Part Two – How Technology Will Assist Us
Housing is an issue that causes concern for all of us. Aging parents as well as ourselves realize that there are obstacles to remaining in our homes. However, research shows that most people prefer to stay put in their homes as they age. SO – technology to the rescue. Currently, there are smart homes being created that allow homeowners to control thermostats, have meals heated or cooked some other way by pressing a button! There are refrigerators that will be able to monitor or inventory what food is available and what needs to be replenished. Other items that are now available to make life easier for older people include the Roomba vacuum and the Amazon Echo which through voice activation can allow people to order deliveries to their home and check their calendars! Alternatively, internet based companies are creating processes that alert humans to people needing help doing household chores such as laundry and cleaning.
Technology and Our Health
The Internet of Things will create greater opportunities for older people and their families to cope with changing health issues and remain healthier by helping them track medications, doctor appointments and stay on top of health related issues. There will be the opportunity to have lifestyle tracked which can provide important information to physicians by noting if an older people has changed their sleeping habits or skipping meals. Devices will also be able to report vital information such as blood glucose levels and weight. There will be clothiIng created that will utilize technology to gather information about activity levels and heart rates. Carpet will enclose detectors which can tell if a person has started shuffling their gait or fallen. Robots will also be seen as part of the landscape as they roam the home checking on an older person or even talking to them during the day or at night!
The Downside of Technology
The Internet of Things will have a cost associated with it and give one pause for thought on putting money aside for these new fangled contraptions(a saying from my Dad!) Also, people and companies that care for older people will have to integrate these systems into their program. The upside is that all this new technology will allow us to grow older with our own vision of what that means. For most of us, retaining our independence is most important. I would be willing to bet that given the choice, many people will opt for being able to have an older life that is more than just adding more years to your life. We can all live longer and live better lives!!