Let us introduce you to the future of senior care!
As our parents and seniors turn old, they become more vulnerable with every passing day, with changes in climate, pollution, crime, and other things. We need to take the extra step in senior care if we are to be ready for the challenges of tomorrow.
By the year 2030, one out of 6 people will be 60 years old in the US., And after a certain point of time, they will all need extra care and support.
There are various ways to assist our elders and promote their well-being. Various innovations have been made, through which we can assist our seniors and give them freedom in their lives.
What Makes Our Elders Vulnerable?
Here are some things that can cause the elderly body to become vulnerable to falls, diseases, and other problems.
- Reduced metabolism rate: As people age, their metabolism rate decreases, and thus, our elders become more prone to various kinds of disorders.
- Being affected by various chronic diseases: Being affected by various types of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart problems, kidney disorders, and thyroid problems results in poor mobility. Their energy reduces, and they become more prone to disorders and infections.
- Less flexibility: Our bone becomes thin and loses its density as we age. In men, as the testosterone levels go down and in women as the estrogen level drops down after menopause, it results in poor bone density. This results in less flexibility and mobility, and they become more prone to diseases.
- Poor nourishment: Due to the lack of nutrients and multiple deficiencies in the body, the immune system of our elders drops down. By paying attention to incorporating nutritious foods, you can overcome the deficiency.
Future of Senior Care: Loneliness & Depression
Did you know that as many as 32% of our older generation feel lonely? Anywhere between 2 to 16% feel severe loneliness in the age group of 65 and above?
Loneliness has been linked with health issues in study after study. From fall risk to dementia to heart disease, nearly every problem seniors face has roots linked to loneliness.
In such a scenario, it is only natural for us to look at how technology can help reduce the extent of loneliness that seniors feel. Here are some ideas that have taken shape or will be available in the coming years.
Seamlessly Connecting with loved ones.
Intuition robotics is a digital companion technology. It is designed to avoid the most prominent reason for poor health in older people: loneliness. Many old age people are prone to loneliness and depression due to the lack of engagement in daily routine or work.
Intuition robotics helps seniors engage with family members, stay connected with their social circle, and punctually take medicines.
It also promotes healthy behaviors and awareness. It uses proactive cognitive artificial intelligence to understand the needs of the elderly.
Robotic pets to keep loneliness at bay.
To cope with isolation and loneliness, another great innovation is robotic pets. Robotic pets are designed to give company to older people. Pets are a non-traditional way of addressing loneliness amongst the elders and reducing them.
Robotic animals have sensors that react to human movement and touch. They produce sounds and even nod the head and the mouth. You can adjust the sound and response by the buttons.
Animals provide unconditional love and help you overcome the absence of your loved one. When this idea is combined with technology, you get a pet that loves you, but you don’t have to do much to care for it! Dementia patients widely use robotic pets. While they can’t replace pets completely, this is a great innovation for older adults.
Future of Senior Care: Rehabilitation For Degenerative Diseases
Degenerative diseases cause the body part that they affect to deteriorate with time and cause disability or sometimes even death. Some very common examples of such diseases include Alzheimer’s, Multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s.
The most difficult problem to deal with in the elderly is neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. Nearly 6mn older people are impacted by Alzheimer’s in the states.
The disease causes extreme cerebral shrinkage in the brain, which causes the patient to lose many of their cognitive functions. Patients might end up losing their memory and ability to do even basic tasks.
There is no known medicine for Alzheimer’s; the only thing you can do is delay the progress of the disease through cognitive therapy, which involves keeping the patient active and doing simple everyday tasks.
However, it might be dangerous for you to take an Alzheimer’s patient out for something as simple as a walk in the park or grocery shopping, especially if they are alone. The next invention helps seniors do such simple challenges from the comfort of their homes.
VR Based Cure For Degenerative Diseases
Neuro Rehab VR is used to cure people who suffer from degenerative diseases or have undergone a spinal cord injury, brain surgery, and stroke. It provides a virtual reality experience to patients. It records the patient’s physiological responses and provides scores and metrics over time.
Using Neuro Rehab VR is like accepting a challenge. When our elders put on the headset, they forget about the hurt and pain and what disabilities they have. When they start using this, they enter into a virtual world where they have to face challenges and go to various situations.
For example, one situation might be like entering a fruit market and choosing the fruit for themselves. It focuses mainly on boosting self self-esteem in patients.
Future of Senior Care: Disease Prevention
Prevention is certainly better than cure, and a lot of diseases and small problems that can impact the lives of seniors can be warded off simply by doing regular testing.
Unfortunately, there are several reasons why senior people might not get themselves checked up as frequently as they should – cost and lack of access are certainly responsible.
The innovations coming up help with reducing the need for seniors to travel regularly for a checkup; they can get common tests done sitting at home.
Toilet Seat that can help detect disease.
Toi Labs is a toilet seat composed of sensors that can determine the user’s consistency, frequency, size, and color that varies regularly with the excreta. Various health problems like dehydration, diabetes, Clostridium Difficile, and diseases like urinary tract infections can be determined amongst the elders using the Toi Labs toilet. Common problems occur more frequently among elders.
If these problems get diagnosed in the initial stages, they can prevent hospitalization and be treated before the case worsens. The main aim of this innovation is to detect the problem at the earliest stages and treat them as soon as possible.
IoT Based diagnostic devices
The elders who suffer from chronic diseases have to visit the pathology laboratory to get tested frequently. Multiple tests like urine tests, diabetes tests, and vitamin D levels have to be checked in the laboratory.
But handy diagnostic devices can help you check yourselves at home only. They provide the result instantly, and it promotes the overall well-being of the elders. In the future, they can add more diagnostic tests.
There are different portable diagnostic devices like urine tests kit, diabetes testing machines. The senior age group can use this easily.
Future of Senior Care: Hearing Loss
Nearly one in three older people suffer from a partial or complete hearing loss. Innovations such as smart hearing aid already available in the market and those being created for the future can help seniors with hearing problems.
Disability assistance equipment
Senior citizens suffer from multiple disabilities. Many old-aged people have difficulty hearing. The innovation for the assistance of our elders is smart hearing aids.
You get multiple features such as a Bluetooth connection which can help you directly connect to the calls and listen to music. You can change channels on television through an app available on the smartphone.
You can even control the volume. It is an effective solution for the elders. Some machines can assist in managing daily routines such as brushing teeth or even taking medications.
Future of Senior Care: Medication Reminders
Seniors above the age of 65 take five or more medicines a day on average. Remembering each medicine, the time at which to take it, the dosage to take, and how frequently to change it is something that can get quickly overwhelming for an aging mind. Medication reminder equipment is getting smarter and smarter every day, helping seniors solve this problem.
Medication Adherence equipment
It becomes challenging to remember everything as we age, and we have many medications to consume. It is indispensable for many elders to take medicines on time. Not taking medicines on time can result in hospitalization and any serious issue.
To overcome these problems, medication adherence tools are being created. This equipment helps users remember when to take a particular medication. It is effective, and it won’t let you miss your dose.
Future of Senior Care: Caregiver Monitoring And Living In-Place
You might be amazed to know that nearly 90% of American seniors would prefer to age “in-place.” They would love to spend their older years in surroundings that they are comfortable in and with people and families that they are comfortable with.
Living in a place can become challenging because traditional homes are not designed to handle the requirements of senior living. Secondly, living alone means that you do not have access to quality healthcare at all times (as compared to assisted living or nursing homes).
The innovations below can help monitor and track the activities of seniors even when they are living alone so that caregivers can keep tabs and breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their older parents are comfortable and not in any harm’s way.
Smartwatch that prevents falls and tracks many other things
Vitaltech is a wristwatch that monitors falls and is responsible for having a respiratory, heart, and oxygen saturation track. It can detect your pulse rate and inform you regarding sleep quality.
You can track your physical activity through this watch, and more than that, it also provides a reminder for the consumption of medication. Older people can use it to check and track their daily activities and consumption of medications.
Smart senior houses
The seniors who have to take care of themselves independently feel it a bit difficult to carry out all the daily activities on their own. There are wearable wristwatches that can track multiple activities and locations of the elders.
If they feel any problem in carrying out their daily routine, they can communicate with their staff easily by the touch of just one button. Care staff can easily track activities (walking, bathing, taking up medicines) which our elders are performing and pay attention to whether they are fine or not.
Family caregiver distant monitoring tools
Often, family members want to pay attention to their elders without disturbing them all the time. The family caregiving distant monitoring tools help them understand their timings.
For instance, it will be notified if a senior has switched on the coffee machine. This will help the family members to understand whether they have performed the task of their daily routine on time or not?
Is there any normalcy in the routine maintained or not? If anything is delayed, then they can directly contact the seniors and be sure whether everything is good or not. In this way, the family members can ensure the safety of their elders.
How Can We Take Care Of Our Elders?
While technology is working hard to overcome the challenges of the elderly, there are some simple precautions that our older people can take to help themselves:
Healthy diet and exercising
You can exercise with your parents at your convenience. This will help you create a happy environment, and you get an opportunity to spend more time with your parents. Paying attention to diet is equally significant. You can innovate any healthy old dish with a new twist. Since older adults suffer from indigestion and cannot process the food efficiently, you can feed them nutritious and healthy food.
Follow up with the doctor.
Try to be punctual about visiting the doctor. It is imperative to pay attention to the medical history, treatment, and the accurate dosage of medicines they consume. Along with this, you can recommend some healthy lifestyle changes.
Creating a happy environment
Try to create a happy environment and obey your parents. Fulfill all their wishes and let them live their life on their terms. In this way, you can keep them happy and healthy.
Prevent your parents from falls
Try to prevent your parents from falling into old age. Older adults are more likely to suffer from osteoporosis and other diseases. Falling leads to various crucial conditions. Pay attention to your parents wearing adequate shoes, and your house contains non-slip mats and rugs. Many times people have suggested medicines that enhance the risk of falling. Try to prevent it.
Try physiotherapy sessions.
You can book a few physiotherapy sessions with a physiotherapist if they suffer from any kind of pain. It will help them increase mobility along and provide better flexibility.
What Ways Can Help Improve The Quality Of Life For Elders?
Here are some examples of things that we, as caregivers, can do to help improve the quality of life for our elderly parents and seniors.
- Make connections with them: Making connections with the elders and understanding their regular needs can help us make good connections with them and improve the quality of life.
- Treat the signs of depression: If your elders are suffering from depression for any reason or mental health issues, you can take them to the psychologist as this can greatly help them.
- Use the opportunities to help them: Elders often cannot carry out some activities. For instance, crossing the road, standing in a queue for a longer time. You can use this opportunity to assist your elders.
- Support them by listening to their viewpoints: Try to understand their perspective and thought process. You can learn from their experiences and understand various aspects of them.
Answers to Some Commonly Asked Questions About Tech and Elderly Care
How can technology help improve elderly care?
Technology plays a vital role, and it can benefit our elders in multiple ways. Nowadays, various blood pressure cuffs, glucose monitors, and sensors are used as various senior care products. Thus the technology is widely helping to improve elderly care. Various apps are made available for medical support, voice command technology. These apps are providing great assistance to our seniors.
What values are essential while taking care of the elders?
Being patient, compassionate, and caring for them are significant values while taking the care of the elders. Instead of doing it as a burden, you can be more grateful to god as they blessed you with elder ones who have great experience and knowledge about various aspects of life.
What do the elderly want the most?
Older adults need companionship and care the most. They want to be nurtured with happiness and love. Old-aged people are primarily affected by various disorders, and they tend to overthink because of family issues or any other reason. It is necessary to resolve these things and start paying attention to them.
Why is senior care essential?
Be it childhood, adulthood, or old age, every phase of our lives has struggles and troubles. As they age, they become vulnerable because many disorders affect them. But for the older age, it becomes difficult to carry out all the vital activities, and thus old age is a sensitive age. To avoid any sort of problem, senior care is highly essential.
Are new technologies highly effective in senior care?
Yes, many new technologies have been used nowadays. These new technologies work very effectively and serve the purpose of senior care very well. They are designed to assist the old-aged category with a precise aim and goal.
Seniors are the most important people in our society as they can help us overcome various difficulties through their experiences. Artificial intelligence is used in various fields, and various new popular innovations have come up.
These new technologies work remarkably well, and anybody can use these to overcome any difficulty in taking care of our elders.
You can be assured if you search for effective tools for your elders. In this article, you will come across various tools which can act as your perfect savior.