Wearable Technology Helps Seniors Live At Home Longer

Hand on a wheelchair with technology watch

Wearable technology is the latest thing in the high-tech world, and the innovative gadgets aren’t just for swimmers or long-distance runners. Wearable technology can help elderly people maintain a healthy, independent lifestyle and remain in their own homes for as long as possible.

Wearable Technology—What is it?

Wearable technology consists of computerized or electronic devices that are worn by the user, often in the form of jewelry, wristbands, watches or sunglasses.

While some forms of wearable technology allow the wearer to follow weather alerts, analyze a golf swing or take videos on-the-spot, most users are interested in technology that improves day-to-day living. For elderly people, this can mean monitoring daily activities and health conditions without sacrificing quality of life.

Active seniors and baby boomers benefit from fitness trackers—fitness and personal health devices that track distance, number of steps, heart rate, blood pressure and respiration.

How Can Wearable Technology Help My Elderly Family Member?

Certain devices are programmable so that a health care professional can monitor at-risk seniors or seniors with chronic illness or dementia. The real-time data is transmitted wirelessly, enabling early intervention and preventing possible complications and trips to the hospital or emergency room.
Wearable technology can provide information about vital signs, blood sugar, food intake, hydration, exercise, medications and sleep. While the data is critical for caregivers and health care providers, it can also help seniors be proactive about their own health.

Newer types of wearable technology, usually worn around the wrist, act as sensors that send and receive signals from other sensors placed at various locations in the senior’s home or living area. If the sensor indicates that the wearer has fallen, it sends an immediate message to caretakers or family members.

Some devices are so advanced that they can monitor the wearer’s typical day-to-day activity. If behavior is erratic or the wearer deviates from his usual pattern or schedule, the device can send a message to a family member or primary contact person via text, email or web page.
As technology changes at lightning speed, wearable devices become even more sophisticated and easier to use. Some devices have an extremely long battery life and others are waterproof. Wearable technology expected to be available soon includes devices that can control body temperature or track number of coughs or trips to the bathroom.