Technology has invaded all sectors of the industry and Healthcare is no exception to this. Its growth, backed by rapidly evolving innovations, is a boon in disguise for all stakeholders in the healthcare chain- more so for the seniors. This is because technology bestows a host of assistive devices which play a major role in rehabilitating the elderly and disabled. These devices provide additional accessibility to such individuals with cognitive difficulties, impairments and disabilities. Globally, more than one billion people use one or more assistive devices.
The disabled and elderly assistive technologies market is estimated to be around 37.6 million USD by 2023. That is a sizable market which has an incredibly diverse set of needs! This is driven by rise in geriatric & disabled population, lifestyle modifications and lucrative choices in availability of disabled & elderly assistive products.
Assistive Technology Areas
- Mobility Aids – Mobility device for seniors includes equipment which help elders with restricted or nil mobility. They help them to move around their homes and surroundings more easily. These devices include simple items like raised toilet seats and walking devices for the elderly like walking cane, crutches and walkers. It also consists of more sophisticated equipment like power wheelchairs and scooters, rollators, automatic seat assists and stair elevators.
- Prosthetic Equipment – These devices help elders with a disabled or missing body part. It could be as simple as an orthopedic shoe insert or as complicated as a titanium prosthetic arm with hundreds of components.
- Personal Care Devices – These devices make chores of personal hygiene like dressing, washing, and grooming easier. Examples of such tools include bathtub transfer benches and hair dryer holder.
- Better Communication – These items enable seniors to receive and transmit messages. Examples of communication devices include hearing aids, large button phones, phones with amplifiers, intercoms, personal pagers, smartphones, iPads, television caption decoders and the like.
- Quick Computer Access – These devices enable easy computing such as faster access to the Internet through wireless technologies, modified keyboards and computer screen magnifiers for better visibility.
- Usage of Adaptive Switches – These switches enable easier operation of electrical and electronic appliances by incorporating voice activation or sensors. They can be used on devices such as computers, telephones, power wheelchairs and air-conditioning units.
- Home Modifiers – These include in-house modifications to your home such as a wheelchair ramp for better access.
- Other Tools for Task Independence – These incorporate tools that makes life more independent yet safe such as shower grab bars, key levers, door knob grips and anti-skidding mats.
Benefits of Assistive Devices
- Improves the quality of life in geriatric patients and disabled persons
- Enhances health outcomes
- Offers solutions for hassle-free independent living with sufficient touch points for socialization
- Reduces healthcare costs
Some Popular Assistive Devices
Many Assistive Devices are available for Seniors taking into consideration their residential lifestyle and potential needs. These devices can be used by elders living in their own houses or even in geriatric care options like Senior Independent Living Homes or Assisted Living Facilities to make their life and routines relaxed, easier and safe. Some examples include-
- Activator Poles for increasing balance and mobility.
- Buttoning Aid Hooks for seniors with limited fine motor abilities or reduced dexterity.
- Specialized Freedom Grip Handles for getting out of the bed safely without falling.
- Long Reach Comfort Wipes for personal hygiene.
- Medical Wearables which are alert devices with urgent response button for emergency situations.
- Reminder and Voice Recordable Alarm Clocks for elders with Dementia.
- Television Ears which function as headsets for enhancing audibility.
- Uplift Seat Assist for manually raising the elders to the standing position without exertion.
Thus, Assistive Devices, backed by technology growth, facilitate seniors in leading an independent lifestyle for retaining their personal spaces without compromising on safety and comfort aspects.