Technological advances astound me. The capabilities in the average smart phone today far exceed the computing power available to NASA for its 1969 moon mission. I can walk into my home and ask Alexa to play my favorite music, read my email to me or continue narrating my latest Audible book selection. Older friends text their great grandchildren, FaceTime with family living overseas and update Facebook regularly detailing their travels or new restaurant find. Companies like Google and Amazon notice Baby Boomers embrace technology and …
continue to develop products to help seniors stay in their homes longer and age in place.
The following are just a few devices to help monitor the well-being of a loved one in their home:
- Motions sensors help eliminate falls by turning on lights in a dark room;
- Cameras provide a visible check on loved ones when they are alone;
- Wearable alert systems detect a fall and summon help;
- Voice-controlled devices signal it’s time to take medication;
- Emergency response buttons on a cell phone provide instant contact with emergency services;
- Smart door locks provide additional security and allow access to authorized visitors;
- Smart thermostats monitor heating and cooling systems and notify appropriate people of improper functionality.
The development of new technology brings to light additional issues to consider. One such issue is how to best provide education to seniors on the use of this technology. Another issue highlights the need for internet service. This is of particular concern in rural areas where service can be intermittent. And then, there’s the issue of those seniors who don’t want to have their daily activities monitored by anyone including family and friends even if it is in their best interest.
As technology develops, its impact on how we age and the quality of our lives as seniors will be unparalleled. Innovations such as talking street signs, cars that drive themselves, remote doctor visits and patient monitoring, and robots as caregivers are just a few such examples of this new technology. As a baby boomer, I’m not at all comfortable with self-driving cars or robots as caregivers.
If you are a senior, how do you feel about technology? Have you incorporated any of the devices mentioned above in your daily routine? Do you use technology to ensure you can age in place without losing your freedom yet staying in touch with friends and loved ones? What are you using to keep others informed of your wishes and desires should you need the help? Could your friends or loved ones find the necessary information whether filed on a computer, in a file cabinet or a box?
Our Lifetime Legacy Planner comes in the download PDF version for those technologically savvy and in a hard copy edition for those that prefer to avoid technology. Be sure to check it out!