Have you asked if your parents want to ‘age in place’ or hit the bingo scene at a retirement community? Retirement communities are a draw for some, no more yard work, no cooking or dishes, loads of activities, and potential friends around every corner. But AARP studies suggest nearly 90% of seniors would rather stay in their own home as long as possible.
A further 82% of seniors would stay even when their day-to-day lives require some level of assistance.
The AARP Is Helping Seniors Find Ways to Continue Living Independently
The AARP has gone to great lengths to figure out what is helping seniors stay in their homes longer. While functional robot housekeepers-nurses aren’t available quite yet, other technologies are being designed to help seniors stay independent. Combining some of the new techs with some of the classic strategies is helping seniors stay independent longer than ever before.
Falling Is Still the Biggest Risk to Seniors
Imagine how scary it would be to find yourself stranded on a bathroom floor with no one to help. Falls are the biggest risk facing seniors, and a large portion of those falls happen in the bathroom, especially at night. The AARP has interviewed thousands of seniors and is working diligently to figure out what’s helping those seniors stay in their homes longer.
Technologies that Can Help Seniors Age-In-Place
Tablet computers, wearable alarm systems, home security systems, health tracking gadgets, monitoring services, and medication dispensing systems are six simple technologies that are helping seniors live more independently. The boomer generation is very adapted to computers, technology, and smartphones. As the next generation ages over the next several decades, there will be more tech savvy seniors than ever before.
Tech Gadgets Are Already Here to Help
Big-button cell phones, iRobot vacuum cleaners, and wireless reminder buttons could potentially make life easier for a senior. There are also multiple tech gadgets available on the market that can help prevent injuries. A temperature-activated flow reducer on the shower costs less than $100 and can help prevent burns in the shower. The Safe T-Element Cooking System limit how hot the stove will get and have automatic turnoffs.
Home Safety Devices for Those with Hearing Difficulties
What if a senior doesn’t wake up when the fire alarm goes off? How will they know to get out? Flashing emergency lights can be added to rooms all around the house, extra loud sirens can be installed, and you can even set up devices designed to shake the bed or a favorite chair. Safety becomes an even bigger issue when a single senior is living entirely on their own.
Monitoring and Smart Homes for the Elderly
Having your parent’s home connected to a monitoring station can add an extra layer of safety, because a monitoring agent can call for help if the senior doesn’t know what to do. Smart home systems like Honeywell Total Connect or Alarm.com can be set up to make life easier for a senior, add automatic alerts, and allow loved ones to check in via video.
According to the AARP – These Classic Strategies Help Seniors Age in Place
- Non-Slip Floor Surfaces
- Bathroom Aides such as Grab Bars
- Personal Alert System
- Entrance without Steps
- Wider Doorways
- Lever-handled Doorknobs
- Higher electrical Outlets
- Lower Electrical Switches
- For more ideas, the National Association of Home Builders has a great Aging-In-Place Remodeling Checklist
Your Elderly Parents May Not Admit to Needing Help
Though more than 75% of children with elderly parents think they need help, only about 25% of those parents will agree. If you run into trouble talking about aging-in-place, try directing the conversation to something more fun, like “let’s talk about these new technologies that could help you out around the house.”
Contact Multra-Guard Security if you’d like more information about helping with smart home features, home alarm systems, or medical tracking devices that can call emergency responders to a GPS location.