Voice-activated power switches, telephone amplifiers, power wheelchairs, grab bars for the shower. These are just a few examples of assistive technology, also known as “adaptive devices,” that benefits seniors who live at home or in assisted living.
The Administration on Aging (a government agency that is part of the US Department of Health & Human Services) offers a number of valuable resources on their site, including downloadable PDF fact sheets like this one on assistive technology. Access the full fact sheet, with information on how to pay for these aids, how to use it, where to learn more about it, and more here.
Many seniors receive physical, occupational, speech or other types of therapy following an illness, injury or hospitalization; these may also be enhanced by assistive technology. Per the fact sheet, “a physical therapist [may] use a special massage unit to restore a wider range of motion to stiff muscles.”
Sometimes, home or facility renovations or modifications may be necessary to take full advantage of assistive technology. For example, a power wheelchair may not be truly useful if there are no ramps or elevators for the user to get from A to B.
In all senior care settings, staff members and caregivers should be trained on certain types of assistive tools and aids to prevent injury or harm.
Your turn: Have you taken advantage of assistive technology to aid in caregiving?