5/21/2021 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Assistive technology for seniors is any service, device, equipment, gadget, or tool that helps older adults or those with disabilities perform activities that might otherwise be impossible or, at the very least, challenging.

Assistive technology (AT) can help people in various ways, but for seniors, it is primarily a way to minimize their reliance on others, including long-term nursing or home health care, and allow them to remain in their homes longer. In other words, AT is anything that aids older adults to live independently and participate in daily activities.

What are some of the specific benefits of assistive technology for seniors?

Assistive technology helps seniors in different ways. It could aid a stroke survivor to communicate or someone with dementia to remember medications. A visually impaired individual could now have access to the internet, and any older adult can secure their home with assistive technology.

The devices that typically provide the most benefit to seniors are electronic gadgets: personal alarms, GPS trackers, telecare systems, memory aids, and visual aids. Assistive technology for seniors can also provide safety and security with automated lighting, smart smoke alarms and doorbells, and devices that warn of water overflowing.

How can older adults choose the technology that meets their needs?

Seniors need to assess their needs before buying assistive technology. And because of the ever-increasing array of options for AT, it’s best to plan with the help of professionals. For instance, consulting an audiologist can help you determine the right AT for your specific hearing impairment. Your doctor or ophthalmologist can recommend the best device to help you read or access the internet.

Along with family and friends, a team of professionals can identify your challenges and assist you in selecting an effective and affordable device. They can also arrange for the proper training where you will be using the equipment.

During the process of choosing assistive technology, you will be considering both high-tech and low-tech solutions. At that point, it might be an excellent idea to think about how your needs could change in the future. While the high-tech devices come with a higher initial price, they may address more of your needs now and down the road. Low-tech devices, while less expensive, also tend to be less adaptable.

Assistive technology is designed to help older adults live satisfying, healthy, and independent lives. Here are some of the most common devices that seniors find helpful:

Personal alarm systems: These wearable pendants allow you to press a button for help at any time. They work with a central hub near the senior’s landline, alerting a relative, trusted friend, or a monitoring team that you talk to directly.

Voice-controlled smart home systems: Voice-activated smart home technology allows you to easily control the lighting and HVAC systems in your home without the need to mess around with dials or buttons. The system can even let you watch over your home systems while you’re away by using a smartphone app.

Amazon Echo and Google Home: The Echo and Home speakers are senior-friendly and hands-free assistive technology devices that respond to your voice. With them, you can call someone, set reminders, search online, play games, and listen to audiobooks.

Top 12 Beneficial Features of Alexa for Seniors

Captioned telephones: If you have trouble hearing a phone conversation, captioned telephones could be the answer. They’re like a regular telephone, with the added advantage of easy-to-read captions of everything your caller says. There are several models and styles from which to choose, and each of them can help you feel more connected to your loved ones.

Doorbell video cameras: Often called smart doorbells, these video cameras provide home security for older adults. The video camera and two-way speakers are accessible through an app or an indoor base set. They are a great form of assistive technology for seniors with mobility issues struggling to get to the front door.

Roomba vacuum cleaners: The Roomba is a small computerized robot vacuum cleaner that automatically guides itself around the home, picking up dust and dirt as it goes. The Roomba keeps seniors’ homes clean and saves them the time and effort of dragging a full-size vacuum cleaner through each room.

These assistive devices are merely a sample of what is available to help older adults stay independent and free of worry. There are many more, all of which are designed with technology that is senior-friendly and relatively affordable.

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff