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How Technology Is Assisting in Aged Care

Technology Assisting People in Aged Care

In 2017, roughly 3.8 million Australians were aged 65 and over, with this number expected to double by 2057. With the rise of an ageing population, the pressure will continue to increase care for the ageing. But this shouldn’t be seen as a problem. In a digital world where technology is ever-evolving, there are numerous opportunities for technology to step in and relieve the pressure. In fact, it has started to do so already. There are a number of new technologies still being tested in order to provide aged care assistance.

Assistive technology is any device that allows a person to complete tasks that they would have previously found difficult or were unable to do, as safely and independently as possible. Ageing is inevitable. But there are a number of assistive technologies available, whether you’re in care or at home. It’ll help you live independently and have a good quality of life, for as long as possible.

Wearable technology

Wearable technology has been around for many years now, but it’s becoming increasingly popular with aged care. Many frail or elderly people use wearable technology in their own homes. They use it to track not only their vitals but also to let their family and friends know they’re okay. Wearable technology includes devices worn to collect and report on heart rate, calories burned, blood pressure, and activity time. It’s anything from a simple heart rate monitor, to a step counter or a smartwatch.

Aside from monitoring your vitals such as blood pressure and heart rate, certain wearable devices also detect whether an activity hasn’t occurred in an unusually long period of time. This alerts someone to check in with you. You can use it to set alarms and remind yourself to take certain medications too.

VR

VR refers to virtual reality. Virtual reality devices allow you to experience a simulated environment. It’s both visual and auditory through the use of a wearable headset. The virtual environment can either be a realistic or unrealistic experience. And while its original creations were put to use for those who enjoy gaming, it can be a huge help to those undergoing physical therapy.

Whether you’ve had a stroke, surgery, or an injury, and require therapy to gain more movement in a particular area, VR can help you work on certain exercises, without the physical presence of your therapist. A simulated person will talk to you. They’ll show you how to do particular exercises in the comfort of your own home.

Smart contact lenses

Smart contact lenses are not quite ready for the market yet. They’re essentially normal contact lenses fitted with a microchip that is able to assist people with managing diabetes as well as certain eye problems. The technology is able to read and report on vitals such as your glucose level in your tears. It also determines the rate of glaucoma progression. The method, which is hoped to be more accurate than current methods, will then send the data to the patient’s smartphone in order for a specialist to monitor and determine the correct treatment.

Unfortunately, smart contact lenses are not available yet as current research has not proven that the glucose level found in tears is an accurate picture of a person’s real glucose levels. At the moment, drawing blood is still the most trusted and precise method of determining a person’s diabetes status. The research has not yet stopped though. In the near future, we may see smart contact lenses available for those of us with eye or diabetes-related issues.

While new technologies may seem daunting to try out, they are available to help you live the best possible life well into retirement. Whether you need help at home or assistance with the transition into an aged care facility, various assistive technologies can help you acquire the best possible quality of life.


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