1. VTech's CareLine phone -- could be useful. The VTech has large buttons and a visual ring to help with vision, hearing, and dexerity issues. But my favorite feature is the photo speed dial to make it easy for seniors to reach out to caregivers and family without having to remember the every changing phone numbers of a younger generation. Seniors seeking to remain independent need help finding the right people at the right time. Studies also show a strong correlation between staying connected to others and the health of older adults. A Harvard University report said odds of mental decline doubled for seniors with no social ties compared to those who had frequent contact with relatives and friends or participated in social activities. Researchers in another study found individuals with a rich social network lived at least 1.6 years longer than their peers. The ability to connect easily increases safety and health.
2. The FitBit is a nice tool that allows someone to track their activity levels and sleep patterns. With encouragement to get active and move and useful information on sleep issues, it can be a real boon to seniors trying to stay active to maintain their health and independence. Seniors can also easily share their progress and challenge each other with online applications and encouragement.
3. Failing to take medications properly is one of the biggest health risks seniors' face. Failure to properly manage medications is such a common cause of temporary mental incapacity that as a Guardian ad Litem for seniors I am trained to look for it in every case. It is also one of the reasons why there is a death in American from accidental overdoses of prescription drugs in America every 19 minutes. Want to help avoid that with seniors in your life. There is an app for that. Irody is a smart phone or tablet application that records medication prescriptions, gives reminders to meds, and can identify medications visually for patients confused about which pill to take.
At Phinney Estate Law we are always seeking ways to help Seniors maintain their sense of independence and dignity while helping families cooperative manage the challenges that can come with aging. A good estate plan that includes complete powers of attorney and an advanced health care directives is one of the most powerful tools seniors and their families can use to meet those goals but we encourage families to look for other tools as well and technology is an overlooked option. For more information on aging in place technology check out this dedicated blog. And remember, an estate plan makes an unique and useful gift too! To find out more or to schedule a free half hour consultation, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 459-1908.