Many of us want to age-in-place as we get older. Unfortunately, in most cases, safety, health issues, and social isolation can interfere with that plan. This is why a growing number of seniors and their caregivers are turning to technology that helps them to age comfortably in their homes for as long as possible.
New technology, including gadgets and apps, can remind seniors to take their medication and let others know if they didn’t. For caregivers (particularly long-distance ones), aging in place technology offers peace of mind, by offering the ability to discreetly track daily activities of loved ones and in many cases, get notified by text or e-mail if something seems out of the ordinary. Here are 10 examples of new and upcoming products that are designed to make the lives of seniors and caregivers easier:
GPS SmartSole is a smartphone hidden and sealed in an insole, and is particularly useful to keep track of a loved one with dementia or autism, who is prone to wandering. It uses the same GPS and cellular technology as a smartphone, is charged like a phone, and requires activation and a data service plan. Similar to a smart phone, it works cross country within cellular network covered areas.
An advantage to using GPS SmartSole is that it is discreet, non-invasive and your loved one won’t forget to bring it with them or turn it on. And, GPS SmartSole automatically checks in with family members/caregivers every 10 minutes to inform of a loved one’s whereabouts.
Memo Box can help you and your loved one keep tabs on their medication intake. It is a smart pillbox with built-in GPS and Bluetooth technology, connected to a smartphone app. The container has several useful functions: a reminder to take your pills, accidental double-dose prevention, medication tracking, and remote monitoring. As a long-distance caregiver, you can set it up to receive alerts, in case your loved one forgot to take or left his or her pills at home.
Quell is a wearable medical device that uses powerful intensive nerve stimulation technology to tap into the user’s body’s natural pain relief response, blocking pain signals by inducing the production of endorphins in the brain. The result is a drug-free and long-lasting dampening of pain, better sleep, and a more active life. Quell’s OptiTherapy™ customizes and automatically adjusts therapy dose for optimal pain relief. The device is discretely worn over the calf and connected through Bluetooth technology to the smartphone app which allows you to control therapy and monitor the results. Quell is most beneficial for people with back, nerve, leg and foot pain, and arthritis.
The Gyenno spoon is a gyroscopic self-stabilizing spoon with intelligent control that is designed for people with neurological conditions that result in uncontrollable tremor, such as Parkinson’s disease. This intelligent tableware detects and offsets 85% of the hand shaking. Moreover, it employs the latest motion sensors and intelligent learning technologies, which allow it to adapt to each patient’s individual tremor pattern, making it beneficial for virtually anyone. The device featuresa non-slip ergonomic design, and can be used safely for a long time, enabling users to become more self-reliant.
iHEARHD is a tiny waterproof device that features high-fidelity digital sound and advanced noise suppression, and is virtually invisible inside of the wearer’s ear. Its modular design allows the patient to customize the fit in less than a minute and the device can be calibrated using the software provided. After that, the gizmo is controlled remotely, and the wearer can easily and discreetly adjust volume based on different sound environments.
RAPAEL Smart Glove
RAPAEL Smart Glove™ is a biofeedback system designed to aid stroke patients in regaining their hand mobility. It includes a glove-shaped sensor device which transmits data via Bluetooth from the patient’s hand to the computer software app. Artificial Intelligence technology creates a set of training virtual reality games simulating daily activities and adjusts the difficulty level according to the participant’s performance. A recent study has proven that, combined with traditional physical therapy, the program may result in significant improvements even after one month of use.
The August Home Smart Lock, Smart Keypad, and Doorbell Cam, creates the complete Smart Home Access Solution, allowing people to manage their front door from anywhere. The Smart Lock turns a smartphone into a smart key where consumers can lock and unlock their door, create virtual keys for guests, and keep track of who comes and goes with a 24/7 activity log. The Smart Keypad also lets users create unique entry codes for family, friends, and service providers, to unlock an August Smart Lock without a traditional key or smartphone. The Doorbell Cam lets consumers see and speak with visitors at the door, from anywhere, using a smartphone.
Technology, such as the products described above and in several of our prior articles including Critter Corner: New Technology for Seniors Who Are Aging-in-Place; Laser Shoes, Magic Carpets, & More: Technology to Combat Falls; A New White House Report on Technology for Seniors; Amazing Technology to Age-in-Place (But Mom is Reluctant); Appliances That Speak to Each Other, and Other Incredible Aging-in-Place Technology; NASA SmartWatch, Implanted Health Devices, and Other New Technology for Seniors; and New Technology to Age-in-Place. It is changing the way we age, enabling older adults to be healthier, more secure, more connected, and more independent. These devices represent a small part of the industry, which will most certainly continue to improve the quality of life for millions of seniors.
When Aging-in-Place is no Longer the Best Option
Most people want to stay in their home for as long as possible. However, if despite the technology that is available, you or a loved one cannot live independently and are showing signs that living alone is a strain, it may be time to consider other alternatives.
Whether the outcome is in-home care, assisted living, or nursing home care in the future, it is always wise to plan ahead. Life Care Planning and Medicaid Asset Protection is the process of protecting assets from having to be spent down in connection with entry into assisted living or nursing home care, while also helping ensure that you and your loved ones get the best possible care and maintain the highest possible quality of life, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. Please contact us as soon as possible to make an appointment for a no-cost consultation:
Fairfax Elder Law Attorney: 703-691-1888
Fredericksburg Elder Law Attorney: 540-479-143
Rockville Elder Law Attorney: 301-519-8041
DC Elder Law Attorney: 202-587-2797