An ageing population is not uncommon in a number of developed countries around the world.
The World Health Organisation has reported that people are living longer lives these days. It's a worldwide phenomenon with studies showing that between 2015 to 2050, those above the ages of 60 will account for 22% of the world's population - nearly double of the 12% that was last recorded.
Some have chosen the solo life as a result of wanting to maintain independence in their golden years; others may be living with their children. As we age, declining mobility, eyesight and hearing will affect the ability to live independently.
However, due to technology advancement, gadgets have evolved to become more elderly-friendly. We've rounded up a few smart products that will improve the lives of the elderly and the people around them:
1) Smart medication dispensers
Photo Credit: Herohealth
It's common to forget and skip medication regardless of age. But when it comes to critical prescriptions for older folks, skipping or taking excessive medication can be deadly. Studies have shown that the elderly tend to be non-compliant when it boils down to taking medication on time and at the right dosage. This is also prominent for those who suffer from Alzheimer's and dementia - they simply forget.
If you're taking care of your elders, smart medication dispensers will come in handy. These dispensers store and dispense pills according to the required schedule. You won't have to worry if your folks are taking the wrong medication at the wrong time or dosage.
The Hero dispenser lets you input names, prescribed drugs and its respective pill-taking schedule. It then helps retrieve the right medication with the push of a button. The accompanying app will also alert you whenever a dosage is missed. This way, you'll know exactly when it's time for your loved ones to take their medication and act on any missed dosages quicker.
2) Smart speakers and voice assistants
Photo Credit: Amazon
While smart speakers weren't intended for the elderly at first, these products are a real game-changer regardless. If we benefit from the convenience, it'll definitely make life easier for the elderly too.
Not only can these speakers be integrated with countless smart products, it can also smoothen the process of mundane tasks. Simple things like turning on the lights and adjusting the thermostat can become difficult tasks as the body ages. Leisure activities can also be made easier. Things, like playing music or reading a book, can be done via smart speakers too. The voice command feature will definitely help your loved ones in their day-to-day activities around the house.
3) Robot vacuums
Photo Credits: Groupon
For the elderly living alone, house chores may be the biggest hassle. Even though doing household chores may be a good workout, moving around all day may cause chronic pains or worsen existing joint issues for them.
Robot vacuums can help lessen the load for them. They're cordless, usually compact in size to move under furniture and automatically navigates around the house to clear any dust and dirt on the ground. The likelihood of sustaining an injury while cleaning the floors is lowered with the use of these nifty appliances.
The Neato Botvac does all the legwork. It uses LaserSmart mapping and sensors to map out a room and optimise the cleaning route, allowing it to zip around collecting dust, dirt, pet hair and whatever's left on the floor. Coupled with an app that's compatible with iOS and Android, the elderly can simply schedule the preferred cleaning schedule anywhere, anytime.
4) Smart locks
Similar to smart speakers, smart locks has brought major convenience to those who've adopted the technology. Who's to say it'll not benefit the elderly too? As we age, the tendency to forget also increases. It's unsafe when our loved ones forget to lock the door behind them or leave the keys in the door, making them susceptible to burglaries and break-ins.
Installing a smart lock in their home or yours means worrying about one less thing. On top of going keyless, there's no more hassle to replace lost ones too. Unlocking doors are easier with a host of access modes, and there are many security features you can take advantage of to keep your loved ones safe.
The igloohome Smart Mortise can be unlocked via PIN codes, Bluetooth, RFID stickers and key tags. RFID stickers can be placed on their belongings. This way, they'll just have to tap the sticker onto the card reader to unlock the door, making it simpler for them.
All igloohome smart locks can issue customised access to caretakers. If your loved one has a medical attendant that comes by the house, you can issue PIN codes for them to gain entry. It's also an easy way for help to reach your folks should there be an emergency when you're not around.
Improve their quality of life
All in all, what's most important is that the elderly are receptive to the products you provide for them. They need to actually use the products in order to enhance their quality of living. At the end of the day, these products aim to improve everyone's lives. They assist in day-to-day activities while allowing you to keep an eye on your loved ones, giving you a peace of mind.
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About the Authors
Having faced lock-out situations for a couple of years, Cherry has sworn off keys (and alcohol). She is an avid follower of tech that prevents said situation.
Nydia, not Lydia, has never touched a key in all 22 years of her life. She has been an active advocate of the benefits of going keyless and is excited at the prospect of never needing them in the future.