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August 21st is National Senior Citizens Day.  Along with the disabled, seniors are the group reaping tons of benefits of assistive technology in recent years.

As we age, we will inevitably experience the negative effects like loss of sight and mobility. These symptoms of aging can reduce someone's quality of life, especially if they are unable to work or if they live away from close friends and family members.

The good news is that there is a growing arsenal of assistive devices and technologies that can make a huge difference for older people. 'Assistive technology' is a large category that include everything from hearing aids and grab bars to wheelchair lifts and dictation software.  Due to improved safety and monitoring option, these devices are allowing seniors to stay at home and live independently much longer than they used to.

Here are some exciting recent developments:

Fall Detection

The Walabot HOME device (pictured) can be mounted on the wall of the bathroom (where 80% of falls take place) and can detect if someone falls, and the user doesn't have to wear any device. Once detected, the Walabot automatically alerts the emergency contact through the two-way voice, text message. The alarm can be disabled simply by standing up.

Medication Help and Safety

Simple devices like the Med-E-Lert Premium Locking Automatic Pill Dispenser will start flashing and make an audio alert when it is time to take your medication. Additionally, it will lock future doses to prevent overdosing.

More Elaborate devices like the MedMinder Medication Dispenser (pictured, right) will not only notify the patient when to take their meds, it will also also notify caretakers if the regimen is not being followed.  The device can connect directly to the caretaker or emergency contact so they can communicate with the user.

Mobile Apps to Monitor Health

The Kardia Mobile app (pictured, by AliveCor) allows anyone who has it to put their fingers on a sensor and within 30 seconds get a hospital quality EKG at any time.  The device is very automatic once installed, saves the results and can share with caretakers and/or medical team. It can help detect symptoms like atrial fibrillation, bradycardia, tachycardia or abnormal heart rhythm

The Omron Evolve Blood Pressure Monitor can keep on top of the users blood pressure in order to prevent heart attacks. The user need only slide their arm into the arm cuffand press a button and their blood pressure will be measured, the results stored, and the caretaker or medical team can be alerted as well.

Magnifiers for Reading and More

There are tons of devices to help those with limited vision enjoy a better quality of life.RUBY 7 HD (pictured, from Freedom Scientific) magnifies written materials to help with reading.It can also help with writing, distance viewing, and even a mirror-image self-view.

Contact Us for Help

Contact Northwest Ergonomics & Wellness if you are experiencing a loss of movement, hearing, sight, or any other disability that technology may be able to assuage. You won't know what is possible until you contact the experts. We have a dedicated team of assistive technology specialists who really care about our clients and go the extra mile to find them solutions to keep them productive and happy. You can fill out a form on the contact page, or call us at 206-707-8380.

 

An excellent article published earlier this month in the Oakland Press newspaper highlights the crucial impact that assistive technology has upon those who are older and feeling the effects of aging.

As we age, we will inevitably experience the negative effects like loss of sight and mobility. These symptoms of aging can reduce someone's quality of life, especially if they are unable to work or if they live away from close friends and family members.

The good news is that there is a growing arsenal of assistive devices and technologies that can make a huge difference for older people. 'Assistive technology' is a large category that include everything from hearing aids and grab bars to wheelchair lifts and dictation software.

Identifying the Problem & Getting Help

The gradual nature of many signs of aging causes us to ignore them, or perhaps even not realize they are occurring.  Ignoring or hiding issues doesn’t do any good and may be detrimental to health or quality of life.

The first step is identifying challenges and getting connected to the right people who can help. A company like ours, Northwest Ergonomics and Wellness, can help families and employers find the right resources and training to address their needs. We specialize in assistive solutions to keep people working and happily computing.

Lots of Solutions Available

The majority of workplace solutions that we are called upon to implement have to do with overcoming physical challenges to work on computers. One of our most frequently requested services is the implementation and training of Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation software which can open up new worlds to those who are struggling to use their computer due to movement or sight issues.

There is also a plethora of other devices available that allow feet and your voice to trigger actions that are traditionally done with the hands.

Help for People of All Ages

These technological leaps have benefited people of all ages, not just the elderly. There are people of all ages who struggle with movement due to diagnoses like cerebral palsy and Parkinson's Disease.  Some people have experienced repetitive motion injuries like carpal tunnel problems.

The goal is to make the home and workspace as safe and user-friendly as safe as possible by incorporating devices thoughtfully as needed. This is best achieved when decisions are made as soon as possible and not while in crisis mode.

The Importance of Your Attitude

Change is difficult and accepting that your body is changing can be sad and frustrating.   We have found that our clients who thrive the most are the ones who stay as positive as possible about adopting new tools and processes.  Having a caring consultant like our assistive technology specialists can make a huge difference in the attitude of someone who is adjusting to new routines.

Contact Us for Help

Contact Northwest Ergonomics & Wellness if you are experiencing a loss of movement, hearing, sight, or any other disability that technology may be able to assuage. You won't know what is possible until you contact the experts. We have a dedicated team of assistive technology specialists who really care about our clients and go the extra mile to find them solutions to keep them productive and happy. You can fill out a form on the contact page, or call us at 206-707-8380.

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