7 New Technology Gadgets & Devices Breakthrough that Elderly will Enjoy this 2021

By: Rosemarie Tamunday Casanova — RN, BSN, MHA

tech gadgets and devices for elderly cover design
Graphic Artwork by Tom Banogon

The advancement of new technology this coming 2021 and beyond provides us a set of game changing tools that will enhance the life of our elderly. Affordable high-tech devices, apps, and gadgets offer breakthrough solutions to the everyday problems they encounter.

Elisa's 75 year old Mom is still living alone with herself. She lives next door to her home just about 50 feet apart from each other's house in Florida, so if there's an emergency, she can be able to get to her within a minute. A couple of days ago, her Mom had a minor fall, she only got a couple of bruises, but it completely made Elisa think that she needs some kind of medical alert device. Something that would alert her if her Mom fell again or were otherwise in distress.

Her friends suggested installing camera devices that could monitor her Mom 24/7. They also suggest using a voice controlled speaker that she can set up so if her Mom says "Call For Help" it will text and call her and she can talk to her Mom through the device. They also advise her to use a fall detection watch for her Mom where in the case the app detects a hard fall while her mom is wearing a watch, it will tap her on the wrist, sounds an alarm, and displays an alert.

Now, Elisa regularly logs into a website to check her Mom's activity, captured via wifi connection, and remotely monitors her. She can see the number of times her Mom opens the refrigerator, and when she goes into the bathroom or heads out the door. An app can alert Elisa by text, email, web or phone if something is out of the ordinary.

"By using the full potential of this new technology, it allows me to feel emotionally confident and secure that my Mom can stay in her home longer," said Elisa.

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Technology today is designed to answer Elisa's concern about her mom's safety. Thanks to the development of AI powered devices and the cloud connectivity features of these devices, families of an elderly person still living in home and away from them can finally breathe a sigh of relief and can have a peace of mind.

A smart line of new technology is giving older people more confidence in their ability to live alone. And is helping many family members avoid the difficult decision to move an aging parent from his or her home to assisted living facilities or nursing homes. IOT technology like voice activated speakers, camera sensors, GPS, bluetooth devices, smartphone monitoring apps and computers are making aging in place a viable option for an increasing number of elderly people.

There are many devices suitable for any given use or purposes. Like, a device to manage medication and track elderly living with Alzheimer's wandering activity, frequent falls and real-time health information. With GPS location tracking you can monitor parents or aging friends at home or while they go on long walks.

Check out these 10 innovative products for the elderly to simplify chores, enhance safety, and provide entertainment. These are the products that can make life easier for the elderly.

amazon echo dot

Amazon Echo Dot

The Amazon Echo Dot is a voice-activated and controlled speaker that uses Alexa to play music, control smart home devices, make calls, answer questions, set timers and alarms, and more.

Alexa is a smart cookie, built inside the Echo Dot devices and Echo is a device that uses speech recognition to perform an ever-growing range of tasks on command. Alexa's smartness relies on the internet, in the cloud-computing service run by Amazon. This converts the recording into commands that it interprets. It's more than a simple voice-to-text service. It is a fully programmable service that can work with other online services to do a surprising range of things such as playing music, receive news updates, check the weather, or set alarms to take medications.

You can set it up in their bedroom, living room, kitchen, and in their bathroom. Its built-in speaker can hear you from across the room with 7 far-field microphones for hands-free control, even in noisy environments or while playing music. So, if she says “Alexa Call For Help” it will text and call you and you can talk to him through the device.

Amazon isn't the only game in town for this sort of thing: Google, Apple, and Microsoft does offer the same voice commands feature that can do a variety of tasks. OK Google, Siri, and Cortana use the same approach but most aren't as flexible or as integrated with other services as Alexa is.

apple watch

Apple Watch

Apple Watch is a brand line of smart watches developed and produced by Apple Inc. It is integrated with iOS which run apps used in fitness tracking, wireless telecommunication, and health oriented capabilities.

Apple Watch has a managed fall detection capabilities, it can detect hard fall while you're wearing your watch. If you fall, it taps you on the wrist, sounds an alarm, and displays an alert. If your Apple Watch detects that you are not moving for at least about a minute, it will automatically make a call.

After it ends the call, your watch sends a message to your emergency contacts within your location informing them that your watch detected a hard fall.

You have the option to inform your emergency contacts or you can dismiss the alert message by pressing the Digital Crown and tapping Close, or by tapping "I'm OK." phrase.

gps smartsole

GPS SmartSole

GPS SmartSole - Tracking for Elderly and Alzheimer's, is a GPS device sealed and hidden inside a shoe insole. This ergonomic insoles uses GPS and cellular connectivity like the smartphone to send location updates to the GTX Corp Monitoring System.

The Monitoring System sends out geozone alerts to the caregivers online account or his Smart Locator app. Caregivers will receive text and email messages including links to the last known location of the person.

This tracker is developed especially for an elderly person living with Dementia and Alzheimer's. They are the one commonly exhibiting the habit of wandering; one that can cause great stress to carers and family. By relying on the cutting-edge technology like the GPS trackers, you can significantly lower the safety risks involved with this habit.

apple airpods

Apple AirPods

Apple AirPods is a great help substitute for elderly parents who have difficulty in hearing but won't get or wear hearing aids. It's wireless capability and little-known feature to amplify sound have now gone a step further.

The function called Live Listen can serve as a low-grade hearing aid. Live Listen effectively gives you super hearing by allowing you to place your iPhone close to a person or speaker you're having trouble hearing.

Once you download the new operating system, and enable the Live Listen feature (which appears as an ear icon), you can then turn up the volume on your iPhone's microphone to listen to things closely through your AirPods.

Note that if you have significant hearing impairment, AirPods may not be an appropriate substitute for a doctor or audiologist’s assessment. But, if you are looking for a simple hearing boost, the AirPods can be a cost-efficient substitute.

nanny cam

Surveillance Camera

Make sure your elderly relative is safe at home with a Nanny Cam.

As the name suggests, nanny cams are cameras placed in a home to keep an eye on your nanny, babysitter, or a caregiver who watches your children.

Leaving your elderly loved one alone in the house may be something that concerns you as a relative. You might always be thinking about their safety all the time. This is where a nanny cam can be a huge benefit, because it allows you to keep in touch with your relatives even when you are not at home.

Installing a nanny cam so you can keep an eye on your elderly relative and make sure that they are safe is a very reasonable action to take – with their permission of course. This is not spying on them, but is a way to keep them safe at home. You can install a nanny camera in your relative’s home or in your home, if they move in with you.

With a nanny cam installed in your home, you can chat to your elderly loved one even when you are at work. You can keep an eye on them in case they fall or injure themselves in some other way. Being able to see that they are okay is a great way to reduce your stress when you have to leave them alone at home. Some of the popular nanny cam that is available in the market are the following:

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The GrandPad is an easy-to-use tablet designed for not so very tech-savvy seniors in mind. It's simple-to-use and hassle free apps allow seniors to listen to music, play games, and browse safely on the internet.

The large buttons and intuitive interface make the GrandPad a simple tablet for seniors who are ready to start video chatting and sharing memories with family and friends around the world.

Family members can also upload photos and adjust settings for the GrandPad user. The device's essential apps and services remove the clutter, distractions, and complications of other devices allowing seniors to simply and instantly connect with loved ones.

gps smartsole

Tile Sticker

Tile Sticker is a small water-resistant sticker about the size of three stacked quarters that used to help track the whereabouts of anything. It comes with a 3-year battery life and is very affordable.

It helps prevent the elderly from losing everyday items like remote controls, keys, wallets, and other easily misplaced household items.

You can set it and forget it. Just use the company’s app on your phone when you need to find your things. The Pro version is ideal for valuable items and has a Bluetooth range of 400 feet.

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ROSEMARIE TAMUNDAY-CASANOVA, RN, BSN, MHAExecutive Administrator/Owner, RIGHT ACCORD Private Duty-Home Health Care

Rosemarie is a certified critical care registered nurse, has a degree in Legal Nurse Consulting and a Masters Degree in Health Administration. Rosemarie has extensive background in nursing from acute care, home care, nursing education and health care management and administration. Her longest career was a critical care nurse for Veterans HealthCare Administration. She is an approved Home Health Training Provider for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders (ADRD) by USF Training Academy on Aging.