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Seventy-five percent of adults over the age of 50 say they’d rather stay home as they age, rather than move to a support-care type facility. A few years ago, this would have been challenging as rides, meals, and other services could be difficult to obtain. Now, technology allows these older adults to stay home and connected, making aging in place possible.
1. Nutrition Tracking
Proper nutrition becomes more critical the older we get. Thanks to technology like Family Hub from Samsung, you can peek into your loved one’s fridge from anywhere with an internet connection. You’ll know immediately if they’re eating healthy food or not.
Fitness trackers and home glucose meters are great, but when they show something’s wrong, a doctor’s visit may be necessary. Not that long ago, a quick health check would have meant driving to their office, searching for parking, and sitting in the waiting room (even though you were precisely on time.) With telemedicine, aging adults can now see a doctor without ever leaving the house. Lifesaving in the few weeks here in the US.
3. Ride – Don’t Drive
In most areas of the country, particularly places like the Northeast that doesn’t have a robust public transit system, the inability to drive means you can’t live at home anymore. Or it used to! Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are one way to get where you need to go. But for many older adults, those apps can be confusing. If that’s the case, check out GoGoGrandparent. This concierge ride service uses a 1-800 number to schedule rides and sends a text message to the family when you’ve been picked up and dropped off.
4. Speedy Delivery
No, we’re not talking Mr. McFeely from Mr. Rogers’s neighborhood, but the service is almost as good! Amazon and other companies are now offering delivery on everything from medication to groceries in 45 minutes or less. Combine those services with voice technology like Alexa or Google Home, and nearly every older adult can get the goods they need without stepping outside their door.
5. Video Chat
When taking care of a parent or older loved one, it’s important to notice subtle changes that may only be obvious with daily face to face contact. Thanks to apps like Facetime and Skype, you can check on your loved ones from anywhere you can get online. An in-person visit may be necessary to get them set up and show them how to use the video chat before you get started.
Making technology a part of your caretaking strategy allows aging adults to stay in their homes longer, and takes away some of the stress involved in caring for older adults. And technology is always changing, so there will likely be more of these types of services as the population gets older.