Enhancing Home Safety: The Role of Assistive Technology for Seniors

As your loved ones age, their risk of in-home accidents and injuries increases. Seniors are at a higher risk of falls, and health and mobility problems can increase their chances of accidents even in the safety of their own homes.

Assistive technology for seniors allows seniors to age in place at home while still staying safe. Assistive technology devices include smart watches and other wearable technology, health tracking apps, and alarm systems and cameras. Learn more about enhancing your loved one’s home safety through the use of assistive technology for seniors.  

What Is Assistive Technology for Seniors? 

Assistive technology is a device or piece of equipment that enhances senior safety in the home. Using assistive technology devices can increase your loved one’s independence while also maintaining their comfort, quality of life, and well-being. There are a wide variety of different types of assistive devices, many of which have different purposes and goals. The primary goal of all assistive devices is to enhance senior independence so that seniors can age in place in the comfort of their own homes. 

How Do You Know if Your Loved One Needs an Assistive Device? 

Your loved one may need an assistive device if they are developing problems with health, memory, mobility, or abilities. Assistive devices can make everyday tasks easier and alert you or other trusted family members if your loved one experiences a problem. Consider an assistive device for your loved one if you notice these issues:

  • Having trouble getting up from a seated position, getting in and out of bed, or getting to and from the bathroom
  • One or more falls or accidents in the home in the last year
  • Memory problems or forgetfulness
  • Wandering or leaving the home alone
  • Dexterity issues that make it hard to do fine motor tasks
  • Forgetting to take medication
  • An injury or illness that has affected safety or independence
  • Aren’t ready to move into an assisted living home but aren’t completely safe living alone

Exploring Different Types of Assistive Technology

There are many different types of assistive technology and assistive devices that can make your loved one’s life safer and more comfortable:

  • Personal Alarms – Personal alarms are small devices usually worn around the neck or wrist. They have a button your loved one can press if they fall, injure themselves, or experience a health or safety emergency. The alarm notifies a monitoring agency that can contact you, another family member, and first responders for quick help. 
  • Wearable Health Trackers – Wearable health trackers can monitor and record your loved one’s heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygenation, and more. This information can alert you and your loved one if there is a health problem, and can also transmit information to your loved one’s physician. These devices are especially helpful during the recovery period after an injury or illness. 
  • Fall Sensors – Fall sensors are wearable devices that can sense if your loved one has fallen. They can alert you, another family member, and first responders so your loved one gets help quickly. 
  • Smart Home Technology – Smart home technology can make it easier for your loved one to control devices in their home. Smart devices allow your loved one to control the thermostat, lights, security system and alarms, and appliances by using their voice or pressing a button. These devices are helpful for people with vision or mobility problems or who have trouble operating switches and dials.
  • Home Alarms and Cameras – Security alarms and cameras will give you and your loved one insight into the safety of their home. You and your loved one can get alerts when doors or windows are left open or unlocked or when someone enters or leaves the home.
  • Home Automation Technology – Home automation technology also helps seniors with mobility and dexterity issues. Automated window shades, fans, lights, and other devices can be controlled with remotes or an app and are easy and safe to operate.
  • GPS Trackers – If your loved one is in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia, a GPS tracker can be very helpful. If your loved one begins to wander away from home, you can quickly find them. 
  • Memory Aids – Memory aids can also help seniors who are experiencing memory problems. A memory aid can offer a verbal or visual reminder to take medication, eat, feed pets, and take care of other daily tasks. 
  • Communication Aids – Assistive communication aids make it easier for seniors to communicate with their loved ones, physicians, and in-home caregivers. Voice to text and text to speech devices can help people communicate, and accessible mobile phones and computers can make it easier for loved ones to stay in touch and avoid isolation and loneliness. 
  • Visual Aids and Screen Readers – Visual aids and screen readers help seniors who have vision problems or trouble using technology. 
  • Adaptive Home Safety Devices – Adaptive home safety devices improve the safety of the home and help your loved one get around safely. These devices include grab bars for the shower, toilet, and bed as well as motion-activated lights, non-slip flooring, and more.

Benefits of Assistive Technology

Using assistive technology in your loved one’s home can maintain your loved one’s independence and increase your peace of mind. The biggest benefits of assistive technology are:

  • Allow your loved one to maintain independence and age in place in the comfort of their own home
  • Protect your loved one’s health and safety
  • Reduce the risk of accidents, falls, and injuries
  • Offer prompt notification to trusted parties if there is an accident
  • Provide important reminders
  • Make everyday tasks easier and safer
  • Provide insight into your loved one’s health
  • Enhance communication and accessibility

Home Safety Evaluations to Reduce the Risk of Accidents

In addition to assistive devices, scheduling a home safety evaluation can reduce your loved one’s risk of an accident at home. A safety evaluator will go room by room and assess the safety of each area. They will provide you with a written report and recommendations for changes, repairs, and upgrades to make to improve home safety. 

Considering Respite and In-Home Care Options

Home safety evaluations and assistive devices can allow your loved one to age in place at home. However, if you are the primary caregiver for your loved one, consider hiring a senior care specialist or in-home caregiver for respite care so that you don’t experience caregiver burnout. 

Learn More About Home Safety and In-Home Care

If your loved one wants to avoid moving into an assisted living home but needs some extra help, contact us at Placita In Home Care. We offer compassionate, professional in-home care services for seniors in Southern Arizona. We can help your loved one with the activities of daily living as well as provide companionship, memory care, and safety. We also provide free home safety evaluations and complimentary assisted living placement services when needed. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a consultation for in-home care or to learn more about our home safety evaluations.