Technology is one of the main precursors to progress, facilitating improved facilities and standards of living in all spheres. It has particularly made life easier and more secure both in homes and offices, to the extent that many retirement homes have upgraded their security and maintenance systems by employing technology-savvy automated systems.
Retirement houses are predominantly located away from the hustle, bustle, and noise of the city, in peaceful locales on the outskirts of the city. Since the retirement communities are situated away from the city and within large open areas, they require sound security systems and seamless availability of basic amenities and facilities like housekeeping, surveillance, maintenance, emergency services, and more.
The inclusion of technology to upscale the necessary facilities and amenities at retirement houses has enriched the lives of the residents in the following areas and ways:
Technology is revolutionising the senior living experience in retirement houses.
- Monitoring health: There are many devices that can help monitor the health and medication schedule of seniors. Devices worn by the residents are programmed to remind them of their medications and also monitor their health and progress to keep their caregivers informed which enables them to respond immediately in case of an emergency. Apart from this, the residential units are fitted with home sensors that track the level of activity and alert the staff in case of a fall or an emergency.
- Connectivity: Staying away from family and friends is not easy, and there are times when loneliness sets in. With the help of technology, the seniors stay connected to their family via video calls and become a part of online activity through social media sites, email, and messages on mobile phones or tabs. They can also attend online classes and workshops or enjoy an event via their smart devices. The staff at retirement houses make sure their devices are charged and working, and they also help the seniors navigate through the new technological settings. When a resident is unwell or is not feeling good enough to socialise with their peers, they can remain connected and busy with their smart devices. There are apps that can be updated regularly regarding the seniors’ health that the family can access to stay up to date with their loved ones’ state.
- Smart homes: The automatic light and appliance settings in the retirement houses can control the running of appliances, cleaning robots, lighting, and temperature as per the resident’s comfort and requirements. With voice-activated devices like Alexa or Google, senior residents, especially those who are immobile or unwell, need not wait for someone to arrive to do what they can easily do via voice commands.
- Security: Smart homes mean smart security systems. Automatic locks, surveillance cameras, and sensor motion detectors to keep a check on the security of the premises and also for the safety of the residents in common areas and corridors. Safety devices that alert when a door or a window is left open and the voice-activated alarm system when aid or help is needed.
- Entertainment: Using technology to heighten the reach of various options for entertainment is enriching the lives of the seniors at the retirement houses. Connecting to virtual reality systems or Wii Fit that offer games for the user to participate in actively. Seniors do not feel left out due to age constraints, as now they can enjoy adventure sports or even a game of bowling with their friends, all through the virtual reality systems. Or pursue their love for knowledge and books through handheld tablets, e-readers, and smartphones; play mental exercise games and quizzes; or listen to audiobooks and podcasts. They can create their music banks by downloading their favourite songs and commanding Alexa to play them.
- Devices for assistance: Devices like hearing aids, vision enhancers, mobility aids, braille, etc. can assist and improve the lives of seniors in accordance with their age or health-related limitations.
- Predictive analytics: The tremendous progress in AI and data analytics has made it possible to analyse and predict potential issues related to health, which further enables timely interventions and care by medical professionals.
The technological development for the betterment of the quality of life and care for seniors has expanded to make seniors feel included and as active participants, especially those who are living away from families in retirement houses. Technology also helps them regain control of their lives and choices, making them feel less dependent on others.