Many older people struggle with completing everyday tasks that would be easier with the proper equipment. Assistive devices for the elderly help to improve their quality of life by providing safety, mobility, and empowerment.
There are many kinds of innovations available to suit any individual needs. They can include anything from sensors or specially designed door handles to smartphone apps that help folks with various conditions. Items such as these make an excellent choice for those who have lost range of motion in their hands and fingers, individuals who suffer memory loss, or loved ones who have trouble speaking to communicate.
Types of assistive devices for older people break up into three categories:
- Adaptive hardware, such as wheelchairs, door handles, and specialized trays
- Adaptive software, such as speech recognition programs and dictation software
- Proprioceptive devices, such as pressure sensor pads activate light signals when stepped on.
With the aging population, many people are looking for ways to make their lives easier and more enjoyable. Certain medical (and other) technology benefit them and their families in these ways. Certain devices also allow aging adults to remain independent longer. One study shows that more than a quarter of the elderly U.S. population lives independently.
If you are looking for ways to help your aging relative improve the quality of their life, the following list highlights a few assistive devices for elderly individuals, resulting in them living comfortably in their homes.
It is hard to imagine a time before GPS devices in today’s world. Once reserved for use by the military, GPS devices provide direction with accuracy and speed. These trackers are wonderful assistive devices for the elderly. Devices fit either on clothing, a wristband, or used via smartphone, which allows for their location to be monitored at all times. These devices are used for many purposes, but one of the most popular uses is for older adults who may experience memory loss. GPS trackers permit them to have the freedom to go out and about with less worry that they will get lost or hurt, resulting in caretakers having peace of mind.
SOSS Ultra Latch Door Handle
Using a door handle becomes difficult for those with limited mobility because of their inability to grip and turn it. Push and pull handles such as the SOSS Ultra Latch provides a wonderful solution that enables people to open and close doors without having to twist their arms, wrists, or grasp with their fingers. In addition, these are perfect assistive devices for older people who suffer from stiff joints and pain.
With the added deadbolt and optional privacy lock, individuals can feel secure from intruders. The handles of the SOSS Ultra Latch are effortless to operate and offer a precise fit for the hands. Also, the mechanism is installed on the inside of the door, so the hardware blends in with any decor. The levers come in various styles, including brass, chrome, and a black finish. Moreover, they are ADA compliant.
A screen reader is an assistive technology designed to offer the blind or low-vision person an auditory representation of what is on the computer screen. Screen readers are available for smartphones, laptops, desktop computers, and tablets, giving them access to everything they need to interact with their environment. For example, research has shown that social isolation can lead to premature death for elderly individuals. Previously, seniors might have been necessary to rely on others for basic tasks such as using the computer or reading mail. But the screen readers will allow them to stay connected to the world with a computer-generated voice to read text, videos, or websites.
Water Overflow Sensors
Bathing can be a difficult activity for the elderly. Luckily, there are sensor-styled products available for this type of situation. These sensors are set up to sound an alarm when the water reaches a certain level in the sink or bathtub. In addition, water overflow sensors are a great option for elderly family members who live alone and need extra assurance that they will not be in danger by forgetting to turn off the water and flooding their homes. These assistive devices install quickly and easily. Many of these sensors come with a battery backup so that if the power goes out, the sensor will still work. Also, the overflow sensors will feed alerts directly to caregivers if they detect flooding in the house.
In the past, a person would have to get up and answer the front door to see who was there. Sometimes this can be a hassle for older folks. However, with a smart doorbell, one can confirm that it is someone that they know. There are many benefits to this new technology, including security. They can interact with people electronically, then open the door remotely. This way, elderly family members can stay in their own homes and communicate with visitors covertly. Smart doorbells are a great tool to help the elderly feel safe in their own home. Install smart doorbells and apps that work with the device to make it easier for the individual to use.
Telecare Monitoring Systems
Telecare monitoring systems are another perfect example of assistive devices for elderly individuals or those living with Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other cognitive impairments. These monitoring systems are typically installed in the caregiver’s residence, which enables them to monitor aging loved ones from afar. The older adult is provided with a device they wear as a necklace. Special sensors are placed throughout the home to track movement and activity levels constantly. This system allows for uninterrupted, around-the-clock care for senior citizens. Many healthcare professionals also support these systems because they allow doctors to monitor their patients remotely from any location. This means, when a patient’s situation changes, the doctor knows and intervenes to provide relief and prompt care.
As we can see, there are many advantages to using assistive devices for elderly loved ones. Coupled with new designs and technologies, these gadgets and systems can help those with mobility impairments be more independent and help those caring for them.