Here’s some breaking news on this International Day for Older Persons: An overwhelmingly number of seniors have not budged from their preference to age at home and in fact, the Covid-19 pandemic has strengthened their desire to do so. In the just released AAG Importance of Home Survey, more than 80 percent of American seniors said they want to live in their home for the rest of their lives. Here are some reasons why staying put matters to aging seniors:
- Roughly four in five seniors (83%) say they feel safer at home than anywhere else. Living in one’s home is tied closely to a feeling of safety.
- Half of the seniors in AAG’s survey said that the pandemic strengthened their desire to live at home longer.
- “Independence” was stated as the most important benefit of living at home, according to more than one-third (40%) of older Americans surveyed.
- More than half (56%) pointed to family life as a significant reason, saying their home reminds them of their family.
- More than two in three seniors (68%) have communicated to family members where they would like to live for the rest of their lives, and overwhelmingly it’s with their children and close relatives.
Of course even before the pandemic, AARP and other senior research organizations have reported on the “aging at home” or “aging in place” trend solidifying. AARP reports that nearly 90 percent of adults over 65 want to remain in their current homes for as long as possible. However, at some point, nearly every senior will need assistance with performing daily tasks.
Currently, there are around 40 million people in the U.S. acting as a caregiver in some form to an elderly relative. The added responsibility of caring for a senior loved one to an already busy and overbooked life will add stress, that untreated, will eventually lead to caregiver burnout. And the 2020 Caregiving in the US Report by AARP found about half of the family caregivers surveyed said they are using some type of caregiver technology to supplement some of their duties.
According to the report, the reason family caregivers may not be using technology is mostly due to a lack of awareness and a perception that these new technologies are probably difficult to use and won’t actually help them that much. However, nearly half of the current caregiver population is made up of Generation X and millennials. Experts say that these younger generations are more likely to adopt caregiving technologies, and that the digital health industry hit nearly $30 billion last year.
“We’ve entered the era of low-cost, miniaturized, technological capabilities that enable smarter caregiving and greater independence,” said Laurie Orlov, an aging-in-place technology analyst.
Perhaps the most significant benefit caregiving technology offers is peace of mind, for both seniors and their loved ones. More and more family caregivers are interested in using in-home monitoring systems, as well as medication management tools that provide refills, deliveries, and adherence for their senior loved ones’ prescriptions, making and supervising medical appointments, and assessing health needs and conditions.
In-Home Care Technology Systems
There are several systems that provide technology-based safety services for seniors, such as “fall buttons” and GPS tracking devices. In-home monitoring systems are also increasing in popularity with seniors and their loved ones. Amada Connect is an in-home personal response system that puts seniors who are alone in their home in touch with emergency responders at any time of day.
Amada Connect devices feature 24-hour, hands-free, two-way communication only seconds after a pendant is activated, with a built-in speakerphone, optional fall detection, as well as both visual and audible alarm indicators — perfect for hearing and / or visually impaired seniors. An in-home personal emergency response system (PERS) like Amada Connect can provide some peace of mind to families with senior loved ones living independently.
Statistics indicate that one out of three people over the age of 65 will fall at least once this year and that older adults are hospitalized for fall-related injuries five times more often than they are for injuries from other causes. There are voice- and motion-activated accessories to Amada Connect such as a door contact, panic detector and pressure-sensitive floor alarm.
Another tech device rising in popularity are state-of-the-art medication dispensers like Hero Medication Management Dispenser. The device can be set up by a caregiver or family member to ensure an elderly loved one is taking the right medications on the right day and time. The Hero unit provides an automated alert to a pre-designated contact if a dose is missed.
Technology devices like these can act as a supplemental caregiver, and is a way for loved ones to be reassured that a senior is behaving in a normal pattern. Since many seniors only receive around four hours of care a day, Amada Connect can serve as a safeguard should something happen when a caregiver isn’t present. An Amada Senior Care advisor can assist you in designing a safety plan for yourself of a senior loved one at home for emergency response, medication management or another independent living concern. We’re here to help, so feel free to call us toll-free at 866-752-1961 or click here to find an Amada franchise location near you.
“Aging at Home Continues as Top Senior Goal” written by Taylor French and updated by Michelle Flores, Amada blog contributors.