| Health and Lifestyle
If you think technology is all about social media and smartphones, you’re mistaken. There are gadgets out there that can help you carry out lots of everyday tasks, both around the home and related to personal care. From devices that can help you put on your shoes and do your buttons up to gadgets that can remind you to take medication, there’s a whole range of tech available aimed at helping you to enjoy an independent life as you age.
Below, we’ve created a list of the gadgets that we think you might find useful and explained how they could help you.
Personal alarms aren’t complicated to use and can you make you feel safe, whether you’re at home or in the garden.
The alarm can be worn around your neck or your wrist and they’re wirelessly connected to your home telephone. If you experience a fall or feel unwell, you can push the button and be connected in seconds to a 24-hour emergency response centre. You can use your telephone to speak to someone or, if you can’t get to the phone, they will contact a family member on your behalf to let them know that something’s wrong. If the situation is more serious, the emergency services can be called. Either way, help should arrive shortly.
These alarms can make seniors feel safer at home, particularly if they live alone. They’re quick and easy to install, and if you’re not happy to do this yourself, the We-Connect option available with the Age UK personal alarm means that someone else will install the system for you.
As we get older, our eyesight can deteriorate and it may become hard to see the buttons on a mobile phone or television remote. This results in frustration as you continually push the wrong option.
A big button mobile phone could help to solve this issue. Not only are the buttons bigger, but there’s usually fewer of them to keep the technology simple and easy to use. There are a variety of phones available that you can try. Some have big buttons and some have extra large screens to allow you to see better. Have a look at the mobile phone choices available to see which one could work best for you.
If you struggle to get comfortable at night, an adjustable bed could change your sleep quality for the better. These beds come with a remote control so you have complete control over the repositioning of the mattress.
In some beds, each half can be controlled separately so, for example, if you prefer to sleep in an upright position, while your partner prefers their legs to be elevated, you can each choose the best option for you. This means no arguing over who gets to control the bed tonight. Not only could your quality of sleep improve, but it might improve your posture and you can find the most natural position to sleep in for your body.
A key safe is a small box that can be secured to the outside of your home to keep your keys in. A code is required in order to open the safe and access the keys inside. They’re ideal if you frequently forget your keys or get locked out of your house.
Just choose a memorable code to get access to your keys when you need them, without having the security risk of keeping a spare under the mat or having to call out a family member who has a set.
Many personal alarm systems have the option to add a key safe so that family members or emergency services can gain entry to your home if you can’t get up to let them in. Family members should be provided with the code as soon as the safe is installed so they can use it in the future. In an emergency, people could enter your home much more quickly than if they try to break down your door, and this damage could cost you money.
Just be sure to choose the right safe - some are police approved and they need to be good quality so that burglars cannot easily take the keys from the inside.
For those with blood pressure or heart rate issues, a health tracker could be used to monitor these problems. The trackers usually come in the form of a watch that is worn on the wrist and it contains sensors that can record your sleep patterns, heart rate, body temperature, and more. If you have a smartphone, the two devices can be connected to the Health app so you can view the data it collects at any time.
Many seniors are scared to use technology - it may not be something you’re used to and the thought of having to learn how to use it might put you off. However, using technology could make so many aspects of your life that much easier.
With the internet, so much is available to us at the press of a few buttons. You could order a weekly food shop to be delivered straight to your front door, keep up with your family on social media or use online banking to keep track of your finances without needing to go to the bank. Some of these examples could be really helpful if you struggle to walk for long distances or find it hard to leave the house. These things could allow you to live independently and may help you to enjoy doing so.
Technology could help you to be more social too. This is particularly important if you live alone or if you don’t have friends or family that live nearby. Whether it’s getting advice from an online support group or joining an online forum to discuss your interests and hobbies, it’s important to meet new people. Alternatively, you could reconnect with people from your past and perhaps seek out friends from the years gone by.
You can always ask family or friends for tips if you need help using particular devices and you’ll soon grow in confidence and discover other benefits yourself.
Age UK Personal Alarms are provided by PPP Taking Care Limited and brought to you by Age UK Trading CIC.
PPP Taking Care Limited is a company registered in England and Wales (Number 01488490), it is a subsidiary of AXA PPP healthcare Group Limited. Registered address: 5 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1AD. VAT number 243674160. PPP Taking Care is the trading name and brand of PPP Taking Care Limited.
PPP Taking Care Limited works in association with Age UK Trading CIC, a commercial arm of Age UK (a charity registered in England and Wales number 1128267). Age UK Trading CIC is a community interest company registered in England and Wales number 01102972. Registered office address:Tavis House, 1-6 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9NA. Age UK Trading CIC donates its net profits to Age UK.
If you’re finding certain daily tasks more difficult to carry out as you get older, it might be time to invest in assistive technology designed to make independent living easier.
A mobile phone could make living independently easier and help alleviate feelings of isolation. If you’re thinking of buying your first mobile phone or are helping an elderly friend to pick one, then take a look at our recommendations to help find something suitable.
Whether you live alone or are seeking advice about a friend or relative who lives alone, here are some tips for staying safe in the kitchen.