- Technology can help retirees stay safe, mobile, and connected while living alone in retirement.
- Smart home devices, power lift chairs, medical alert devices, security systems, and automated home appliances are some of the best tools to keep retirees independent.
- Video calls and online support groups can reduce loneliness and its health risks.
- Telehealth services offer convenience and cost savings for virtual doctor visits.
- Smart lighting helps with convenience and energy savings by allowing control anywhere, anytime.
Retirement is an exciting time in life but can also be challenging for those living alone. According to the CDC, one in every seven adults aged 65 and over lives alone in the United States. This means that millions of retirees live without a partner or housemate. Living alone as a retiree can be difficult without the presence of family or friends to provide companionship and support.
The National Institute on Aging (NIA) reports that loneliness has been linked to physical and mental health issues among older adults. Studies show that loneliness can increase the risk of dementia, depression, heart disease, stroke, and even death. It’s not only social isolation that can be harmful; research found that “living alone was associated with more than double the risk of hospitalization and emergency department use compared with living with another person” due to difficulty accessing medical care.
Fortunately, technology can help retirees manage their lives alone. Here are the best applications of technology for living as a retiree:
As retirees age, mobility can become increasingly difficult. Osteoarthritis is a common cause of reduced mobility, joint pain, and stiffness. Chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity can also affect a person’s ability to move around. This can be incredibly challenging for those living alone since they don’t have someone to assist them with daily tasks.
Technology offers a variety of solutions for seniors who may have difficulty getting around independently. Mobility devices such as electric scooters or wheelchairs can be operated using an app-based remote control, allowing seniors to move around their homes or neighborhood without putting undue strain on their joints and muscles. Smart homes are also gaining popularity among older adults; automated lights and door locks allow them to manage their environment from the comfort of their homes.
Power lift chairs are also a great way to keep seniors mobile and independent. These chairs use a motorized system to lift and recline to provide support and comfort for those with limited mobility. Most power lift chairs can be installed in just a few minutes and are available for purchase online. However, having your power lift chair installed by professionals will always be the best option to ensure its safety.
Seniors living alone often miss the companionship and support of family and friends. Fortunately, technology can help retirees keep in touch with their loved ones and doctors from the comfort of their own homes. Video-calling services such as Skype, FaceTime, or Zoom make it easy for seniors to chat face-to-face with family members, friends, and medical professionals.
Online support groups can also incredibly benefit those living alone in retirement. These support groups allow seniors to connect with others going through similar experiences and share advice or stories in an online forum or chatroom. These groups often offer resources that may help with specific medical conditions or support mental health challenges such as depression or anxiety.
Telehealth services are becoming increasingly popular among retirees due to the convenience and cost savings of virtual doctor visits. These digital healthcare services allow seniors to communicate directly with their physicians through a secure video call without entering the office. Telehealth providers can also store electronic health records (EHR) so that a retiree’s information is easily accessible when needed.
Technology can make a home safer for retirees living alone by providing additional security and safety measures to help them stay safe and independent in their homes. Here are the best examples of technology for home safety:
Security systems are an essential tool for keeping retirees safe in their homes. These systems are designed with motion sensors that detect movement and alert the homeowner or security company when an intruder has entered the premises. Modern security systems also include cameras for extra protection and peace of mind. Many systems come with two-way audio, allowing retirees to interact with visitors without opening the door.
Medical Alert Devices
Medical alert devices are another great way to help retirees stay safe at home. These devices allow seniors to contact emergency services quickly if they become injured or unwell while living alone. Most devices come equipped with fall detection sensors so that even if the user is unconscious or unable to press a button, help can still be sent immediately.
Automated Home Appliances
Automated home appliances can make life easier for those living alone in retirement by reducing everyday tasks like cooking, cleaning, and laundry into one-touch operations thanks to voice command technology or smartphone apps connected via Wi-Fi networks or Bluetooth. This allows older adults to manage their day-to-day activities without worrying about physically exerting themselves too much while performing these tasks independently.
Smart lighting is becoming increasingly popular among retirees due to its convenience and energy savings features. Smart lights can be programmed from an app on your phone or through voice commands so that you can control lights in different rooms from anywhere in your residence at any time of day without having to physically turn switches on and off manually all the time—a godsend for those dealing with limited mobility issues due arthritis or other chronic conditions common among older adults living alone at home.
Retirement can be a challenging time for those living alone. Fortunately, technology can help retirees remain independent, safe, and connected while living by themselves in retirement. With the right tools, retirees living alone can thrive in this new chapter of life without worrying about social isolation or lack of access to necessary support services. By investing in the right technology solutions, retirees can enjoy a safe and healthy retirement without sacrificing their independence.