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How Agetech is changing the way older adults age

Harnessing Agetech to enhance the quality of life for older adults

Mar 30, 2023

6 minutes read

As we age, the need to apply technological advancements to improve the quality of life for older people grows. Learn how Agetech can improve the lives of billions of people.

Staying connected to family, friends, and the world can become more difficult as we age. Older people have become more affluent with digital technologies, and the 50+ population’s spending on technology is expected to reach $623 billion by 2050. People who have already been used to technology from a young age will be even more likely to adopt it for older adults when their time comes. That is precisely why the growth of the Agetech economy is inevitable. 

Agetech is revolutionizing the life of older adults by providing the tools to remain active and engaged in their communities. With the help of Agetech, older adults can enjoy a better quality of life, increase healthy longevity, and improve overall condition regardless of age. This article will discuss how Agetech transforms the aging process, from virtual healthcare and remote communication to intelligent home technology. 

What is the value of age technology for older adults?

Technology for older adults helps people live longer, healthier, and more independent lives. Technology-based medical treatments, intelligent home devices, and wearables allow seniors to remain more independent and active than ever before. Smart home devices can help seniors clean, cook, and manage medications daily. Wearables like activity trackers, blood pressure meters, and glucose monitors can help seniors better understand their health and detect potential problems. 

In addition, age technology can help seniors stay connected to loved ones and friends. Video conferencing and messaging apps allow the elderly to communicate with the outside world with just the click of a button. Overall, age technology is helping seniors to remain independent, healthy, and active, staying connected with loved ones and their community.

What is Agetech?

When uninitiated think about Agetech, they usually imagine the same kind of tech young people would use, with a more simplistic design and larger buttons. So what is Agetech? It is much more than just big buttons on a regular device. These devices need to be explicitly designed to match the needs of the elderly, take their physiological needs into account, and provide an intuitive and comfortable user experience.

Wearable devices

Wearable devices such as smartwatches and fitness trackers can track vital signs, monitor activity, provide reminders and even offer virtual assistants. Wearable devices have the potential to improve the lives of older people. They offer improved safety and security, increased independence, and round-the-clock access to healthcare providers.

Wearable and portable devices can help older people stay connected and active. These devices can send alerts and reminders to take medications, track vitals, and provide information about health status. Wearable devices can also monitor the environment, track temperature and air quality, and alert users of potential environmental hazards. Additionally, wearables simplify access to emergency services and provide caregivers with accurate information about their loved ones’ activities. Lastly, wearables help older people to stay socially connected, communicate with friends and loved ones, receive support, and access entertainment.

Smart home devices and IoT

Intelligent home devices allow users to control and monitor their homes remotely. Smart home devices can provide older people with a greater level of independence, safety, and convenience. Motion sensors can detect if someone has fallen or is in distress and alert family or emergency services. 

Smart thermostats can automatically adjust the home temperature to ensure a comfortable environment for the older person. Bright lights can provide greater visibility in the home and help with navigation, while voice-activated devices can control lights, appliances, and other electronics with voice commands. Such devices as medication dispensers can remind older people to take their medication promptly and alert them when the pills run low.

IoT devices can collect and share data and power such infrastructures as intelligent homes. By connecting everyday objects to the Internet, IoT allows the elderly to have more control over their environment and to manage their lives more effectively. As mentioned, IoT can automate everyday tasks, for example, turning lights on and off, adjusting temperature levels, and even alerting healthcare professionals if an older person requires assistance.

Assistive technology 

Assistive technology can help people with disabilities perform everyday tasks. Examples of assistive technology include voice recognition and text-to-speech software, wheelchairs, hearing aids, and more. However, all of that requires strong custom software development expertise from companies developing assistive technologies. Assistive technology can help older people to perform daily activities more safely, efficiently, and with greater ease. Examples include adaptive eating and drinking utensils, automated pill dispensers, adjustable beds and chairs, hearing aids, and mobility scooters. 

Such technologies can also facilitate communication, provide access to entertainment, and help older people to stay in touch with the surrounding world. Additionally, Agetech can help reduce injuries, provide reminders for medications and appointments, and even provide remote monitoring. By helping to delay the need for institutional care and reduce the need for caregiver assistance, Agetech improves the quality of life, fosters self-care, and improves self-esteem, which is essential for every individual regardless of age.

Augmented Reality

With the help of Augmented Reality (AR), technology is possible to overlay digital images and information in the real world. Examples of AR technology include virtual reality headsets, smart glasses, and mobile apps that allow users to view virtual objects in their environment. 

Augmented Reality offers a range of potential benefits for older people, such as improved communication, enhanced cognition, and increased physical activity. The technology can deliver a more engaging and meaningful experience, enabling them to interact with the physical world more effectively. 

In the context of Agetech, AR can aid in navigation, providing older people with turn-by-turn directions to their destination or reminding them of upcoming activities. Additionally, AR can deliver educational content in a more accessible and engaging way, such as providing 3D images of objects to illustrate a point or explain complex health-related subjects. Finally, this technology can provide older people with a more engaging physical activity, such as guided exercises or games, helping them to stay more active and engaged.

Telemedicine applications

Telemedicine can greatly benefit elderly patients and allows them to receive care at home. Elderly individuals may experience difficulty traveling to doctor’s offices due to physical limitations or lack of transportation. Telemedicine can provide them with access to medical care without all that discomfort. It can be beneficial for elderly patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, as they can receive regular monitoring of their situation without having to endure the stress of physically traveling to a doctor’s office. 

Additionally, telemedicine applications can help reduce the burden of elderly patients’ caretakers, as they can easily access medical care for their loved ones without taking them to the doctor’s office. It can help reduce the stress associated with providing care for elderly individuals, as caretakers can quickly and easily access medical care for their loved ones without making multiple trips. Telemedicine can also help in reducing the financial burden associated with medical care, as elderly patients can access medical care without having to pay for transportation costs or additional fees associated with visiting a doctor’s office.

How does Agetech help the elderly? Use cases

Now that we have discussed the examples of technology for older adults let us look at real-life examples of age tech helping the elderly in their daily activities. Use cases for elderly-focused technology include remote monitoring services to ensure elderly individuals are safe and secure, automated home systems to manage daily tasks, and medical alert systems for emergencies. Technology can provide greater peace of mind for elderly individuals and their families. Here are some of the actual use cases for Agetech.

Fall detection

Over a quarter of adults aged 65 or older (28%) in the US experience a fall each year, with the US health system paying an estimated $50 billion annually in associated costs. Falls can lead to significant injury, decreased independence, or even death. Different technology options are available to help reduce the risk of falls. One option is to install motion-activated lighting that turns on when you pass by. For a more advanced approach, motion sensors can detect falls, contact emergency services, and notify designated family or friends. Wearable technologies such as pendants with a push button or jewelry-style products can detect falls. Smartwatches can assess the risk of falls, track vitals, and monitor health trends. Most of these devices also have an emergency SOS feature.

Sensors in the home can observe a person’s typical daily routine, such as opening kitchen cabinets or fridges or using the bathroom. Caregivers can access this data through mobile applications. These devices may appear intrusive, though they can notify the caregiver if something is wrong. Artificial intelligence is used by many companies that specialize in this type of sensor suite to recognize any shift in behavior.

Pill dispensers and medication reminders

Introducing this technology for older adults into the home is increasingly popular. It could encompass anything from an app on a smartphone to pillboxes that come with alarms and can store months’ worth of medication to more advanced intelligent devices that alert caregivers if the person has missed the regular medication intake. Any person can miss such seemingly minor daily routines, so it is vital to provide the elderly with reminders. 

More convenience at home

Approximately 25% of adults in the US own a smart speaker like Alexa, Google, or Apple Home, and 19% of those owners are over 50. These devices are capable of much more than simply playing music. They can provide health information to family members or healthcare providers. Some intelligent speakers offer services where a caregiver can monitor a loved one’s daily routine and health status through a connected smartphone app. Moreover, a smart speaker can control lights, thermostats, and appliances with voice commands, which could be valuable for people with vision issues.

Home safety and security features

Doorbell cameras have become a popular technology for older individuals. These cameras are app-controlled and voice-activated; they can even alert family members and first responders in an emergency. Intelligent fire alarms, water detectors, and carbon monoxide detectors can alert users of potential hazards. Smart door locks can regulate access and monitor activity. All of that is important for the security of any individual, but for elderly individuals, these devices can be genuinely vital. Older adults might experience mobility problems, have a slower reaction to hazards, and generally be more vulnerable to threats.

Final thoughts

Technology can improve the lives of older people. It can give them more security, confidence, freedom, and connection to the world, allowing them to stay more active, engaged, and independent. When designed and developed by experienced engineers, technology for older adults can be tailored to the specific audience’s needs, offering options for an improved quality of life. With the continued development of age-friendly technologies, the elderly can access tools that can enhance their lives and keep them connected with their loved ones.

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