Different products and services to help the elderly remain independent

Different products and services to help the elderly remain independentWe’re now living longer than ever – men in the UK have an average life expectancy of 79 years, women 83. Only 30 years ago, that was 71 and 77, respectively. This newfound longevity means we can expect a much longer retirement, during which we should enjoy better standards of health, and in many cases quality of life. But it also brings with it many problems such as financial worries, and how to cope when we start becoming frail.

According to a BBC report the majority of people would prefer to stay in their own homes as long as possible instead of going into a care home as they get older. But since very few of us can afford live-carers, that means we either come to depend on friends and relatives for support, that can be anything from preparing meals or helping us wash and dress, to dispensing medication or helping with the shopping.

When an elderly person lives some distance from their family though, and it may not be feasible for one party to move in with the other, science swings into action. Assistive technology, fondly referred to by some as “Nana-technology”, can help the elderly retain their independence, stay safe, and reassure their loved ones.

Here’s some good examples:

Hearing Aids

Hearing aids of course have been with us for years (they were invented in the nineteenth century!) But the technology behind them is now incredibly advanced, to the point where they can restore hearing to virtual perfection. Many companies, such as Hidden Hearing Ltd, provide a superb range of options for those losing their auditory functions.

Screen Magnifiers

Blind and partially-sighted people can get help in many forms, from screen magnifiers that make work, gaming or web browsing easier, to braille watches.

Medication Dispensers

Getting the dosage or timing wrong on medication can be hazardous, and this is significantly more likely among people losing their cognitive abilities. Now medication dispensers have been invented that not only issue the correct dosage at the correct time of day, but they can also send out alerts to be certain they’re not missed.

Smart Walkers

This piece of kit is very clever – a walking frame on wheels that responds when called, with an electronic signal normally but you can also find voice-activated machines. So for those not entirely dependent on them and who frequently find themselves in the wrong room when they need walking support, these are a fantastic invention.

Home-Monitoring Technology

Cameras and other devices that allow people to check on their loved ones from a distance – it’s a great weight off the mind to know you can see how Mum or Dad is doing at the push of a button, and be alerted if they have a problem.

This kind of kit can also be easily connected to the emergency services so in the event of, say, a fall or a stroke, they can arrive within minutes. Who knows how many lives this kind of technology has already saved, and will in the future?

Editorial Team
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