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Wearables for Seniors


Wearable technology is all the craze right now with Fitbits and Apple smartwatches topping the list of most wanted gifts for the holidays. These devices promise higher motivation and improvement of fitness levels as it tracks physical activity, food intake, and sleep among other things. Now, are these devices as useful as they promise to be for seniors?

According to Accenture research, 17 per cent of American seniors are already using wearables for health reasons, such as tracking their blood pressure or heart rate, therefore, saying that seniors have already adopted the technology and are comfortable with it. For the most part, these wearable have been aiding seniors get the help they need when they need it. The ORA personal safety alarm system looks like a pendant when in fact, it is a safety alarm system that can send emergency alerts to loved ones and send your GPS coordinates when an emergency happens. It also triggers one’s phone to automatically call 911 if the panic alarm is not cancelled.  Just imagine if you are going on an errand and are away from your senior apartment in Kansas City, KS, then an emergency happens. Using ORA, you can seek medical help right away without worrying about knowing where you are at the time of the incident. These devices then helps monitor the seniors that needs the most help, the most vulnerable.

Such devices help seniors be connected to the help they need 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, helping keep their caregivers and family’s peace of mind. Another wearable helping seniors especially those the visually impaired is Lechal, which helps seniors get to where they need using smart insoles that use gentle vibrations to direct seniors. Their app also gives out phone notifications and location sharing with loved ones. PwC’s Heathy Research Institute says that seniors family members like children and siblings find huge value in these devices and services. These devices give seniors a higher degree of independence while keeping family members confident of their safety. This would be useful if one’s family goes on vacation in Hawaii while you are in one of the Independent senior apartments Kansas city, MO or one of the retirement communities in Ankeny, IA. Of course you would like to keep your family assured that you are doing great while they are having their vacation.

Wearable technology is closely associated with Internet of Things, the idea that devices can communicate with one another to help its users make the appropriate courses of action. With these wearable technologies, seniors can take a proactive approach with their health. As an example, seniors with diabetes can get real-time glucose readings using the Dexcom G5 Mobile system to help them know when to seek out help. In giving seniors the data they need to make decisions, they have a higher sense of responsibility to take control of their health. These devices can also act as motivator for seniors to eat better, exercise more, and get more sleep. These devices make living healthy more fun! Another wearable device, Withings Pulse Ox not only helps seniors track their heart rate, oxygen levels, and sleep quality but it also shares these information with the caregivers so they are better informed about the patients they are caring for. Therefore, giving seniors the freedom to do the activities they would like without caregivers placing unnecessary restrictions on them.

Because these wearables keep track of seniors’ daily activities, there is also the benefit of researchers and the medical communities being able to better understand the diseases and conditions that seniors experience so they can find better treatments for seniors.