Different Types of Assistive Technology
Senior citizens often face unique challenges that call for unique solutions. These days, there are many different types of assistive technology available that can drastically elevate a person’s quality of life.
From basic products like shower seats and grab bars to high-tech devices like monitoring systems and call buttons, the right products make a tremendous difference in promoting safety, independence, and happiness.
Discover the essential must-have items that should be in every elderly home, as well as the products that just make life a little easier and more enjoyable.
1. Fall and Wander Prevention Systems
Just one minor fall can have devastating short and long-term results. Of course, it’s not always possible to be there for your loved one or client 24/7, so implementing precautionary measures is crucial. When it comes to the different types of assistive technology available today, fall prevention systems are easily one of the most important.
So, how do they work? Basically, a central monitoring unit (CMU) connects with motion sensors that can be placed on bed pads, chair pads, floor mats, and other areas throughout the household. If the senior moves from a safe location, the caretaker receives an immediate notification.
2. Call for Help Buttons
An emergency response system gives your client or loved one peace of mind, knowing they have access to emergency services if an incident should occur. This is another one of the most vital of all of the different types of assistive technology on the market, especially for those who are prone to accidents.
Seniors can place emergency response buttons throughout the home in areas that are easily accessible, and they can also wear pendants. In the case of an emergency situation, the senior simply presses the button and they’re connected to an emergency response team that can contact caretakers, family, or emergency services.
3. Medication Dispensers
24/7 monitoring isn’t always a realistic option, and it can be difficult for seniors to manage their medications. For those who take multiple prescriptions or have complex dosing schedules, medication dispensers are often the most essential out of all the different types of assistive technology.
Medication dispensers deliver audio and/or visual alerts when it’s time to take the medication. Between doses, the dispensers stay locked, only opening at the appropriate times. Some devices even include computer monitoring that allows family members or caretakers to be notified if any discrepancies in dosing are detected.
4. Smartphones and Tablets
While traditional smartphones and tablets may be too difficult for some elderly people to navigate, there are simplified options that are made specifically for senior citizens and people with disabilities. These devices can be extraordinarily useful for a number of reasons, making them one of the most versatile of all the different types of assistive technology.
For starters, smartphones and tablets help seniors to stay connected with their family using social media, email, and messaging services. They can also use their devices to order household items, food, and anything else. Additionally, seniors can read ebooks, play basic games, and browse the internet.
5. Automatic Stove Shutoff Devices
An unattended stove can easily lead to a fire. Fortunately, there are solutions available. You simply connect the device to the stove, and if it hasn’t detected movement for a certain amount of time, the device automatically turns off the stove. This allows senior citizens to enjoy cooking at home or in facilities without worrying about forgetting to turn off the stove.
6. Doorbell Transmitters
Out of the many different types of assistive technology, this one often goes overlooked -- until you realize how important it is because you’re not able to visit a loved one because they don’t hear you at the door. A wireless doorbell transmitter sends a signal to a receiver that notifies the person that someone is at the door. These devices are especially useful for anyone who is hard of hearing.
7. Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alert Systems
Those who are hearing impaired (or heavy sleepers) may not be adequately notified of smoke or carbon monoxide through traditional alarms. Alert systems include powerful bed vibrators that shake the bed to alert seniors if smoke or carbon monoxide is detected. Of all the different types of assistive technology, this is one that should already be in place if your client or loved one is hearing impaired.
8. Automatic Devices
Seniors often face challenges that well-bodied people wouldn’t even think to consider. Installing automatic solutions throughout the home is a great way to help them overcome these obstacles. For example, an assistive seating device can help to lift people from their chairs into a standing position. Automatic countertops and shelves that can raise or lower are also very helpful. Stair elevators can also be a valuable addition to homes with multiple floors.
9. Electric Wheelchairs/Scooters
It can be difficult for seniors to get around unassisted. Electric wheelchairs and scooters empower them to move around their communities without over-exerting themselves. While it’s usually the most expensive out of all the different types of assistive technology, the amount of joy and independence it can bring is often well-worth the cost of admission.
10. Smart Lights and Outlets
Sometimes even basic things that we take for granted such as turning a light on or off can be a struggle for seniors. Smart lights and electrical outlets connect to WiFi, and they can be controlled using a smartphone app, or in some cases, they can be voice-activated. You may need to help your client or loved one set up their system, but once it’s in place, it can really make their life easier.
Shop the Best Assistive Technology
Assisted Living Technologies is proud to offer many different types of assistive technology for senior citizens and disabled people We encourage you to call us at (203) 235-8324 or contact us online if you have any questions about our innovative products. Give your client or loved one the gift of a happier, healthier, safer, and more independent life.