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6 Assistive Technology Tools for a More Independent Elder

If you are taking care of an elder, you can greatly benefit from using assistive technology to encourage them to be more independent.

Since technology has made several leaps and bounds, there are a myriad of easy-to-use tools and devices that you can get for senior citizens in order to make their lives easier and simpler. Depending on their needs and preferences, assistance technology can enhance their quality of life and keep them more engaged with everyday affairs.

It is important to ensure that seniors use these devices of their own free will and fully understand their pros and cons. 

In this article, we highlight some of the best and most affordable assistive technology tools to enable senior citizens to lead a more independent lifestyle.

Virtual Reality Therapy

If you are struggling to take your loved one to their therapy sessions, you can opt for virtual reality therapy and arrange treatment for them from the comfort of their home. 

Virtual reality therapy is a type of telehealth whereby professional and licensed medical practitioners offer services remotely using a virtual reality (VR) headset. It is highly accessible, convenient, and cost-effective as it can save trips to the clinic and can be done from any place in the world. 

Virtual reality therapy, which is covered by most insurance providers, works by signing up, choosing a therapist, and receiving a VR headset to begin treatment. 

Mobile Applications

As more and more senior citizens are using mobile phones, modern technology, in the form of helpful mobile applications, can be used to help them achieve a more independent lifestyle. 

For example, you can encourage seniors in your life to install and use apps that remind them to take their medication on time, or ones that help them with their finances by giving them news about discounts and special offers for seniors. 

Elders can also install apps that help them read small prints, such as Magnifying Glass+Flashlight, or even an app that helps them locate their parked car. 

Fitness Devices

Fitness devices and trackers are an excellent way to motivate and encourage seniors to live an active and healthy lifestyle by constantly giving them reminders and notifications. 

From a simple pedometer to a wristband tracker, a fitness device can help with monitoring heart rate, tracking sleep, counting calories, and general activity throughout the day. Just ensure that the fitness devices can be read easily, are waterproof, and are easy to use. 

Buttoning Aid Hook

A buttoning aid hook is a senior assistive device and is particularly useful for those suffering from arthritis, joint pain, motor impairment, or dexterity issues. 

Made from an acrylic material, it is a device that can be used by one hand for opening or closing shirt or pant buttons. Using a three-step technique involving grab, loop and pull, it is a durable and inexpensive device that you can purchase for your loved ones. 

So if you want an elder in your life to perform a simple task such as getting dressed pain-free and independently, a buttoning aid hook might be just what you are looking for. 

GPS Trackers

In case a senior citizen is suffering from memory loss or has Alzheimer’s or dementia, they may tend to forget where they kept their belongings or may even be at a risk to themselves in case they get lost. To remedy this, introduce them to GPS trackers and explain the pros and cons of using them.

Some GPS trackers can be attached to belongings such as clothes or shoes, while others, such as a GPS necklace, can be worn by the user to make it easy for caregivers to locate them at any given time. 

Bed Rails

Elders with medical conditions such as arthritis or vertigo may struggle with safely getting out of bed. For this purpose, specialized bed rails may be a useful assistive tool to help them in their daily activity.

These bed rails come in various forms such as with LED light activation or motion sensors. They may also be height adjustable, have non-slip handles, a high weight capacity, and may even contain a storage pouch for personal items. Installing such bed rails can prevent slips and falls, and will make it easy for elders to get in and out of bed.

Parting Thoughts

Using assistive technologies to improve the overall lifestyle of elders and enabling them to live independently can boost morale and uplift their spirits. By investing in the right type of innovative devices and technologies, you can empower elders to live a more fulfilling life in which they take ownership of their physical, emotional, and social well-being.