The world we live in is becoming increasingly reliant on technology, and that’s true for senior living facilities, too. Many facilities are seeing the benefits the Internet has on residents’ lives, including increased communication and gaming, while other facilities are employing the use of monitoring devices to keep residents safe.
Many senior living communities are equipping residents with monitoring devices which allow them to enjoy privacy in their apartment-style homes, yet also watch out for potentially dangerous situations. One monitoring system detects body movements and signals staff a check-in is needed if a resident makes any concerning movements or stays in one place for too long. These warning signs may trigger a slip, fall, or other accident has occurred.
The important thing for senior living firms implementing this technology to remember is that technology still should never replace human interaction, but rather it should be used to better the experience of the interaction. For example, monitoring technology doesn’t physically tend to the resident, but it does inform care staff of the situation at hand and lets them know when extra help is needed. The potential for this kind of technology is huge, especially in independent living facilities.
iPads and similar technologies have been placed into several senior living facilities because of their apps that help with memory and brain exercises. Especially in dementia care and Alzheimer’s facilities, using these devices has been shown to exercise the brain and act as a prophylactic to prevent memory loss.
Many of the applications used on the iPads were created specifically for seniors. They incorporate puzzles and other brain games, resulting in a fun form of therapy. The apps have been so successful partly because they act as a form of entertainment in addition to stimulating the brain, meaning seniors often love playing them and don’t mind adding them to their daily routines.
Most senior living facilities have gotten connected to the Internet in recent years, allowing for better communication among residents, seniors and their families, and administration. Tablets and computers are being used now at higher rates than ever for email, webcam apps like Skype, and even reading. Since many seniors prefer to read larger text, tablets are a great solution, and they also help reduce the waste and clutter of traditional books.
Online education is also another trend senior living facilities have been incorporating into their models recently. Technology like iPads and laptops help connect seniors with local colleges and allow them to take courses online.
Finally, gaming is another perk of making technology resources available to residents. In addition to mental stimulation, games can also provide entertainment for seniors and even help residents connect with one another.
A Place for Mom. Has high-tech senior living changed the way we age?
Healthsense. Technology’s role in the top senior housing trends
Mather Lifeways. Survey of trends in senior living