A handful of tech companies are developing tools that they claim are designed to help seniors live independently for longer periods of time. One of the flashier ways that this is being approached is through the use of a digital assistant or another type of artificial intelligence. Through the use of smart technology, it is easier to track normal behaviors throughout the house and make sure that your loved one stays safe. Things like medication refills, sleeping patterns, and falls can also be tracked through the use of some sort of digital assistance.
Although this kind of technology does exist, there are some setbacks to it. For one, it can be expensive. Not everyone has the expendable income to spend on an advanced technology like this. Costs have gone down considerably for electronic devices like this over the last five years or so and this has made tech a lot more easily accessible, but it’s still not a universally available thing. Also, technology can be difficult to use for some seniors. For those who have grown up using technology or were introduced to computers at an early age, a lot of these things are easy to figure out. But for those that were introduced to things like this at an older age, smart technology can be difficult to navigate. This puts some seniors at a disadvantage right from the start.
Still, AI can do quite a bit of good. They can help an older loved one manage themselves and their home with more ease. They can delay the need for more intensive supervision and can be a safeguard when a caregiver is not in the home helping.
This is probably something that you have spent some time wondering about yourself. Can technology really make life better for our families? There’s no doubt that tech items can make life more convenient–being able to watch a movie on your phone while you take the bus into work is an awesome advancement. But does this kind of thing really make life better?
Easy access to entertainment does not equate with a higher quality of life, especially when safety and health concerns are on the table. It is only when technology is able to step in and actually make a noticeable difference that this threshold is crossed. Tech has started to do that, but even the best items cannot do it completely.
I’ve said it before, but it is worth saying again. There’s no replacement for human contact. No technology will ever be able to fully do what a human caregiver can do. The best artificial intelligence and the most responsive hardware cannot provide companionship. This is something that only a person can do. Technology is only a supplement to good care. That’s why having some sort of senior care on your side is important. Even if that is an occasional check in from a family member or respite caregiver, human touch is important. Make sure that they elderly individuals in your life have this in place before thinking about introducing any sort of tech to supplement care.