Aging in place is a goal for more than 90% of us and our senior loved ones. Most of us will be able to realize our dreams. Unfortunately some will not.
How can we improve the likelihood our senior loved ones (and us) will be counted among those who are able to stay in the homes of their choice as they age?
Family caregivers can be sure that the home is made ready for aging in place with modifications that make it easier for a senior to complete activities of daily living as their mobility and capabilities began to decline.
Technology can also be used to bridge the gap between functional ability and safety as our seniors age in place.
Did you know there are cities that are considered technology assisted for aging?
There are such cities and we read the report detailing what qualifies a city and how we can be sure our seniors are connected to improve their aging in place.
Here’s what we found.
Strategies For Aging in Place
There are many pieces to the aging in place puzzle that must be ready for our senior loved ones to be independent, healthy, safe, and happy at home.
Here are a few conditions that family caregivers need to put in position, as applicable, for seniors to live at home.
- Assistance with personal care such as toileting, bathing and grooming
- Provision of nutritious foods – shopping, preparing, eating and food safety
- Medication management – seniors need to take their prescription and over the counter medications as ordered, timely and in the correct dosage without missing a dose
- Transportation – access to transportation either their own vehicle, public transportation, family and friends or paid transportation so that they can meet their needs for healthcare, shopping and socialization
- In-home medical care – seniors may need help at home, including personal medical or nursing care, companionship, housekeeping and even 24 hour supervision
- Home modification and maintenance – making the home livable as our seniors age and keeping it in good repair to be safe and reduce the potential for falls
- Financial planning – there needs to be money set aside for aging or a financial plan in place to ensure needs are in line with the available income
Technology for Aging in Place
There are many technology applications that can help caregivers get the resources that their senior loved ones need while they remain at home.
- Transportation – there are always taxicabs or city buses but there are also car services, such as Uber, that anyone can call to get a ride to the store, doctor or church. Smartphone apps can be used for transportation services including bus schedules.
- Online services – a variety of services for homeowners are easy to find online through websites. You can connect with a handyman for remodeling, yard work, painting or fixes using sites such as Porch, Home Advisor, or Angie’s List. You can find home care workers who can clean your house such as Merry Maids. Another service many seniors might need is dog walking through Rover.
- Food – there are home meal and food deliveries that can be scheduled through the Area Agency on Aging in your area or through internet companies such as Pea Pod, Instacart, Schwan’s, HelloFresh or Blue Apron.
- Paid Caregiving – many home care companies can be accessed using the internet. Services can be arranged for housework like laundry, personal care, meal preparation, activities of daily living and nursing services as well as companionship or supervision.
Cities That Encompass Technology Assisted Living
Can your senior get access to any or all of these four areas through the use of technology where they live?
Is there at least one or two of these technology assisted living providers available to them or all of the above?
If your senior’s home city is served by all of these types of businesses that can be reached via the internet, it is an indicator that their city can be called a “technology assisted” city.
According to a report by Redfin, cities which contain all four of these services by four particular companies (Uber, Porch, Instacart and CareLinx) were identified and designated technology assisted.
Cities that included these services as well as a having the cost of housing plus expenses be cheaper than living in an assisted living facility made the top ten.
Here are the top 10 technology assisted cities according to Redfin:
- Washington, DC
- Philadelphia, PA
- Chicago, IL
- Austin, TX
- Houston, TX
- Boston, MA
- Miami, FL
- Denver, CO
- Atlanta, GA
- Portland, OR
Similarities of the Top Ten Cities
Cities that are age-friendly share characteristics that make aging in place easier for seniors.
These top 10 cities have good public transportation services, amenities for socialization, are walkable, healthcare access, technology based services, public parks, and tax incentives in housing.
Many of these locations have temperate weather conditions that lend themselves to year round living which would be a bonus for many seniors.
Having family nearby would be the greatest asset to living in a tech friendly city.
Technology Connections in Cities That Didn’t Make the List
If your senior lives in a city that didn’t make the top ten, how can you connect them to some of these services and other technology that can make their aging in place experience more beneficial?
There might be an app for that!
There are numerous apps for smarthphones that can be used as resources for the needs of senior loved ones. Here are a few suggestions but they are limitless and can be region specific so check out what is nearest to your senior.
- You can use online directories, locator maps and the yellow pages online to find goods and services that your senior may need. You can find a handyman, lawn service, restaurant meals delivery, house cleaner or even in-home pet care by using apps and the yellow pages online.
- Virtual companions can help isolated seniors feel as though they are connecting with someone. These can be accessed through tablets and the internet.
- Apps to find a handyman, read a review, schedule a visit and then rate their service can be helpful for seniors including Handy.
- Apps to find meal delivery in your location include GrubHub and others. Search your location for services that include restaurants near you because many national chains including fast food (not just pizza anymore) will deliver their food when you order on their mobile app. There are also sites that make their own food and sell it through the app such as Sprig.
- Uber is the most well-known app that can get you transportation but there are others, including Whisk for New York City Taxis. Local car services have begun creating their own apps to compete with Uber so look for one in your senior’s location if they need a ride.
- Many home care companies have apps that will help you connect with them to schedule service and get reviews. We hear a lot about Care.com but other companies also have apps including one near your senior such as Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) and Interim among others.
- You can connect with the doctor, too, on a variety of apps, including HealthTap, iTriage (self-help) or Doctor on Demand.
- There are even apps that help you search for apps you might want on both iOS and Android. They include Appsfire, Chomp and Appolicious.
As with anything related to technology, the more you know about the more you will use and benefit. Because technology and startup companies are ever changing, it is a good idea to keep up to date with the latest technology.
We will continue to help you do just that!