The trend of using technology to help seniors live more fulfilling lives is catching steam around the world. Although many do not associate seniors with technology, several of them are using a variety of devices that uses the technology of Internet of Things (IoT). Seniors today are more connected, have wi-fi enabled wearables, use many portable devices to ease their discomfort and have checked-in to emergency support systems.
IoT is what we use to refer to smart devices today. The tech giant Cisco estimates that in 2020 the Internet of Things will expand to 50 billion smart objects around the world and the seniors are the largest group that will benefit from this. Caregivers cannot humanly monitor seniors 24/7, this is wear the smart devices come to the rescue. The number of seniors and people choosing to move to retirement homes, assisted living facilities and nursing homes are rising every year. The number of caregivers available to handle this influx is not in proportion to the requirements that need to be met. IoT will play a huge role in easing the burden of the caregivers and also give a certain amount of control to the seniors themselves to self-monitor themselves.
The emerging set of smart devices aimed at seniors will help monitor, track, alert and support various aspects of senior living. When used properly, these devices can keep seniors healthier for longer and also safer.
A few devices are popular among seniors are
Wearable Tech and Implant Technology
Cardiac sensors, biometric sensors, smart glucometers, advanced pacemakers and health tracker wearables are all making their presence felt amidst the senior community. These devices have the ability to monitor, track and send emergency texts and emails in real time. Implanted tech like pacemakers and smart glucometers ensure that vitals are kept in check accurately.
Wearable devices have replaced watches and they detect hear rates, low movement and sleep patterns. The data is sent to a cloud and then can be analyzed and trends can be utilized by doctors to assist the seniors better. The data will help keep a regular track without putting the responsibility on the senior to note down these details.
Portable machines to do simple blood and urine tests are now available. Regular check ups in senior homes can be done using these machines instead of inconveniencing them and making them run to labs constantly. These devices can store, process and send the data to the medical team monitoring the senior’s health.
Responders have existed for quite some time but with IoT they have become stronger. Seniors with dementia can be fitted with these devices and a family member can be alerted if they wander off. Using GPS trackers, the seniors can be tracked and brought back home before they are endangered.
These devices can also be used as navigational devices to help seniors find their way back home. These allow for remote monitoring by family and caregivers, giving them some flexibility watch over their loved ones while running errands.
All these devices can be used at home. Once set up their data can be streamed to a dedicated dashboard which can be used by nurses and doctors to monitor seniors remotely. There are also simple devices that will help seniors who live independently like detectors and sensors which will make it easy for the seniors to live independently without having to worry about safety. There are also specialized apps available which can alert caregivers and family members if a senior has fallen in their home. This is important to alert emergency services at the earliest to ensure that they receive timely help.
Senior living is changing and for the better. IoT is playing a big role in ensuring that the seniors lead a wholistic life.