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Friday, August 22, 2014

Wearable Gadgets to Track Your Every Move: Monitoring the Older American with Technology

The latest tech products targeted at Older Americans include several wearable gadgets. These gadgets are similar to wrist watches and track movements, hoping to capture a person's activity level and send alerts when there are sudden changes in routines. There's even a device to monitor small appliances, sending notice to a long-distance caregiver when their loved one does not turn on the television in the evening or use the microwave at lunchtime as they do every day. Are these tech products improving the lives of seniors? While older "basic" technology for aging has shown to improve safety, such as the wearable medical alarm pendant, the newer technology has yet to win any massive acceptance. Only when there is meaningful data to support the benefits of using technology for aging will there be improved acceptance and inclusion as  standard of care.The new technology may be more stimulating and envious to younger generations who are considered tech-savvy and arduous to those who have failed to make the digital world part of their life. Monitoring the Older American using technology will require learning the device, putting it to use, troubleshooting, and using the data effectively.  Nothing changes the fact a primary caregiver or hired professional must be actively involved to handle the implementation and ensure appropriate actions are taken when needed. 

Five new Technologies for Aging in Place: July-August, 2014

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