Life-Saving Devices for Seniors

Staying in their own houses and apartments as they grow older is a golden goal for most folks.Staff members at elder-care facilities may mean well, but the comforts of home are best. Ten devices make living at home safer and easier to manage for seniors and their caregivers.

Movement Monitors

Wireless motion sensors placed near room entrances track the daily movements that imply well-being. Bathroom and kitchen visits are the most common events. An automated Internet service will detect a lack of expected movements. If telephone calls to the resident go unanswered, the service dispatches emergency personnel. This basic safety blanket covers serious events like severe physical trauma or extended unconsciousness.

Emergency Alerts

Falling down is a serious danger for seniors. Bones tend to grow brittle with age, and decreased physical fitness is also a factor. Broken hips are a common cause of hospitalization. A wearable transmitter offers the fastest way to get help from emergency personnel. Modern wireless systems can reach beyond the home to local parks and other venues. Some medical emergency-response systems support awider roaming range. T he service that manages the alert system may also contact caregivers and family members.

Safety-Step Stepladders

Ladders account for many falls and injuries among all adults, not just seniors. A safety stepladder has wide, slip-resistant steps and a sturdy gripping bar at the top. Aside from preventing many accidents, a safety stepladder increases personal independence. Seniors will feel more comfortable about replacing their own light bulbs. Reaching high shelves is also no longer a problem with a good safety-step stepladder.

Flow-Reduction Devices

Scalding injuries from hot water are common. Also, some folks may react to hot water by falling against a hard surface and suffering injury. Temperature-activated flow reducers for sink faucets and shower heads can help. If the water flowing through such a device is too hot, the device reduces or halts the flow. These inexpensive screw-on attachments are available from many hardware stores.

Heart Monitors

Wearable heart monitors can watch for problematic arrhythmias that demand medical attention. They can measure subtle heartbeat patterns that may reveal blocked arteries and other problems. They can serve as mobile cardiac-telemetry devices for cardiovascular-disease patients. Primary physicians and cardiologists appreciate this kind of information about heart behavior. Emergency medical personnel can also respond without delay to life-threatening cardiac events.

Stove Sensors

Seniors may not always be up to the close attention required for safe cooking. Waning mobility and declining cognitive abilities may mean house fires from unattended cooking. Several companies offer automated cutoff systems for electric stoves. If sensors detect excessive heat or an unattended stove, the system shuts off the power to the stove. Active development continues on possible solutions for gas stoves.

Medication Monitors

Many seniors cope with complicated medication regimens. Remembering to take all the individual medications would be a chore for anyone. Older folks tend to forget sometimes. Adverse reactions to combined medications are also more common among seniors. An automatic medication dispenser or programmable voice-reminder device can help with the daily routine. Some devices send messages over the Internet to warn caregivers about noncompliance. A few manufacturers demand monthly fees for full functionality, so check the fine print.

Hearing-Impairment Aids

Impaired hearing is a common ailment of aging. Visual-alert systems for doorbells and telephones ensure that important calls or visitors aren’t missed. Visual-alert versions of smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide alarms also are available. Installing these devices might save a life.

Lever-Style Doorknobs

Being able to escape without delay in case of fire might be a matter of seconds. Many elders already have an impaired ability to cope with ordinary doorknobs. Lever-style doorknobs ease the pain of arthritis and make quick work of opening doors.

GPS Trackers

Many seniors and their caregivers find GPS-tracking systems to be helpful. These devices have a button for contacting emergency services from almost anywhere. Some GPS-tracking systems can send an alarm if they detect that the carrier has fallen down. Caregivers for dementia patients can locate their charges if they wander off. Such services come with monthly fees.

Concluding Thoughts

These ten devices will reduce the risk of an accident or an undetected medical emergency. They can forestall the need for frequent personal checks. Family members and caregivers can stop worrying so much about loved ones. Seniors can relax and enjoy their independent living arrangements