneliness in the Elderly).

 

Barriers to Adapting

Learning to navigate the world of technology can be intimidating for seniors. Sadly, Pew Research found that only 13% of seniors who do not currently use digital devices feel comfortable learning to use them on their own. Additionally, seniors deal with physical challenges, such as poor eyesight or arthritis that limit their capacity to adapt. And, yes, the occasional skeptical attitude doesn’t help either.

The younger generation such as children and grandchildren may be able to help. However, it can be difficult to learn challenging new ideas from your children, so it helps to get outside instruction. A great way to help seniors recognize the potential value of new technology is to find classes. Most libraries and senior centers offer free technology classes to seniors (see our previous post Tackling Technology with the Elderly).

There are many adaptations available to make digital devices accessible for people with physical disabilities. For example, voice commands can eliminate the need to type, and changing font size can make screens more readable. Also, many seniors find tablets easier to use than desktop computers, and their screen is a more comfortable size than a smartphone’s.

 

 

David York Agency is Here to Help

Helping seniors across the digital divide can be tough, but the benefits outweigh the difficulties. Home healthcare aides may even be able to help by walking their patients through the functions of new devices. A home aide can also review what has been learned on a daily basis, helping each lesson “stick.” If we can help support the seniors in your life as they navigate the challenges of aging, please contact us. Our skilled and caring aides strive to provide personalized attention to every client.

For more information about David York Agency’s qualified, compassionate caregivers, please contact us at 718.376.7755. If you’d like to hear more from us, please like us on Facebook or follow us on TwitterGoogle+, or LinkedIn.

For more reading on the topic, see Anita Kamiel's article:
The Elderly, The Internet & Social Media

MediSafe Project: Never Forget to take Medications

Managing Medications

Managing medication compliance keeps getting easier. At David York Agency, we are excited about the MediSafe Project, one of the latest technological innovations to help ensure that you and your loved ones never skip or take the wrong dose of a prescribed medication or supplement. MediSafe is a user friendly app that you can download for free at their website and use to set alerts to remind you to take your various medications or supplements. This new award winning mobile pillbox technology is also a way for supportive families, friends and caregivers to identify when patients have taken medication and be alerted when they did not.

mediSafeFor those who don’t have smartphones, caregivers and relatives can download the app and track the medication compliance for the patient. Also, beginning in 2015, the system will become accessible to people without smartphones via an automated phone system and text messaging. Patients will be able to record medication doses via touchtone and caretakers will be able to receive alerts via incoming, automated calls.

Medication Non-Adherence

Medication non-adherence is a pervasive and costly problem in terms of time, money and health. This problem tremendously impacts health outcomes and even causes fatalities. Whether they are elderly, diabetic, or suffering from another illness, adherence is critical to patient health. In fact, the National Community Pharmacists Association estimates that it adds $290 billion to healthcare spending annually.

In the elderly, impediments to adherence include dementia and lack of adequate support from caregivers. A child, spouse, or senior caregiver is usually taking some level of responsibility for their daily routine. However, it’s hard for everyone to remember every medication on time.

MediSafe Project

MediSafe’s mission is to solve the problem of medication non-adherence and increase the power of family & friends to achieve positive, healthy outcomes for each other on a daily basis by delivering personalized medication reminder notifications specific to each patient & medication. First, it tells you when it’s time to take a medication. Afterwards, you enter that you have taken it so the software can record that for you. It is the first-of-its-kind cloud-synced mobile medication database management system with an iOS and Android mobile app. Here is a quick video to show you how it works.

David York Agency is expert at the care and management of various diseases endemic to the elderly. Furthermore, our home health aides are fully aware of the problem of missed medication doses. Moreover, most of them have smartphones that could be utilized for MediSafe if the family desires.

David York Home Healthcare Agency provides skilled home health aide services for home healthcare. We could assist you in mapping out and managing the total care of your senior loved one. Please call us at (718) 376-7755 or visit us on our website  www.davidyorkagency.com to become acquainted with all we offer.
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