by Joshua M. Neuma
ne of the greatest developments in the history of humankind has been the technological advances of our civilization over the last 100 years. In 1921, there were no computers, no electronic televisions, no microwaves and no cell phones. Technology is constantly changing and evolving to help society grow and improve. One group that has benefited immensely from the world’s technological innovations is seniors.
One such invention is digital pill dispensers. These products help our senior population stay safe by tracking daily, weekly and monthly medications. There are alarm functions that help remind our seniors that it is time to take medication. An automatic digital pill dispenser may not seem like a complicated concept or an advanced technological achievement, but it saves lives. Medication error is a leading cause of death among the elderly, and digital pill dispensers help minimize those errors.
Another form of technology helpful to seniors is medical alert fall detectors. These are vital for seniors who live independently and would otherwise have no assistance in the event of a fall or some other accident. Each medical alert device on the market has a help button that will immediately alert paramedics to assist. As medical alert technology has progressed, the systems have become more lightweight and inconspicuous. There are also automatic fall detection systems so that the help button does not need to be activated. However, this technology is still evolving, and automatic fall detectors are not 100% accurate.
In addition to medical devices, one type of technology helpful to seniors is video communication. Video technology has become especially prevalent during the COVID-19 global pandemic that has ravaged the world. Seniors and other at-risk populations have become even more isolated due to the concerns of contracting the airborne virus. Thus, many seniors can only interact with family and friends through video web chatting functions such as Zoom and Facetime. Although video chatting does not replicate the in-person get-togethers we all miss and crave, the video capabilities are the next best thing for seniors to stay in touch with family and friends.
One final technology that is helpful to seniors is Wii Sports. That’s right, a video game. Wii Sports combines light exercise and mental activity into a fun-filled game environment. Bowling, volleyball, tennis and dance are just some of the features that come with Wii Sports. These game systems have come a long way in terms of graphics and virtual capabilities, and Wii Sports is just one option for seniors to have fun and stay active. All of this is possible through the power of technology.
Although technology can be frustrating—and sometimes daunting, especially when using it for the first time—many technological advances have truly helped our senior population live and grow. In the future, technology will continue to evolve and become more widely available to seniors and other everyday consumers. These technological developments are all significant to advancing society and will help all of us live happier and safer lives.