Taking care of yourself or those that you care about isn’t always easy. Luckily, there have been so many advancements in technology recently that the process is easier than ever. As people live for longer, it is important that we all make the most of the opportunities for care around us.
Our blog this month at Horizon Care looks into technology advances and caring to see what we can do to change our lives.
Who Is Using Technology?
Even though it may not seem like it, the elderly are using technology more than ever. According to the Office for National Statistics, 41% of adults who are 75 years + use the internet regularly. Women in particular have been using the internet more and this figure has trebled since 2011.
For those aged between 65 and 74, the use of the internet has gone from 52% in 2011 to 78% in 2017. More people own mobile phones and tablets now than before. This includes 27% of those over the age of 75.
A recent report by Ofcom found that 92% of 65 to 74-year-olds use a mobile phone. To add to this, 81% of over 75s said they use a mobile phone. It is clear that technology has made a huge impact on how people communicate as well as care.
Mobiles and Tablets
Using mobile devices to stay in contact with family members is a huge benefit of technology. Although, they can also be a handy way of managing your daily routines. There are endless apps and websites out there to help with caring, providing an alternative.
Some great ways of using a phone or tablet for care can be:
- Skype – staying in contact with relatives and friends
- Gaming – keeping occupied and improving brain activity
- Pill Reminder Apps – if you experience forgetfulness, this is a fantastic aid
- Fitness Apps – staying fit and healthy is easy to do
- Weather, News and Social Media – simply to keep on top of what’s going on
- Watching and Streaming – there are plenty of on-demand and music streaming services
Assistance Around the Home
Technology doesn’t stop at the internet. Stairlifts, scooters and other mobility products have been around for a long time and offer more than they used to. Having these in your home makes movement easier and helps to prevent falls, keeping you safe.
There are also plenty of other items on the market including clocks, stove alarms, pill dispensers, memo reminders and more.
Smart technology is also another thing to consider. Having this installed is usually easy to do and gives you control over a range of areas. Depending on what you’ve bought, you can control heating, security cameras, alarms and more.
Televisions and Gaming
One of the hardest things to do can be to remain social. There can be many reasons why a person may find it difficult to leave the home, from medical conditions to time constraints. However, technology can provide much-needed reassurance. Whether you’re watching a TV show or are searching for videos on YouTube, TVs and other devices can offer support as well as something to do.
Gaming is also another surprising but popular way for people to spend their time. The Technology in Later Life (TILL) project has been carrying out research into the older generation and their use of gaming. Linking games with health hasn’t always come up with a popular response, but there are so many advantages to the technology of a games console.
Being less mobile does not impact your ability to play. There are various consoles including PlayStations, Xbox as well as the Nintendo Wii and Switch, all of which provide a huge range of games. There is also development into exercise programmes and in the future the potential for even more.
The Future of Care
Over the next few years, further development in technology is bound to happen. With more use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) as well as Voice Optimised Systems like Alexa, the care industry may change.
You can find out more about technology available on Which? and other sites.