Technology is an amazing gift, giving us the ability to connect to friends and family who live far away, pay bills without leaving the house and hail a cab while sitting in your living room. Technology is also transforming our lives in retirement.
With the majority of seniors today choosing to age in place instead of moving into senior living communities, technology can help support that decision by providing ease, convenience and additional safety.
Technology for Post-Retirement Work
As boomers are approaching retirement age, organizations are facing a potential “brain drain.” The challenge in turn becomes an opportunity for boomers who do not wish to leave the workforce yet. The Wall Street Journal suggested that telecommuting offers flexibility and freedom for retirees to take on consulting work and freelance projects.
The rise of the sharing economy also allows many retirees to pick up “part-time gigs.” CNBC reported that more seniors are driving for Uber and Lyft in retirement. Airbnb also stated a growth in senior hosts aged 60 or above.
In-Home Voice Assistants
Smart-home technology is designed to make your home more safe and efficient. In the past decade, we have seen home products that help you achieve energy efficiency and allow you to monitor your home through your smartphone. Last year, virtual assistants arrived at people’s homes to take orders, answer questions, make to-do and grocery shopping lists, stream music, play audio books, tell jokes and offer real-time information. Market Watch reported that older adults are buddying up with Amazon’s Alexa. A blogger shared a reader’s personal experience on how a virtual assistant helps him with elder care.
Besides home-monitoring systems and smart devices, technology companies are also coming up with solutions to reinvent the home environment for the fast-growing aging population to age in place. Philips launched its proprietary CareSensus in late 2014. Partnering with Right at Home, the connected-sensors platform of Philips enables remote-care options for seniors.
SmartSole® is another affordable and accessible home care device. The product uses GPS to track dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. In case a patient wanders, a text message and an email will be sent to caregivers to alert them of the situation. Although families and friends may not always live under the same roof with a senior loved one, technology is available to help provide peace of mind regarding the loved one’s safety.
Hilary Young is a writer dedicated to helping older Americans live healthier, more fulfilling lives. She currently blogs forHuffPost50, Fifty Is The New Fifty and Medical Guardian. You can find her on Twitter as @hyoungcreative.