How Technology is Enhancing the Lives of Seniors
The past decade saw a rapid development of science and technology which affected us all, young and old alike. Things deemed impossible before are now common parts of our lives.
Some of these technologies have enhanced the lives of seniors like you and me.
For example is Ed, a 70 yr-old, an old friend. He has mobility problems that make traveling almost impossible. But with technology, he can travel around the world from the comforts of his home. Virtual reality (VR) has made that possible.
This technology allows Ed to immerse himself in a virtual world. He can do things, go places, explore, discover or engage in battle without leaving the comforts of his home. It mimics touch, taste, smell, vision, and hearing of the real world.
Aside from creating a make-believe world, it can also be used to enhance the lives of seniors in the real world, such as reduce feelings of isolation, chronic pains, anxiety, and depression.
And if you are horny, engage in VR lustful sex.
Technology has also come up with countless products to enhance the lives of seniors like pendants that monitor falls, phones for the hearing-impaired, and gadgets so patients can exchange vital data with their doctors, etc.
These are just a few gadgets which a lot of seniors are already using. These technologies enhance their lives in several ways such as:
A lot of seniors want to have a sense of independence in their retirement. They want to be left alone, do things by themselves without the help of others or family.
Age-related problems, however, often threaten or curtail this need.
Thanks to technology, they are able to regain some of it, if not all. It allows them to shop, buy groceries, make reservations, socialize, meet new friends online.
It makes them feel self-sufficient and capable.
Getting in touch with family, friends, former classmates and co-workers has become so easy with the current level of communication technology.
You can easily send messages through email, SMS, voice or video in real time and at a fraction of a cost a few years back.
It can keep away loneliness and isolation which are the main causes of mental health issues in seniors who live alone.
Safety is a major concern among seniors because they are prone to home accidents. They are frail, have poor eyesight and balance.
Because of this, seniors have more risk of falls than younger adults. In fact, falls are the leading cause of home accidents involving seniors. It is estimated that 1 in 3 Americans aged 65 and above experience a fall every year, leading to hospitalization.
To help minimize this risk, technology has come up with products to prevent, if not minimize falls.
One such product senses if you are off balance and prompts you to do something to avoid falling.
Then there are fall detectors that signal rescue personnel in case you have a fall.
To help locate you if you wander off from your regular routes, are devices that track your whereabouts in real time.
Health issues are a natural consequence of aging. Roughly 59% of people aged 65 and above have health problems, according to statistics. The most common are arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
These illnesses require medications, lots of it, that can be confusing to you, making you forget some of them.
Now there are cell phone apps to help you remember what medication to take and when, and gadgets that dispense them. Cool, right?
Then there are wearables that monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs, and devices to aid memory and other emergency response systems that alert family members, carers or hospital in case of emergencies.
In 2010, nearly 1/3 of all seniors live alone, and this figure is expected to increase as more and more people retire each year, with the majority of them wanting to grow old at home near their families and friends.
Nearness, however, does not mean dependence or interference. They still want to live their own lives and enjoy their retirement days their way.
These devices are handy especially to those with physical and mental disabilities.
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