Safety Sensors to Robot Pets: Technology is Impacting Senior Living
As Silicon Valley continues to reshape the world, new technologies are reshaping elder care. At Visiting Angels, our elder care providers know this as well as anyone. Having spent the past two decades on the cutting edge of in-home elder care services, we’ve seen firsthand how senior living is changing in an age of smart technology. How Tech is Reshaping Elder Care Living
“Technology has truly been a blessing for so many of our clients,” says Visiting Angels CEO and President, Larry Meigs. “From making important information more accessible to keeping seniors connected, we’ve seen big strides in the past ten to fifteen years.” How Tech is Reshaping Elder Care Living
Now, with a tablet and smartphone in seemingly every home, new frontiers of technology are starting to impact elder care in exciting new ways. Here are just a few of the high-tech changes we’re seeing and expecting in the elder care world…
Robotic Elder Care Companions
In the 1960’s, the Jetsons, everyone’s favorite cartoon 21st century family, had a robot maid and a real-life dog. Now that we’re in the real 21st century, things are the other way around: human beings still do the housekeeping, but robot pets are the next big thing. How Tech is Reshaping Elder Care Living
Some elder care experts say that robotic pets – such as Paro, a robotic seal that was recently featured in the New York Times – could be changing the way we treat loneliness and depression in seniors. Psychologists have long known that animal companions can be effective therapy tools. But caring for a real-life pet is often more than an elderly person can handle.
While it may seem strange to replace a real pet with a robot, early research suggests that robot pets may carry many of the same therapeutic benefits as real ones. How Tech is Reshaping Elder Care Living
Greater Senior Freedom with Self-Driving Cars
One of the biggest tech stories of the past few years has been self-driving cars. Tech giants like Google and Tesla have been racing against each other – as well as old-guard car companies – as they try to launch the world’s first self-driving automobile. How Tech is Reshaping Elder Care Living
Many seniors dread losing their license. But if safe driverless cars are developed, those fears may disappear. Countries like the UK have already said that driverless cars will be legal for use without a license. While it’s impossible to say when self-driving cars will hit the market or what licensing laws will apply from state to state, these vehicles could change the way that seniors get from place to place.
Another big innovation for elder care providers is the introduction of newer, more effective safety sensors. A number of new start-ups have launched sensor and tracking systems designed to make it easier for caregivers and family members to monitor the elderly.
These technologies include clip-on sensors, similar to your FitBit. The location and status of these sensors can then be tracked by family members on their phone or through the internet. So long as seniors feel comfortable wearing the sensors (and remember to wear them) it becomes much easier for relatives to check in and make sure that their loved ones are okay.
While these technologies are making it easier to care for older loved ones, the human touch remains a vital part of elder care. For professional, in-home elder care services in your region, call your local Visiting Angels home care agency.