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How Modern Technology Is Giving the Elderly Independence

If you are elderly or have an elderly dependant, you’ll know how difficult it can be to live alone. This is especially true if the elderly have health problems, and it will depend on how frail they are as they age. Seniors with disabilities also have difficulty living independent lives. 

Additionally, elderly people who live alone have a higher risk of developing mental illnesses that can cause heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and anxiety. However, modern technology can help the elderly live independently. Find out how by reading further. 

Emergency Alerts 

Seniors who are on chronic medication or who have disabilities need constant care. But even with a nurse around, accidents can happen. They could slip and fall while walking down the steps. Or they could faint and accidentally hit their heads.

In case of any kind of accident, you can install medical alert systems in the home of an elderly dependent. Some medical devices come in the form of watches or bands with buttons so they can easily alert caregivers. Other systems have sensors on them that can detect when someone has fallen and immediately alerts caregivers or guardians.   

With these devices, you can also set up medication reminders and get alerts for blood pressure, heart rate, and blood oxygen saturation levels. 

Electronic Health Care

Thanks to modern technology, the elderly won’t have to leave their house to get prescriptions or to visit their practitioner. Electronic health care allows patients to order their medication through an app and have their prescriptions delivered to them. 

Furthermore, for elderly that can’t travel, they can contact their practitioners through video calls to book an appointment or to discuss medical concerns. Patients who need to talk to counselors or therapists can do so through video conference calls. 

Elderly patients can also receive their medical results through electronic healthcare systems, so they don’t have to visit a doctor’s office. 

Social Technologies 

There may be seniors who have children who live in another state or abroad. Modern technology has made it possible for them to keep in touch with family no matter where they are. Video calling systems such as Skype are easy for the elderly to use so they can chat face-to-face with the people they love. 

Additionally, there are social apps that allow seniors to meet new people in their age group. These social apps may also provide details on social events that they can attend. Social media platforms also make it possible for the elderly to interact with family and friends. 

Elderly people will feel much more relaxed when they have a way of communicating with their children, grandchildren, and friends. They’ll feel less alone, which is better for their overall well-being. 

E-Learning Systems 

You may still get seniors who want to learn a new skill or refine their existing skills. YouTube is an excellent platform to find tutorials on how to:

  • Bake 
  • Paint 
  • Sew 
  • Craft something new 
  • Fix an appliance 
  • Use a new device such as a smartphone 

There are also other learning apps, such as Udemy, where elderly people can learn new languages or how to write a book. There are even philosophy courses and people providing advice on how to live independently as an elderly. 

By using e-learning systems, the elderly can manage their homes and their lives more effectively. 

Smart Devices 

Smart devices allow seniors to control appliances around their homes using their smartphones or remote controls. A smart home makes it easier for disabled, elderly people to manage their lives. With smart devices, they can: 

  • Switch lights on and off using a remote or by clapping their hands
  • Turn the HV/AC on and off or adjust temperatures 
  • Call family using voice activation 
  • Switching a coffee maker on at certain times 
  • Switch speakers on and off
  • Operate smart vacuum cleaners to automatically clean floors 
  • Lock and unlock doors and windows 

So if an elderly individual is confined to their bed or a wheelchair, they can easily control systems around the home without the need for assistance. Seniors can also alert family members or caregivers when they need help or even when they’re planning an event. 

Managing Finances and Orders  

Sometimes retirees can’t visit the bank because they don’t have transport or can’t drive when they’re on medication. The elderly can easily manage their finances by installing banking apps on their phones. Retirees can pay accounts or transfer money to family members through their banking apps. 

What’s more, elderly people can order groceries online and use their banking app to pay for items. Groceries can then be delivered, which eliminates the need for seniors to travel to the store. 

Final Thoughts 

As you can see, seniors can still live independently with the help of the right tools and systems. Elderly people can benefit from the technologies mentioned in this article because they’re not difficult to use. Some systems are designed with the elderly in mind, so they have access to user-friendly devices and software to make their lives easier. Use the tips in this article if you are a senior or have an elderly dependent.


Dr. Oche Otorkpa PG Cert, MPH, PhD

Dr. Oche is a seasoned Public Health specialist who holds a post graduate certificate in Pharmacology and Therapeutics, an MPH, and a PhD both from Texila American University. He is a member of the International Society of Substance Use Professionals and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health in the UK. He authored two books: "The Unseen Terrorist," published by AuthorHouse UK, and "The Night Before I Killed Addiction."
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