Invaluable tech solutions to help older people

Older people are often desperate for both independence and connection. ‘Aging in place’ – enabling someone to remain in their own home, as well as ensuring they feel connected and social, often requires considerable additional arrangements. The world of technology has delivered a range of inspired and practical gadgets. Many can assist us when caring for elderly friends and relatives. This can help us to meet their growing medical and emotional needs.

"Statistics predict by the time we turn eighty, one in five in the developed world will have dementia. One in four will have lost their eyesight and four out of five will have hearing difficulties. Luckily, there is an increasing wealth of gadgetry specifically designed for older people and adapted to be user-friendly. Including for those with failing sight, reduced dexterity, memory and mobility and hearing loss. Harness the power of tech to make homes substantially safer. While also supporting their wellbeing and monitoring day-to-day activities to enable longer independent living.

Older people are increasingly confident at adopting technology

Research shows contrary to popular opinion, older people are increasingly confident at adopting technology and using it to help them remain safe and healthy at home. In fact, according to a recent study by the Office for National Statistics, 44% of adults aged 75 years and over were regular internet users. With internet use among women aged 65-75 showing the highest increase. There are many adaptations such as enlarged screens and supersize buttons on keyboards and remote controls. So there’s no reason why those with failing eyesight shouldn’t continue using technology.

Staying connected to friends and family

Around one million older people regularly receive care in their homes, and this is often their only contact with anyone. Many older people frequently go for more than a month without any contact with friends, family or neighbours. This makes them extremely vulnerable to fraud, scams and hoaxes and they are often targeted by criminals for just this reason. Feeling connected to our communities is vital to health and wellbeing. Loneliness is a problem technology can help alleviate. Most of the UK keeps connected and in contact with friends and family using social media. This is no different for older people.

According to a recent report (the communications regulator’s Audits’ Media Use and Attitudes report) 27% of people over 75 now use tablets. 41% over 75 have a social media account. Technology in the form of Skype and FaceTime help older people maintain contact over long distances with friends and family. Gadgets such as Amazon’s Echo Show allow them to make video calls more easily. Facebook enables them to share photos and news. For older people just being able to ask Alexa what the weather is can foster a sense of computer companionship. "

 

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