Holiday Gifts Ideas and Life-Saving Alzheimer Tracking Devices
What are the best tech tools to help older adults in their senior years? These 8 ideas not only extend your loved one’s independence but offer some great holiday gift ideas and could potentially be a life-saving tracking device for Alzheimer patients.
Tablets and e-readers. Many seniors are replacing their computers with tablets, which is the easiest way to keep in touch. Most Americans also have cell phones, and would rather use a cell phone in addition to a tablet instead of a smartphone. Tablets give them bigger screens for video conferencing with family, using email, sharing photos and doing Internet research. Smith says. Reading books with either a tablet or an e-reader provides an option to make the type larger.
GPS. Whether it’s a standalone unit or part of a smartphone, the Global Positioning System technology makes it easier for seniors, like young people, to find their way around. This is particularly helpful for people who retire to a new city or even move into a new neighborhood and need help getting around.
Skype or Facetime. Video call apps are particularly popular with seniors who have grandchildren and other family who live far away.
Fitness trackers. Wearable fitness monitors make it easy for older adults to monitor activity and sleep, ensuring that they get enough exercise. The more informed people are about their own health and well-being, the better decisions they make for themselves.
Medication monitors. New medication systems alert users when it’s time to take medications, repeat the alert if the medication isn’t taken within a certain time and call a caregiver if more time passes. Some are combined with medical alert systems that use cellphone technology and contact first the older person, then a friend or family member who has been programmed in ahead of time and then emergency response. Hopkinton Home Care can confirm that medication errors are the No. 1 cause of hospitalizations in people over 75.
Smartwatches. Stylish watches are replacing the old “I’ve fallen” pendants, which many seniors refuse to wear. A watch by Live!y, for example, not only is an alarm button but also includes a medication reminder, fitness tracker, optional activity sensors for the home and will pair with a cell phone for use away from home. What a wonderful holiday gift idea! Plus, a fall detector is coming soon. UnaliWear expects to debut a smartwatch next year that will include a voice-activated system to guide you home or find you if you become unresponsive.
Online estate repository. The online service Everplans is one option for creating a digital archive that includes wills, trust, passwords, advance directives, information about your home and more, with options to share information with family members.
GPS insoles. A new product called the GPS SmartSole is an insole that can go into the shoes of someone with Alzheimer’s so he can be easily found if he wanders off. You can set a perimeter and get a notification if the person leaves that area, plus track him via the GPS in the insoles. Similar technology exists in watches, but people with Alzheimer’s or other types of dementia often are resistant to new devices they have to wear.
What technology trends have you found and would like to share?
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