If you ask anyone where they would like to live when older, most would say that they want to remain living in their own homes- for as long as possible. What does ‘for as long as possible’ mean? Most times in means that the older individual is able to remain living safely and is able to afford whatever care may be needed to help them maintain their independence and safety. Other times it means that the necessary care is not only affordable but is available and that any necessary home adaptations are possible; for example an older home may not be able to accommodate a stair glide and the installation of an elevator is cost prohibitive.
However, there are some of the ‘softer’ accommodation devices that help an older individuals maintain their comfort and independence.
Money Watch highlighted in their October 10, 2017 post a number of ‘smart home’ devices, ranging from controlling thermostats and lighting, to playing music and placing telephone calls and being able to view who is ringing their doorbell. Reminders for medication administration and automatic stove controls are also available.
Some recent start up companies have widened their ‘help with independence net’ and have developed some very interesting apps and resources including: Uber for seniors, companies that will ensure timely bill payment and management, visual monitoring aids and my own personal favorite, a UK company specializing in aids and devices for those with memory loss. Closer to home a Toronto start up has developed a ‘steadiglove’ which reduces hand tremors, a common symptom of Parkinson’s Disease. The Dementia Hackathon in which I was a mentor/judge last March, provided a wonderful first hand and up close look at technology that will be a life saver and life changer for many. Every day there are new developments and I look forward to having affordable access to them.