For 69-year-old New York City native Mrs. Taylor, a visit to her sister on the West Coast left her with an unfortunate souvenir – an injured knee. Four months later, it hadn’t healed well, so she took a trip to the ER, where she was given two choices: wait to talk to a doctor in person or chat now with one live on a screen. She reluctantly chose the virtual experience. Awkward at first, she began to feel at ease within minutes.
According to a May 2020 survey by the Better Medicare Alliance, 52% of seniors said they’d be comfortable using telehealth to access care and 24% said they’ve used telehealth during the COVID-19 crisis.
Many boomers are embracing technological advances for what they can add to their quality of life and independence. In fact, the active aging industry – which includes safety and smart-living technologies, health and remote care, and wellness and fitness technologies – is expected to reach nearly $30 billion, according to a report by the Consumer Technology Association.
Innovations include virtual reality headsets for seniors with Alzheimer’s and cloud-enabled fall detection watches. Source: CNBC, 2019
Let’s look at some of the latest tech gadgets and gizmos that can add newfound freedoms to your second act.
Emotional connections are critical to helping us stay healthy as we age. If you can’t have a real-life pet, consider a snoring, cuddly Tombot. A few minutes spent with one of these furry Labrador robot pups and you may begin to wonder if it’s really real. They are responsive to touch and to voice commands.
Or try the ElliQ, an assistant dubbed the sidekick to happier aging. It fits easily on your desk, can recognize your face, learn your music preferences and schedules, and make suggestions such as going for a walk or calling your grandchildren.
If you’re living with macular degeneration, try NuEyes electronic smartglasses, which offer more freedom by using a camera to project images onto the glasses right in front of your eyes and responding to voice commands to adjust the settings. And if you’re living with hearing loss and afraid to take the plunge for hearing aids, try the Livio AI. It can stream music, answer questions like a smart assistant would, translate conversations into your language and more.
When it comes to laundry, it’s not the sorting and loading the machines that’s the pain – it’s the folding. FoldiMate wants to do the work for you. Simply clip each piece into the machine, press a button and watch it turn out neatly stacked clothes, ready to put in the drawer.
Sources: Pew Research Center Internet & Technology; AARP Home & Family Personal Technology; International Journal of Emergency Medicine
Raymond James is not affiliated with any other entity listed herein.