If you’re 65, you may have at least another 20 years of living to look forward to. And if you’re like the vast majority of older people, you want to remain in your own home for as long as possible.
Ongoing health conditions mean many of us will need help as we age, and with the cost of assisted living out of reach for many families, “aging-in-place represents a better experience, at a relatively affordable total cost, than the one offered by the traditional route,” a report from The Boston Consulting Group concluded. It’s one reason why demand for products that help older people remain safely at home longer and provide family caregivers additional peace of mind is skyrocketing.
But with all the tech out there, and more under development, where to even begin?
It can definitely be an overwhelming prospect, according to Steve Ewell, executive director of the Consumer Technology Association Foundation. He recommends that the older adult and family members discuss key concerns together, before considering any products. Is medication compliance spotty? Is home security a concern? Are there balance issues that may lead to falls?
“It’s important to talk with your loved one, who many be resistant to technology solutions, and perhaps start small, with something like a video doorbell or basic electronic pill reminder,” Ewell says.
Consider safety, security, and privacy along with cost, says Ewell. “The most important piece is it’s really understanding the value that you’re getting out of installing this piece of technology, because if someone’s not seeing any value from it, then chances are they’re not going to keep using it.”