16 Mar Technology in Senior Housing

Senior housing has evolved a great deal in recent years. Care programs have become more personal and less clinical and diverse amenity options are adding an active and charming cultural touch to retirement living. One of the most significant changes in senior housing is the technological innovation that has begun to surge within the industry. From touchscreens to live-in social robots, the state of senior housing is becoming modernized and technologically engaged.

Fast casual restaurants are a big hit in the senior housing industry. Combining the convenience of fast food with the superior quality of a casual sit-down restaurant, this dining option has become a popular trend in retirement community development. One of the technological perks that fast casual restaurants have brought to the horizon is the touch screen kiosk. With these screens in place, seniors can quickly enter their food orders which are then uploaded into a POS ticketing system that allows for quick and efficient service. Touch screens also offer adjustable font, light, and background settings that make them easy to read and operate. This technology has also become an in-home amenity. Seniors are using touch screen tablets to perform a variety of functions like monitoring health information, reading books, and staying mentally engaged.

The Jetsons weren’t the only ones who thought in-home robots would be a great idea. In senior housing, robots function as social aids who can help seniors stay active and stimulated. Robots like ElliQ™ remind their older adult owners to take their medication, notify them of upcoming appointments, and keep them connected with family and friends. ElliQ also suggests personalized activities for the user to keep them engaged in daily life. Seniors can also bypass the stress of learning to use the newest apps because social bots can manage those for them.

Senior living technology isn’t just for fun and convenience. New innovations have also led to better training and care strategies for healthcare professionals. The Virtual Dementia Tour puts caretakers in the shoes of a person living with dementia. Wearing specially designed goggles and headphones, participants are given a series of tasks to complete. The goggles mimic the loss of vision associated with dementia and the headphones amplify background noise which makes understanding conversational speech more difficult. People with dementia often have trouble blocking out ambient sounds. Some versions of the tour even include changing temperatures and video that mimics the hallucinatory effects felt by those with specific forms of dementia. This technology encourages empathy in care professionals, allowing them to see the world from their patient’s point of view.

Technological advancements in senior housing have created opportunities for engagement, convenience, and better care. Older adults can look forward to a future of modern amenities that empower them to live a connected, secure, and simplified life.

Bruce Freides