While most seniors didn’t grow up in the digital age, technology touches all parts of their everyday lives. Baby Boomers entering assisted living communities might be accustomed to all of the technological gadgets out there that enhance their daily lives, and they’ll expect no less as residents of your community.
Technology products for seniors improve their quality of life in countless ways. From offering medical alert notifications to deterring elopement by means of a door sensor or just connecting them to their families, technology is a must-have when it comes to providing your residents with the highest quality of care. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common senior living technology trends.
Motion Detectors & Security Sensors
Motion detectors and security sensors are two popular technology trends for seniors. Motion detectors and security sensors can be installed to ensure seniors don’t get confused and elope from their residence. Some assisted living communities use motion sensors that alert staff when seniors get out of bed or stand up from a chair. This helps ensure a resident’s safety.
Wearable Technology (“Wearables”)
Wearable technology is a great choice for assisted living communities because it provides a sense of security for residents who want independence but like knowing help is just a button push away. Most wearables involve additional paid services seniors can opt into.
Wearables are some of the most coveted senior care technologies and come in a variety of forms. Fitness tracking watches, like Apple Watch or Fitbit, can track a resident’s vitals, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and sleep activity. Although quite trendy, tracking vitals by nurses or med techs is very important for the day-to-day observation of a resident with chronic conditions. This type of technology should not take the place of human interaction where a resident’s health is at stake.
Some wearables feature RFID (radio-frequency identification) technology that gives seniors access to certain areas of your community. For example, residents might wear RFID-equipped watches for keyless entry to their building, apartment, or room.
Medical alert systems are another common type of wearable technology. If a senior has an emergency (like a fall), they push the button on their bracelet or necklace to connect with your staff. These devices can also be connected to door alarms or GPS to help you easily locate residents who may have eloped or gotten lost.
Internet of Things
When it comes to seniors and technology, you can’t go wrong with IoT-connected devices. These everyday objects are connected to the Internet and can be remotely controlled by the user. For example, Google Home or Amazon Alexa can quickly provide seniors with news, weather, music, or even help them call a family member. You can also install wireless lighting systems that residents can operate without having to get up from their bed or chair.
No matter which IoT devices you choose, you will give residents the following:
- Easy Connection with Family
Do you provide your residents with free Wi-Fi in their residences, or do you charge them for it? Senior living technology requires Wi-Fi to operate, so this is another good chance for you to enhance your bottom line. At the same time, you are enhancing your residents’ lives by connecting them to the world around them that they might have trouble accessing otherwise due to chronic conditions.
Having Wi-Fi everywhere also benefits your staff because it gives them instant access to medical records and other pertinent information, ensuring that medical charts are up to date. It also allows them to record when medications are dispensed and when treatments occur in real time.