Technology for older people can be a helpful resource that improves quality of life and connection with the wider world.
Here, we will introduce you to some of the technologies that are proving most effective and describe what they can do for your loved one:
What types of technology for older people could benefit my loved one?
Research funded by the Alzheimer's Society identified that brain training helps people aged 60+ complete daily activities more effectively, as well as improving reasoning and verbal learning skills.
Brain training generally involves a series of games designed to exercise different areas of the mind. These games can be played online or offline, using a tablet, laptop or mobile device.
Among the most popular brain training apps for older people are:
Your loved one may well be required to take a range of medications, all with individual timings and dosages that can change over time.
This would be a challenge for anyone to remember, but can be especially problematic for older people and people with cognitive conditions such as dementia.
Medication reminders can come in the form of stand-alone units (e.g. vibrating pillbox), a smartphone or tablet app (e.g. Medisafe Medication Reminder), or be integrated into existing digital systems (e.g. Amazon Echo).
Keeping in touch with relatives and close friends is likely to be an important consideration for your loved one, especially if the family has moved away or they're no longer able to travel.
Long-distance communication has moved on significantly since the days of the landline. The new generation of communications technology is cheaper, more immersive, and surprisingly easy to use.
Many mobile and tablet devices now come pre-loaded with video calling capability (e.g. FaceTime), while downloadable alternatives include Skype and WhatsApp.
Your loved one can simply select your name from their digital address book and be metaphorically transported into your family setting.
They usually take the form of a wristband that digitally records data before presenting it by means of an app.
You can help your loved one set up this device to provide a timely reminder of when they need to go to bed, or as a gentle prompt to encourage some low-impact exercise.
Conditions related to visual impairment and cognitive decline can make reading more challenging as we grow older.
Stand-alone reading devices (e.g. Kindle) and associated smartphone/tablet apps make reading easier by allowing your loved one to change the text size and background colour, or have the text read aloud.
Use this handy guide to look again at the types of devices your loved one has at their disposal. But, remember, technology is only ever part of the equation. True quality of life stems from maintaining the highest possible care standards across the board.
Find out more about the care techniques and technology that can help your loved one enjoy a higher quality of life by calling on the friendly team at The Good Care Group.