Recently we wrote about some transportation news of interest to seniors, include a new feature of the Uber rideshare system that is aimed specifically at elderly and disabled passengers.
These days, technology-based developments like this are almost routine. While keeping abreast of them all is a challenge for anyone, there are some that stand out as being not only noteworthy to seniors, but relatively low-tech and low-complexity as well:
- GoGoGrandparent is a service that bridges the gap between rideshare networks (like Uber and Lyft), and seniors who don’t have a smartphone or computer, are uncomfortable using apps, or who don’t have a data plan available when away from home. For such users, it avoids the need to have a friend or loved one arrange for a ride, by acting as a go-between in exchange for a small additional fee. With that said, family members and caretakers can still use the service themselves if preferred, to summon a ride for an elderly or disabled person and monitor its progress. GoGoGrandparent is available in almost all U.S. states, including Rhode Island.
- Skype and FaceTime. It may be old news to many seniors, but Skype (for personal computers, tablets, and Smartphones) and FaceTime (for Apple products) is the modern-day equivalent to having a real-time video-conference call with loved ones, including those who live long-distance. These programs allow seniors – especially those who may have mobility issues – to stay connected with family members and friends without having to leave the home. And best of all, both are completely free to download and use.
- GPS Devices. For seniors who are relatively independent but are concerned about getting lost, or for those who suffer from dementia and may get disoriented, GPS technology can help. When housed in smartphones or in wearable devices such as wristbands, GPS trackers can alert family members and caregivers to the senior’s whereabouts, offering peace-of-mind to everyone involved.
- Wireless Home Monitoring. Especially for those “aging-in-place” seniors who live in their own homes independently, wireless monitoring can not only report unusual behavior such as burglaries, but it can also detect emergencies such falls or changes in the senior’s vital signs.
When it comes to technology-based products and services to promote safety, mobility, and health and well-being of seniors, these are just the tip-of-the-iceberg, with more exciting enhancements and safeguards to come. It’s never been a better time to be a senior!