Technology has its share of adversaries, but no one can deny that it has also changed our lives for the better. Many tech-savvy seniors in Canada are rewriting the narrative of aging through modern technology.
From activity trackers, and smartwatches to smart homes, modern technology is proving that age is no barrier to embracing innovations, especially when it improves senior care.
You may be surprised to learn that around 40% of seniors reportedly used wearables or other technology to monitor their health by the end of 2021. These numbers have only increased since, along with the improvements in care.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at the evolution of modern technology in senior care:
The Digital Evolution: Seniors Embracing Modern Tech
Technology has undoubtedly created a rift between the tech-savvy younger generation and their less fortunate, less tech-literate seniors. The digital natives often overlook the struggles of those not born into a tech-driven world. Many older adults, despite purchasing smartphones, tablets, and laptops still lack confidence in using them.
Fortunately, technology doesn't discriminate; it offers opportunities for all generations willing to evolve and adapt to this new world of possibilities. And seniors have embraced it. Slowly but surely, modern technology weasel its way into the lives of older adults, allowing them to experience better care.
The Growth of Digital Literacy Among Seniors
The growth of digital literacy among seniors is an inspiring trend in today's tech-driven world. However, if we had told you this 20 years ago, you wouldn’t have believed it.
Technology itself is to be credited for this change, especially the ones used for senior care. Unlike old computers and flip phones, today’s technology pays attention to the user interface, ensuring that their target audience can use the technology meant for them.
As older adults increasingly embrace digital tools, they bridge the digital divide. With access to smartphones, tablets, and computers, seniors are acquiring vital digital skills for communication, online learning, and healthcare.
This transformation not only enhances their quality of life and ensures better senior care, but also fosters connectivity with younger generations. The rise of digital literacy among seniors reflects their determination to adapt to the digital era.
Popular Platforms and Apps Embraced by The Seniors.
Social media was the first platform that many seniors embraced. While it may not directly impact their physical health, social media has alleviated loneliness among many seniors. They have learned to message, reconnect with long-lost friends, and engage in social and political discussions.
However, the real revolution in modern senior care technology has come through wearables. Wearables, devices worn on the body for healthcare and senior care, now include fall detection, heart rate monitoring, screen magnification, fitness and activity tracking, talk-to-text, blood pressure measurement, and sleep pattern analysis, to name a few. Home robots and assistive domotics have also made it possible for seniors to stay safe while living alone.
Overcoming Tech Challenges: Seniors Becoming Digitally Confident
Frustration and inability to navigate functions make many seniors reluctant to integrate modern technology into their lives. Many seniors may even have technophobia because they grew up in a time when modern technology hadn’t taken hold.
However, that can be overcome, and seniors can become digitally confident through the following:
- When seniors realize the importance of the device, and how it can save time and help them maintain their health, their motivation to try a new device is much higher.
- Vision loss is common with age, and many seniors struggle to see the screen, read small fonts, etc. Going for regular eye checkups is the best way to improve vision through corrective measures. This will give more confidence to the seniors to learn to use new technology.
- According to Weforum, the five main challenges seniors face with modern technology are access, installation, knowledge, design, and trust. Digitally inclusive apps and wearables will make it easier for seniors to embrace technology.
Key Tech Innovations Reshaping Senior Care
It has long since been established that technology facilitates care and seniors too are starting to accept it wholeheartedly. This is one of the reasons why older adults are beginning to warm up to modern technology.
Some of the key tech innovations have made a substantial positive impact on senior care, lifestyle, and mental health.
Let’s look at the top tech innovations that reshaped senior care:
The proliferation of robots aiding seniors is expanding worldwide, particularly in senior care. Smart voice-recognizing robots alleviate social isolation and living burdens for seniors. These robots understand commands for tasks like web searches and phone calls while also detecting and categorizing symptoms such as sniffling and coughing and sending real-time information to the healthcare workers, to enable timely intervention.
Telemedicine, also known as telehealth or e-medicine, leverages telecommunications and IT solutions to deliver remote health assessments and treatments. It involves real-time, two-way communication between patients and healthcare providers through electronic audio and visual means, enabling remote clinical services for enhanced accessibility and healthcare delivery. This technology keeps seniors from driving or traveling long distances on their own for face-to-face consultations.
Health Monitoring Devices
The surge in modern monitoring devices is transforming senior healthcare delivery. Various remote patient monitoring tools enable efficient health condition tracking, enhancing care management. These devices, such as blood pressure monitors, glucose sensors, wearables, ECG devices, pulse oximeters, smart scales, and beds, are revolutionizing how seniors receive healthcare, ensuring more precise and convenient monitoring of their well-being.
Using Modern Elderly Care Devices To Improve Safety & Wellbeing
Technology is amazing for senior care, but we must exercise caution. We understand that most children want to equip their senior parents with all the latest technologies, but they should never be overloaded. The focus should be on using technology to enhance care and improve quality of life, not to create additional burdens or complexities.
As always in digital health, these technologies should serve the purpose of helping the patient and their caregiver establish a better relationship. Technology ought to serve as a facilitator of care, not as a hindrance. It should be used to improve the quality of life for older adults, helping them to live their golden years with dignity, independence, and joy.
Devices such as Northwood senior products including wearables can serve as lifesavers as they can assist with medication management, fall detection, and even fire prevention to help save lives and avoid serious injury.
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