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5 ways tech can help you live at home longer

Technology changes are allowing retirees to stay in their home for longer than previous generations. We look at some of the gadgets that can help you maintain your independence.

When we retire we want to stay active, and at home, for as long as we possibly can and we are living in an age when technology can help us do that. Often we view tech with suspicion as we age but with the right technological support we can actually use it to our advantage.

Whether it is tech to keep us connected, tech to help with a fall or ordering you groceries online so you don’t have to go out there is a range of options for seniors to make their life easier. We look at a few of the best:

Billy

Designed by brothers from Melbourne, Billy is a digital monitoring system that relies on a series of sensors placed throughout the home to help pick up activity. It sounds a bit Big Brother but Billy tracks temperature, movement and when doors open and it shares that information with a family member of your choosing – basically so they can check you are alright. They are not cameras; they can’t see you. But if the sensors suddenly stop showing movement it might be that someone has had a fall or is in need of assistance.

Medical alerts

A more primitive version of Billy is the medical alert, which is “wearable tech” that can alert family members if you have a fall or any other health issue and allow them to respond quickly. Names like MedicAlert Foundation have been in this space for years, but the tech is improving all the time.

Buy groceries online

This is a great service if you have had an injury or just find it a bit trickier to get to the shops – or even if you are too busy leading a very active life! Both the major supermarkets, Coles and Woolworths, offer the service. While it is not perfect yet – if an item is not available the store it will pick a “similar” item which you may not be as happy with – it is improving all the time and a real help for seniors.

Reminder apps

You will have seen the plastic pill reminders that help you take your medication by sorting it into the relevant days of the week, but now you can get an electronic version too. Apps like Medisafe will give you a notification when you need to take your medication and help you keep track of the doses you have taken so you don’t double up. A must if you have a few medications you need to be sorting out.

Webcams

While they will never replace a good old face-to-face, getting a webcam means you can check in with family and friends and get a good look at them. You can sit down to chat with family on the other side of the world or let your family check in on and you and see that you are fighting fit. Worth the effort of working out how to use it!

We all want to stay at home for as long as possible, but it is best to be safe, not stubborn. And making friends with some of the new technologies that assist seniors may mean you stay independent for longer.