With an aging population comes increased motivation to progress technology to care for these individuals. Ambient assisted living technologies are those that show “ambient intelligence,” or that are sensitive and responsive in the presence of people. Read on to how these technologies are changing the lives of seniors.
1. They Make Seniors Feel Safer
In the presence of ambient technology, seniors tend to feel safer. Each year, one-third of elderly individuals ages 65 and older experience a fall. Furthermore, 29 percent of seniors live alone. Falling down when no one is around is a huge concern for seniors, but not as many have to worry about that anymore. In fact, they can live in peace knowing that someone will respond in any accident or emergency.
Mobile and wearable sensors can alert nearby medical professionals if a senior has experienced a fall or had a heart attack, effectively getting them help when needed — even if they can’t call for help themselves. Other sensors in the house will warn of any other dangers, such as intruders or fires, even when people aren’t home.
2. They Give Them More Independence
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Not only do ambient technologies allow seniors to feel safe enough to live on their own, but they can also boost their confidence in their ability to take care of themselves to the extent the technology allows. For instance, the elderly can take advantage of smart home technologies to keep them from worrying about simple — yet essential — tasks they may have trouble doing otherwise.
Things like getting up to control the temperature, remembering to lock the front door, and watering the lawn are no longer a big concern. Plus, voice-activated technologies allow low-mobility elderly to stay in their home while still being able to control their appliances and lighting.
3. They Help Them Learn About Technology
While many of today’s seniors aren’t well acquainted with the best technologies of the day, many are still interested in them. Keeping up with today’s technology trends can be tough when 80 percent of those older than 65 are suffering from a chronic disease or dealing with other long-term health issues. By integrating these technologies into seniors’ lives, it’s easier for them to learn about how technology is changing the world by getting to interact with it.
4. They Improve Quality of Life
In one study looking at how ambient technologies can impact the lives of dementia patients, researchers said that, “Particularly in dementia, [context-aware technologies] can aid in tasks that require learning and decision-making (two of the primary limitations characteristics of dementia).”
The researchers feel there is great promise for ambient assisted living technologies to help improve seniors’ quality of life, particularly those people suffering from dementia. This improved quality of life likely stems from the increased sense of security and more independence these technologies deliver.
As technology moves forward, we seeing more and more benefits with the potential to make a significant difference instead of simply playing around with it. Ambient technology is increasingly helping scores of elderly remain in their homes rather than live in nursing homes.