Home 2.0: Alert1 Recommends New Communication Devices and Home Automation Tools for Seniors (and All of Us)

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Alert1 Medical Alerts has analyzed new assistive technology that enables easy commnication and makes the home easier to navigate. They have researched usefulness, price, and ease of installation and have determined the likelihood of each device's widespread adoption.

This new technology is suffering from a lack of recognition by the senior care industry. These products can greatly improve the quality of life for seniors - and the rest of us.

Alert1 Medical Alert Systems has today announced a report on new assistive technology for seniors: technology that enables easy communication and technology that makes the home easier to navigate.

According to data from the Pew Research Center, two in five seniors have physical handicaps that prevent them from participating in common daily activities (Pew Research Center, April 3 2014). Seniors are also significantly less likely to own most major digital devices, severely affecting their ability to communicate with caregivers and loved ones.

Hearing loss makes telephone use difficult and frustrating for both the senior and the caller. This leads to reluctance in using the phone which limits crucial social interactions. This, in turn, can lead to earlier onset of neurological conditions like dementia. Recommended alternatives include:

  • Closed captioned phones: Easy to install and easy to use, these phones have a text field and are available to purchase on the open market. The captioning service can then be obtained for free, thanks to a program by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). All you need is to have a licensed health care professional to evaluate you or your loved one and certify the hearing loss. Anyone else who speaks with the certified person can then purchase and use the phone with the person.
  • Computerless email: This service is ideal for those who are unable or unwilling to use a computer, but would like to use email. Emails are printed instead of being digitally rendered, helping bridge the analog world preferred by grandma with the digital world the grandkids inhabit. Productions show that in 2015, there will be 26 million senior internet users in the US.
  • Both devices suffer from a lack of awareness in the senior care market.

The majority of homes are not designed with the aging senior in mind in spite of the growing aging in place movement. Alert1 examined automatic door openers and smart lights – two forms of underused technology to increase home accessibility:

  • Automatic door openers. Ideal for those who use walkers and wheelchairs, they are operated with a handheld remote, eliminating the need to work a lock and doorknob. That said, automatic door openers are useful for everyone, even those outside of the senior care market.
  • Smart lights. Operated from a handheld remote or smartphone, they eliminate the need to navigate dark rooms and reach for light switches. Smart lights are capable of turning themselves on so that seniors (and anyone else) never have to walk in the dark again.

“This new technology is suffering from a lack of recognition by the senior care industry,” stated Alert1 Director of Marketing Nicholas Pompa. “Alert1 hopes to increase awareness of these new technologies. We are prepared to support the senior care industry in their adoption. These products can greatly improve the quality of life for seniors – and the rest of us.”

For the full results of Alert1’s research, visit http://www.alert-1.com/blog/resources/senior-care-technology-communication-mobility/3378.

Alert1 Medical Alerts is an aging in place technology company headquartered in Williamsport, PA. Alert1 provides personal emergency response systems and medication reminders for seniors. Modern Senior Magazine selected the company as “#1 Medical Alert System – 2014.”

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Nicholas Pompa
Alert1 Medical Alerts
+1 1-800-693-5433 Ext: 7412
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