How Seniors Can Create a Digitally Connected Apartment
The Digitally Connected Apartment: Innovations for Seniors
New technology helps seniors live safer, easier, more social lives
In recent years, the relationship between seniors and technology has grown, with older adults making up the largest new segment of the online population. Innovations for seniors are connecting them with the world through the internet and social media, helping them maintain personal relationships, reconnect with friends, keep up with community developments and more.
Advancements in technology for seniors are also improving their health. The array of staying-connected technology options for older adults can help fight off the serious dangers of social isolation, which include higher rates of illness, infection, depression and cognitive decline. Consistent social relationships, strengthened by technology for seniors, are associated with good health, a better outlook and higher satisfaction with life, as well as lower levels of certain risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular disease and some forms of cancer.
With so many innovations for seniors readily available today, it’s easy to create a digitally connected apartment. From social media and education to housekeeping, let’s take a look at some of the ways staying-connected technology options for older adults can help seniors virtually visit loved ones, meet new people, and remain active no matter where they are at home:
IN THE LIVING ROOM
In the living room, seniors can control the temperature of their apartment with a simple voice command and turn the TV on or off without having to get off the couch.
This 10” smart speaker with built-in Google Assistant and crystal-clear HD picture quality is great for video calls with family and friends. With easy-to-use voice commands, seniors can get in touch with the people they care about, look up recipes, get the daily weather report and more, all without the hassle of fumbling for a remote or phone.
For seniors who could benefit from a simpler-to-use tablet, GrandPad includes just 11 apps, clearly labeled to show functionality with voice and video calls, photos, email, music, news and more. Photos and contacts are preloaded onto the device by family members, so no passwords or setup are required. Only people on the approved contacts list can send messages and there’s a live support person on call 24/7.
A smart thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature of an apartment. Even though most independent living communities include electric bills in the rent, smart thermostats can save energy and contribute to environmental initiatives. They’re able to turn themselves off when no one is home and maintain a “just-right” temperature during colder and hotter months.
IN THE BEDROOM
While some of these technologies may have sounded like science fiction decades ago, in our modern world they can make mornings and evenings feel less lonely, and help ensure seniors are getting a good night’s rest.
For seniors who live far away from loved ones, phone calls and FaceTime sessions often make up the bulk of interactions they have with family members. This innovative Wi-Fi and touch-enabled lamp system lets family members set up a network of lamps that they only need to touch to let another family member know they’re thinking of them — no matter how far away they are. With just a touch, you can cause another family member’s lamp to light up, sending a message of love and care or simply to say goodnight.
Getting enough sleep is vital, especially for seniors, because it has a direct impact on day-to-day performance and can affect mood, health, well-being and more. Smart sleep trackers monitor sleep patterns and deliver helpful data. Seniors and their doctors can then analyze sleep patterns and determine what is preventing them from getting a good night’s sleep.
Adjustable beds aren’t a new invention and sometimes may be recommended for seniors. From firmness to angle, smart beds can be adjusted with a smartphone. In some cases, they can also monitor sleep patterns and even be connected to a home assistant.
AROUND YOUR HOME
While some devices are specifically designed to work for particular rooms, these are great to have anywhere in your home.
- Smart Bulbs
This handy invention is usually controlled from a smartphone and paired with a home assistant to turn lights on and off simply by speaking. These bulbs may be a bit more expensive, but they usually last much longer than average bulbs.
If a senior has a dog or cat in the household, they may wish to have their floors cleaned more often than the typical community’s housekeeping schedule. Automated vacuum cleaners can be used on hardwood floors, tile and carpet, and there’s no need for a human user to run them. Most models can clean spaces under tables, chairs and beds.
These Wi-Fi-enabled tools are controlled via smartphone and can be programmed to automatically lock when someone leaves the home. They also solve the problem of forgotten keys.
Seniors and technology will continue to interact through innovations like home automation and smart devices. These advancements can help improve quality of life by increasing connectivity and creating a sense of community. They can also create connections with grandchildren who are usually thrilled to show their grandparents how things work.
Regency Oaks is committed to using technology that helps residents stay engaged and connected to loved ones. To learn more about the connected, independent lifestyle waiting for you here, simply call us at 727-330-2142.