4 Ways Technology Can Ease Loneliness in the Elderly
Laptop computers and smartphones which can complete a myriad of tasks in the blink of an eye are amazing but they can be a little scary for some of the older generation who are unfamiliar with them. Research by the Live-in Care Hub (www.liveincarehub.co.uk) discovered that one of the things which most affects and frightens older people is loneliness.
According to Age UK there are over 3.5 million older people living alone in the UK with 1.9 million feeling invisible or ignored. Research by a Better at Home Report found that most elderly people want to carry on living in their own home and that many were happier when they had home care.
It has also been found that when elderly people are taught how to use and take advantage of modern technology they can use it to considerably enhance their lives.
Keeping in touch has never been easier with the advances in video calling technology now available through every smartphone, pc or tablet. Skype video calling can even be installed on a smart TV. If Skype is too complicated why not download Whatsapp onto their phone so they can make video calls.
2 Hey Alexa
Devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and Echo or the Google Hub have transformed the lives of many. They work by voice recognition and can be used to control everything in the home from the lights to your favourite music compilations.
If your elderly relative is reasonably smartphone-savvy they can download apps which give them access to their local GP surgery or pharmacy and have their prescriptions delivered to them. An app called Mydodl is a new way for your relative and other family members to keep in touch with each other and it can send alerts to family members if the elderly person fails to respond to messages.
3 Motorised Scooters and Buggies
A motorised buggy is by far one of the greatest methods of combating loneliness in the elderly. They come in various sizes and usually have long-life batteries to enable them to be ridden for longer distances. A motorised scooter can be a godsend for those who may have limited mobility as with one of these they can get out and about, visiting friends and going shopping. Some are even designed to be used on uneven terrain so that those who wish to go on scenic routes can do so.
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics advances apace there are all kinds of robotic animals coming onto the market. The interactive Hasbro Cats and Dogs are surprisingly lifelike and fluffy and are fitted with sensors and motors which imitate the sounds and movements of a normal cat or dog (within limits). Something like this could be a good option for an elderly person who would love a pet to talk to and care for but is unable to have one.