As technology continues become both cheaper and more advanced, the average age of residents in senior living communities is rising concurrently, creating an even larger population that might benefit from new technology. In an article for the Senior Living SMART website, Laurie Orlov outlines some technology trends she expects to develop for this population:
- Trailblazers are looking to utilize technologies that recognize voice in order to improve daily living for older adults. Voice-activation is on the forefront of the technology sector and is being used for anything from starting cars to smart speakers that are able to respond to your questions. One thing to keep in mind as these technologies expand is that robotic voice communication doesn’t replace actual human interaction and there is much room for misunderstanding.
- Wearable technology is a growing trend among basically everyone, but many people fail to recognize the possibilities for older adults. When thinking of wearables for older adults, generally a Life Alert-style pendant comes to mind. In 2016, there may be a large growth in wearables that do more than just allow someone to call for help. From fall sensors to location tracking for individuals with Alzheimer’s, the opportunities growth in wearable technology are countless.
- Home Care. With over 85 percent of older adults wanting to age in place, many families are being tasked with the duty of finding caregivers for their aging family members. Technologies that help in the choosing and monitoring of caregivers are being developed to help create a peace of mind for families.
- Telehealth. As health care costs rise alongside life expectancy, the need for cost-effective care is becoming necessary. Telehealth, which allows older adults to talk with a doctor without even leaving their homes, is likely to become more commonplace in 2016 as legislation is beginning to pass in favor of these remote doctor visits and services.
- As technology and the Internet are utilized at higher rates, worries of security are also on the rise. Companies are expected to bring new ways to protect an individual’s identity and data in response to these concerns.
2016 brings endless technological possibilities, especially for the safety and care of older adults, but these possibilities bring along challenges as well. The technology sector will be required to combat these challenges while still providing cutting-edge innovations.
5 Trends Driving Technology for Seniors in 2016. Senior Living SMART. https://seniorlivingsmart.com/5-trends-driving-2016-technology-seniors/. Accessed February 25, 2016.