As 2014 comes to a close it means the 2015 International CES is close at hand. Sure, it means a lot of other things but CES is HUGE and just days away.
Senior Care Corner® has been covering CES for several years now and we’ve always approached it with a lot of excitement and even more scheduling panic. There will be so much at CES we can’t possibly cover it all.
In past years we have left CES with optimism for the what the future may bring but disappointment that — as it applies to seniors and their family caregivers — there seemed to be little offered by the tech industry compared to other age groups.
That looks to change this year, at least based on the previews we’ve seen.
Our expectations for the 2015 edition of CES have pushed the scheduling panic even higher, as there will be so much more of interest to family caregivers of seniors.
It will be physically impossible for us to cover everything on our list so we are asking for your help in setting priorities.
Setting 2015 CES Priorities
As we preview the 2015 CES schedule of press events, conference sessions and exhibitor descriptions (not to mention their emails), we have reason to believe our hopes for the event itself will be fulfilled. We expect to have a lot to report on what technology can do for the millions of family caregivers in the US and their senior loved ones.
Where in past years we had to project applications of many technologies and products to the needs of seniors and those caring for and about them, this year it appears many of the largest tech companies have those needs in their sights.
We have grouped those products and concepts that we see most applicable to family caregivers and seniors — or just intrigued us for their possibilities — into a handful of topic areas so you can help us prioritize.
1. Home Health Technology
Knowing a majority of current and future seniors prefer to live in their own homes as long as possible, technology that will help them live healthier will be key.
A number of products and sessions at the 2015 CES will address home health needs, from devices that could be used by seniors and family caregivers in the home to technology that will enable healthcare providers to reach into the home with care.
2. Smart Home Technology
Living in the home of their choice, especially if they want to live independently, will require that seniors have a home that is equipped to meet their needs.
Smart home technology will help seniors live more safely and comfortably at home by putting control of their home within electronic reach. Seniors will have monitoring and control of virtually every electric device at their fingertips.
Just as important, smart home tech will let seniors grant system access to select family caregivers, healthcare providers and service providers, giving them an extra level of comfort should something happen.
Wearable technology is more than the fitness bands, which can benefit seniors and family caregivers, that have boomed in popularity over the last couple of years. This is another area of tech that will be important to older adults wishing to live independently with peace of mind.
Technology that can be worn will let seniors, family members and healthcare providers monitor vital signs such as pulse, blood pressure, blood sugar and much more. Many things that might today require an appointment at the doctor’s office or a visit from a home health provider can be monitored and recorded in real time. Not only is that more convenient but allows detrimental changes to be caught in between planned appointments.
4. Mobile Technology
Mobile technology is already important to the lives of seniors and family caregivers in so many ways. In the future it will be much more than even is possible today, expanding beyond the link to the world a smartphone or tablet provides.
Seniors’ mobile devices, in addition to providing tremendous communications, information and entertainment capability, will be the hub that makes other tech valuable. Gathering and communicating data from healthcare devices, wearables and more will take mobile devices from important to essential for seniors who want to age in place. They will also serve as the controllers for many other technologies.
5. Automotive Technology
Automotive technology is much more than sound systems and vehicle driving performance, bringing innovations that will be important to seniors.
Driving is an important part of life to many seniors, in large part because of the independence it allows. At the same time, driving by senior loved ones is a source of anxiety to many family caregivers, worried about the safety of loved ones whose abilities are not what they were in earlier years.
Technological advances will make driving safer for seniors longer in life, providing much more information about their vehicles and their driving environment than is available today. Ongoing efforts will help overcome the loss of ability and let more seniors hold onto their car keys longer.
Of course, driverless (autonomous) cars will be a game changer for all of us.
Robots in seniors’ homes? Yes, we see that happening — and becoming nearly essential for some seniors, making their lives healthier, more comfortable and safer.
Household robots, early versions of which are in testing and limited use, will help seniors with disabilities or simply limited physical capability live in their homes longer by providing assistance in their daily lives. They will also relieve family caregivers of some work they currently do.
There is a lot more wrapped into these topic areas than we can get into in one article and a lot of areas at CES that we haven’t mentioned. Hopefully we have given you enough insight to decide which are most important to your senior loved ones and your role as family caregivers.
Help Us Set Coverage Priorities
The 2015 International CES will be a huge show, with an overwhelming number of great exhibits, conference sessions, keynote addresses and press conferences spread over several sites. There is simply more than we can cover.
So we’re asking for your help.
We will be covering CES for you, to bring you information on current and future resources to help your senior loved ones and you as family caregivers. We’d like to know how to prioritize our time there to make the most of it for you.
Please let us know which of the above CES topics you feel we should give highest priority. You can leave a comment at the bottom of this article, send a message to us through our Facebook page or contact Barry via email at barry(at)seniorcarecorner.com.
We look forward to hearing from you!