You may have a vague recollection of a post I wrote back in April called ‘The Internet of things” looking at the interactive technology becoming available and impacting on our daily lives.
What concerns us most as we get older and recognizing that in a few years the over 65 year olds will outnumber those under 5 years of age is the impact this inevitably will have on health care, and in particular on the dramatic rise in dementia related illnesses as we age, so e.g. at the age of 90 some 50% of women and 30% of men will suffer from the condition.
For many the prospect of having to leave their homes
does not rate well and we all attempt to stay active and independent for as long as that is possible in spite of a constant barrage of advertisements for retirement villages and care facilities.
Now may be a good time – whilst we can – give thought to ‘the internet of things’ i.e. the use of technology in our daily lives, spanning from the use of communication devices and computers through to the greater sophistication becoming available, or already available, for not only monitoring the daily environment by using our devices as sensors, but also process information and controlling heating and air conditioning, lighting, locking doors and windows and reminding people to take their medications, or just encouraging us to be active, or go for a walk.
Such data collected in the home through ‘the internet of things’ can then be used to provide an overall assessment of daily living from which any deviations create a trigger to alert family or carers of the change.
It is clear that the individual may think that to learn to use all these new-fangled gizmos is just too much, with other words acceptance by the elderly for things like remote monitoring may not sit easily, or they may think that by using alarms they will be seen as frail or incompetent or ‘old’. They may be concerned about being unable to use the devices properly or triggering false alarms, and not least the cost of the items may be seen as too much.
One solution may suit one but not another, but that is no excuse for not adopting it for those it will help. Whilst the adoption of the Internet of Things in the home may still be little way off on a general level we can expect to see cheaper, more attractive and useful devices integrated with smartphones and computers and the apps running on them.
What we at Kapiti SeniorNet can do is to help foster an acceptance of the technologies that will make it possible for more of our elderly community to remain in their homes if they so wish, and yet have the advantage of increased safety and care that much of interactive technology becoming available aims to provide to allow you to stay independent and active for longer.
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