Learn how access to technology can impact seniors living in residential care facilities. From improved patient outcomes and engagement opportunities...
Why Tech-Savvy Seniors Expect More From Their Care
The senior care industry has struggled to keep up with rapid technological advancements of the 21st century, but today's savvy seniors expect more.
The senior care industry has struggled to keep up with the pace of rapid technological advancements of the 21st century. The advocacy to embrace emerging technologies to transform the long-term care sector has gained momentum.
As shown in a 2013 Report by the United States Commission on senior care, the number of people who rely on senior care will reach a whopping 27 million by 2050.
Similarly, by 2030 all baby boomers will be 65 or older. Sadly, the senior care sector is battling to keep pace with the increasing demand.
This dilemma gets succinctly buttressed in a report published by Black Book Research. According to the report, barely 3% of inpatient senior care providers polled say they use data analytics technology to reduce unnecessary readmissions and care costs.
Interestingly, tech-savvy individuals in senior living are beginning to open up the need for the industry to adopt technological tools.
For many tech-savvy seniors, embracing evolving innovations and digital solutions is the way to reposition the long-term care industry for the future. More seniors are accepting technology
"Technology in senior care is no longer a luxury but a necessity for tech-savvy seniors."
With more Americans turning 65 years and older, AARP research showed that five of four baby boomers depend on technology to stay connected with family and friends. The impact of the pandemic has seen many older Americans become more receptive to technology.
Tech spending for older Americans hit an all-time in 2020. More Americans in senior living are now embracing technological solutions for family engagements, vital measurements, telehealth participation, and more.
Key reasons where technology can help in senior care
Smartphones and tablets
Smartphones and tablet technology is shaping many people's lives in senior living.
The internet opens an endless window of opportunities, and with intelligent devices, seniors in long-term care can live better, meaningful lives.
Some smartphones are designed precisely for older adults. Big-button smartphones are easy to use for people with vision problems and arthritis. The following are some benefits of smart devices in senior living:
You can download various apps on these devices, including news apps, gaming apps, video calling, and social media apps. Video calling apps like zoom help seniors see and talk with their loved ones and maintain family engagements. Gaming apps like Sudoku and cross are challenging games that help to keep the brain active and slow down the onset of dementia.
Smartphones are suitable communication devices that allow individuals in senior living to reach out to family and friends regardless of distance.
Staying fit is a crucial aspect of overall general wellness. Older adults must stay active to promote their well-being, and technology can help them achieve it.
Today, you can find advanced digital fitness tools to help older adults monitor their daily activities and track their progress. Most fitness trackers are worn around the wrist to help seniors follow:
- Heart rate
- Sleeping patterns
- Daily steps
- Number of calories burned
Some fitness gears are compatible with Android and iOS devices which helps to enhance users' experience.
Health and mobility devices
A decline in mobility can be quite challenging for the confidence of many people in long-term care. Assistive technology can help older and disabled seniors live independently, even in the comfort of their homes.
Some wearable gear gets designed to provide a quick response for seniors if they suffer a fall. Health monitoring is also crucial for people in senior living.
People suffering from heart problems can wear devices that help to check vital measurements. Other mobility technological solutions for seniors include scooters, electric wheelchairs, starlets, and more.
Modern wearables devices for seniors are a far cry from the old-fashioned medical alert systems of the past. These wearable devices offer various services, including pill reminders, fall detection, tracking habit changes, two-way audio, connection to a live emergency operator, and others.
Tech-savvy seniors can rely on these wearable devices to stay healthy, maintain their independence and receive assistance when needed.
Virtual Reality (VR) can provide a platform for seniors in long-term care to socialize and participate in activities that they may not have been able to do for a long time due to aging. VR devices do not require computers, just headsets.
Resolving the digital gap
To address the seeming divide, senior living providers must provide systems that can support clients with various technological programs, which include:
Digital support programs
These approaches will help expose long-term-care seniors to technology in a supervised setting. By so doing, seniors can familiarize themselves with the process and outcomes of interacting with devices or systems.
Awareness and support
Facilitators must ensure that awareness strategies include various learning styles and health limitations. Whether it is audio to visual learning, advanced instructions, or self-guided or assisted instructions, the physical and psychological state of the older learner gets adequately considered.
Enhancing your senior care services
As care providers look to digital innovations to address critical issues confronting most long-term care facilities, they’re looking to invest in technologies to support two key areas: vitals monitoring and family communication.
As more baby boomers become seniors, the number of those who are tech-savvy in long-term care increases. As a result, senior living providers must take advantage of this to introduce digital solutions in all aspects of senior care.