No one likes to give up their independence. Thankfully, manufacturers and service providers are catering to the growing number of seniors who want to age in place in their own homes.
Aging in place, the preferred lifestyle for older adults, requires tools and support that allow seniors to live in their own homes safely and independently.
Products and services to facilitate aging in place are continually emerging, with technology making a big impact on home safety and quality of life. There’s never been a better, easier time to age in place.
With 10,000 baby boomers turning 65 every day, manufacturers and service providers are adapting to the growing need for tools that allow seniors to safely and affordably remain in their homes as long as possible.
Universal design: Many builders, architects and designers today are embracing the concept of universal design — producing buildings, products and environments that are inherently accessible to older people, people with and without disabilities — by combining the latest technology and modifications. Tech innovations in this area include automated heating, cooling and lighting systems controlled by smartphone applications; environmental sensors that notify homeowners of water leaks, fire, broken windows or the presence of carbon monoxide; and motion sensors that control lighting, surveillance and door locks.
Universal design also is related to “visitability” – having a home where friends or family members who rely on wheelchairs or walkers could comfortably visit or live there. Elements of such a home include zero-egress entry, wide doorways, easy-access counters, levered faucets and more.
Home and health care apps: With the Apple Watch — and new HomeKit, HealthKit and other apps —we’ll be able to control a broad range of devices with the touch of a display. Plans for future functionality include using watches to control home lighting, temperature and security, as well as monitor nutrition, exercise and health — the possibilities are endless.
Personal Emergency Response Systems: For the elderly interested in the extra security of monitoring at home, companies like Philips Lifeline make personal emergency response systems (PERS). Lifeline products include easy-to-use phones, smartphone apps, a waterproof pendant that allows the wearer to call for help 24 hours a day, and Auto Alert, which detects falls and calls for help.
For those looking for simpler solutions at home, new products continually arrive on the market, from amplified big-button phones to medication reminders to Web-enabled surveillance cameras.
About R.O.S Therapy Systems: R.O.S. Therapy Systems began as a backyard project in 2010. Scott Silknitter was searching for tools to help his mother care for his father, Roger Owen Silknitter, during a 25-year fight with Parkinson’s disease and dementia. That project became a personal mission to help all family caregivers. From family caregiver training and activity books to mobile apps to activity systems, R.O.S. has grown to become a single-source provider of informational “how to’s” and a growing provider of adaptive tools for the millions of husbands, wives, children, and family members that become caregivers.
Common sense advice and instruction based on proven principles of communication, engagement, and daily living are the heart of everything R.O.S. offers for family caregivers. Improving quality of life for caregivers is our mission, and designing everything for a family caregiver struggling with a loved one is the starting point. Whether it is dementia, diabetes, Parkinson’s, ALS, stroke, visual impairment, developmental disabilities, or any other issue that forces someone to care for a loved one, R.O.S. and its Caregiving 101 program are here to help.