How Aging in Place Tech Is Helping Seniors Stay at Home Longer

Tuesday, April 09, 2019 • American Fork, UT 84003

Aging in place has become a nationwide movement to help those people who are growing older to stay at home, rather than having to move to a healthcare facility. 90% of seniors say they want to retire in their own homes, rather than being forced to move. Sometimes that requires day-to-day assistance or home modifications to achieve. In today's high-tech world, there are a few gadgets on the market that are designed to help seniors live at home with peace of mind. The aging in place tech category is a rapidly growing segment as Baby Boomers' needs grow.

Activity Sensors

Activity-based sensors around the home can give children peace of mind over their parents' care discretely and without being invasive. These sensors can detect if the person hasn't left their bedroom or hasn't opened the fridge or medicine cabinet within the expected time. These professionally installed sensors are often classified as independent living solutions. These sensors give seniors privacy since they are less intrusive than video cameras. They can also be placed in a variety of places including windows, doors, under bed sheets, and in vehicles.

Emergency Pendants & Fall Detection

Pendants worn on the wrist or neck can help seniors get help if a serious situation does occur. These pendants will dispatch emergency services at the press of a button, while simultaneously alerting family members. Some models even offer two-way voice support, so an operator can keep your loved one calm or ask questions. These products are often designed to be worn during exercise and are waterproof in design. Swimming is listed as one of the best five sporting activities for seniors, so having a device like this is invaluable.

Home Modifications

Some small home modifications can be done to help aging seniors stay in place. A common modification is an elevator to help seniors continue to use their multi-story home. Stairs pose a real hazard for seniors who struggle with balance issues, where an elevator can alleviate these problems. Any runners on the stairs or rugs near the bottom of the stairs should be removed immediately. These pose tripping risks even to healthy sure-footed adults. A second banister can be added to the wall to give seniors a double grip if the stairs must be used.

Consulting with Your Parents

Before you introduce any new tech into their lives, make sure you speak with your aging parents. Explain your concerns and why you think the home improvements or technology would be beneficial to the situation. Often, many people are opposed to change because it is presented as an ultimatum rather than an option. Getting your parents excited about new tech or modifications can help make the transition easier for them. Talk with them about their needs to get ideas about any home modifications that may make their lives easier.  It also helps to observe how your parents have adjusted to getting around the house at their current age. It will help you identify weak points that need to be addressed.