The Latest Technology

The Latest Technology

March 23, 2018

I ran across an article on assistive technology and thought it would be good to share.  Each month we get the Area Agency on Aging newsletter and this month the topic was assistive technology.  This is technology that helps us and therefore technology we all need to know more about.  How many of us have smart phones we can talk to or TV remotes that take voice commands?  This is fairly simple technology that has made life a little less stressful at my house!

Some assistive technology helps us stay independent longer and some of it is intended to help caretakers provide better care.  Being knowledgeable about what is out there for both situations is important.  Here are some of the details of what is new.

  • Examples of Assistive technology that may be useful for persons with dementia:  Motion Sensor Lights and light switches are a great way to get a warning when a family member is up and moving. They can be as simple as night lights or sensors can be added to existing traditional lamps or built-in light bulb sockets.
    • First Alert Motion Sensing Light Socket, $12.73: Click HERE to see light socket.
    • GE Ultra Brite Motion-Activated LED Light, 40 Lumens, Soft White, Night Light $7.79: Click HERE to see the night light.
  • Cellular connected pill boxes that light up to let a family member know when to take medication, and it texts the care provider that their daily dose has been taken. Medminder, starts at flat $39.99 per month, no upfront cost: Click HERE to see the Medminder pill box.
  • A set of jingle bells on an exit to warn when the door is opened or using sticky labels to help identify household items are assistive technology!
  • Technology toolbox Devices like Amazon’s Echo or Google’s Home can be configured to give reminders, set alarms, make lists, instantly play any song requested or call someone for help. Just place them throughout your home wherever there is WiFi. They require no hand dexterity to operate, since they are entirely voice driven. Certain devices, like the Amazon Echo Show, can start instant video chats with family members by just asking it to “drop in on Annie.” The best part is these devices don’t get tired or frustrated! The worst part is they still require a certain level of cognition to use, and in some cases can unpleasantly surprise people who are not expecting a disembodied voice giving them reminders. These “Voice Assistants” can also make phone calls and, in the case of the Amazon Echo with the Amazon Connect add-on, it can also make calls directly from your home land line, including 911.
  • Google Home: Starts at 49.95 (no service fees).  Click HERE to view Google Home.
  • Amazon Echo: Starts at 39.99 (no service fees) Click HERE to view Amazon Echo.
  • Amazon Echo Connect: 34.99 (No service fees. For connecting the Echo to a land line phone and using 911).  Click HERE to view Amazon Echo Connect

Sometimes adding a little technology to your home can go a long ways in making life less stressful and you more independent.

Have a great week ahead!

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  • F. Scott Rhodes

    You know something Cindy, this was a good piece of information. It gave me something to think about and MAYBE look forward to in my “old” age. Many of the features you spoke about I was unaware of. Thank you.

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