You likely don’t think twice about tying your shoes, getting up out of bed, or using various devices in your home. For many seniors, that is no longer the case. Simple tasks become challenging as our bodies age and change, and it can quickly feel like you’re losing independence. Give your elderly loved one more freedom with some senior-specific gizmos and gadgets! As home care professionals, we’ve seen first-hand the types of tasks that seniors struggle with, and all of the products we will be discussing target at least one of these daily to-dos!
Amazon Echos, Apple Alexas, Google Home, Etc
Millions of households have Amazon Echos or Apple Alexas these days. If you’re unfamiliar with the devices, they are smart centers that respond to voice commands. They can search the internet, play music, tell jokes, and even control other connected devices in the home. These hands-free options have changed the way seniors age in place. They don’t need to get up to walk to a light switch, they can just ask Google or Alexa to turn it on for them. They can ask about the weather, request a phone call with family or friends, set reminders for appointments or medication, and more. If there’s a tech-savvy member of the family who can set up these devices to other areas of the home, your senior will be able to control all kinds of technology with nothing but their voice.
No, we are not talking about the adhesive floor or wall tiles! Tile is a brand that creates small devices that can be attached to commonly-misplaced items. Using an app on your phone, you can call your Tiles to help you find where the item is. You can also do the reverse and press a Tile to help you find your phone! All of the Tile products are extremely useful for seniors, but stickers are easy to attach to just about anything. Add a Tile Sticker to the TV Remote, the house phone, files of important documents, and anything else your senior is prone to losing track of. Now, when something is misplaced there’s no need to panic. Tile can help you find it in minutes.
We should all be familiar with Ring Doorbells by now, but if you aren’t, it’s essentially a doorbell with video and audio capabilities. Whenever someone is at the door, you can check the live video on a phone or tablet. This is a great security measure for seniors as they can check who is at the door before unlocking it. If it’s family or friends, it’s safe to let them inside, but if it’s someone unfamiliar, your loved one can communicate with them through the speaker to find out what they are there for. Ring Doorbells record as soon as it detects motion, regardless of the time of day. If packages go missing, gardens are destroyed, or any other suspicious behavior occurs, you can see it on the app. Ring allows multiple users access to the security footage, so you can keep an eye on mom or dad’s front door from wherever you are!
Handles/Rails/Stands for Showers, Toilets, Beds, Etc.
With more and more seniors opting to age in place, it’s common to need to make updates to the home to make it more senior-friendly. Though not nearly as high-tech as the other gadgets we’ve mentioned so far, stability handles, railings, and stands are a must-have in elderly homes. Showering can be dangerous due to slippery surfaces and limited mobility, so installing a handle or rail is a fantastic idea. In any area of the home where your loved one needs to get up and down (toilets, beds, couches, etc.), consider adding a handle to the nearby wall, or a free-standing stability stand. These allow seniors to pull themselves up and lower themselves down carefully. By using arm and leg muscles, your senior will be less fatigued and can move around more freely.
Every house with elderly residents should have at least one grabber/reacher. We’ve all played with these in the past, usually with a fun animal head on the end like a shark or bird. However, there are very professionally-built grabbers that are perfect for elderly loved ones. They won’t have to climb onto a stool to reach up high, they won’t need to bed down low, and they can stay seated to grab something that is just out of reach. When shopping for grabbers for your senior, look for those that are sturdy without being too heavy, and preferably those that require light pressure to operate. Grip strength isn’t always great among the elderly, so keep that in mind. Some grabbers even have locking options so that whatever you pick up is securely trapped between the pinchers. They’re so convenient you might even get some for your own home!
LifeAlert or Other Emergency Call Devices
This last gadget may be known for its slightly dramatic commercials and infomercials, but it truly is a lifesaver. LifeAlert or other similar emergency communication devices can make the difference between life and death for elderly people. “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” isn’t just a figure of speech after all. Seniors may trip or lose their balance and end up falling down. They could sustain serious injuries to the hips or legs that prevent them from being able to get back up. If they’re home alone, that is clearly a problem. LifeAlert and similar gadgets are worn as necklaces, bracelets, or hooked onto clothes so that they are always within reach. With the press of a button, your senior can alert authorities that they need medical assistance. It’s like having 911 on speed dial all the time. These devices typically allow communication to explain the situation and what injuries are sustained, and some share location directly to first responders. Senior citizens are not attached to cell phones like younger people are, so there’s a very good chance they won’t be able to reach it when needed. LifeAlert devices ensure 24/7 protection and the ability to communicate with medical professionals.
The internet is full of gadgets, technology, inventions, and products that can make life easier and safer for your elderly loved ones. They will allow your senior to have more freedom and remain at home safely. For those tasks that are still too difficult even with fun gadgets, consider hiring an in-home caregiver. B’Zoe Home Caregiving Service has been in business for years offering flexible scheduling, highly-trained professional caregivers, and a wide range of personalized services. We carefully match caregivers with clients based on needs, lifestyle, and personality so that a true bond is formed. In-home care allows your loved one to remain independent and comfortable in their own home, making the process of getting older less intimidating. Call us today at (206) 953-4900 to schedule a FREE consultation!