We’re hearing the term “aging in place” more and more. Aging in place is the concept of staying in your living space for as long as possible while maintaining your independence, being comfortable, and safe. While typically this refers to a senior’s home, it can also be applied to a continuing care retirement community (CCRC) lifestyle choice. Recently, a blog post on InsideElderCare.com suggested five technology and gadgets solutions for seniors to age in place.
1. Skype or FaceTime – Many seniors are quickly adapting to tech tools that make their lives easier and more enjoyable. Using Skype’s video chat function helps seniors stay connected with family and friends while in their homes, chatting in real time. Apple has a similar application, FaceTime, that allows users to make video calls from their devices – Macs, iPhones, iPads and the iPod touch.
2. Hearing and vision-enhancing gadgets – Devices that work with phones to amplify sounds or offer magnifying capabilities allow seniors to better compensate for diminished hearing and/or vision. Adding extra illumination to a magnifying feature makes for easier reading.
3. Stairlifts – For seniors with health conditions or mobility issues living in two-story homes, installation of a stairlift will often allow them to remain in their homes longer. A variety of models are made to work with different style staircases or home designs.
4. Reachers, grabbers and other aids – Climbing up on a stepladder to reach something is not always a good solution for seniors and a fall risk. Reachers enable the user to grasp things on high shelves. Grabbers with an ergonomic grip make grasping things easier on arthritic hands.
5. Phone systems with portability – The blog post describes a home safety phone system, an all-in-one device specifically designed for older adults. Features include large, back-lit buttons, an audio boost, and an answering machine that allows seniors to play back messages at a slower speed. For safety, an emergency button detaches to be worn as a portable panic button.
Plugging “assistive devices for seniors or disabled” into your favorite search engine will bring up retail sites with helpful gadgets and tools.