When we get older, we are not happy to just sit around and let time run its course. No, when we get older, we want to do so in a way that we can remain active, graceful, and independent. There are a lot of ways to do this, but thanks to the constant advancements that are being made in technology, growing older this way is now more doable than ever. It is presenting a huge opportunity for a lot of people that work in technology, but more so than anything, it is allowing seniors to live much happier lives as a result.
So, what new technology is emerging that will assist the elderly, and who are the people behind such tech? This article will go deeper into these questions.
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Of course, while the devices listed below are great for keeping people active and independent as they age, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be instances where people need some extra help. This does not have to come in the form of round-the-clock care; with assisted living facilities such as Brandywine Haddonfield, you are able to receive the care that you need as and when you need it while remaining as independent as you like as well. It is something to consider if you feel like you do not have as firm a grip on your life as you used to.
The first piece of technology that is going to help the elderly live happier lives comes from Carrie Shaw. At 19, her mother (aged 51 at the time) was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Carrie realized after the diagnosis that she would be able to take better care of her mother if she had more of a grasp on what the disease was and how it affected people in the way that it does.
In light of this realization, she launched Embodied Labs in August 2016. She rolled out a very immersive program in which she would use virtual reality headsets, which, when worn, were able to offer simulations in which caregivers were able to take on the persona of an aging person who is facing a certain situation. These situations could be the likes of macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s disease.
It is widely accepted that if you are able to have such insight into someone’s condition, then you are going to be much better at offering them empathy and care. The business itself is doing incredibly well, too, so it looks as though this kind of technology will certainly be expanded upon.
This is an organization that was originally founded in 2016 as a way to help older adults avoid feelings of loneliness and also social isolation. This a common problem that occurs amongst seniors and can, in turn, lead to them experiencing poor health. Essentially, Intuition Robotics is trying to make virtual sidekicks that will lead to happier aging. This can be seen in their debut product, which is a robot called ElliQ.
The product uses artificial intelligence in order to initiate conversation and help the senior stay in touch with family or loved ones remain in touch with healthy behavior, be reminded to take medication, and also stay connected with the outside world.
The product has no intention of becoming repetitive in its actions either, as it comes with a huge variety of ways to speak, with 117 different ways to say ‘good morning’ coming with it. It will be able to carry out simple actions and use them as prompts to make sure the senior is living a healthy life. For instance, it may check the weather and see that it is going to be sunny and so suggest going for a walk.
While working for Hasbro, Ted Fischer was responsible for developing a series of robotic pets that were designed as a means to foster meaningful relationships with their owners. The largest customer base actually came from older adults rather than kids, as these pets had a unique ability to engage, delight, provide companionship, soothe the owner and keep them calm. As such, they became invaluable assets for a number of seniors.
After seeing these stats and realizing the above has no age limit, the company decided to launch its brand of companion pets under the name ‘Joy For All’. The products come with different sensors that let them interact with their owner as if they were a real-life pet. They respond to touch and come with different types of purring and barking sounds. The feel of the heartbeat even slows down if a hand is placed on its back.
The Joy For All management team eventually left Hasbro in 2018 so that they could form Ageless Innovation. They are now responsible for running the brand completely independently as they continue to create new robotic companions. Ted Fischer actually commented on this move by saying, “Our purpose is to reimagine how we age positively by unleashing the power of play.” He went on to comment on how these pets that they have been creating are an effective but also non-traditional intervention when addressing loneliness amongst other adults.
The products can be bought individually but then have also been sold to businesses, such as senior living communities, who are giving the toys to their patients. It is doing incredibly well thanks to the effectiveness that the products seem to have.
There are a lot of ways that people are able to grow old happy, and with grace. Technology is playing a massive part in this, as people from all over the world are constantly developing new products and software that is allowing people to grow older in a much better way. This could be because of the fact that carers are able to provide much better treatment that is more tailored towards their condition or creating products that cater to some of the mental challenges that come with aging, such as loneliness.
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