Embracing Technology in Retirement
There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that technology can play a vital role in staying independent, active and healthy – and this applies to those in retirement too. Perhaps even more so.
However, there are many misconceptions when it comes to the older generation and their use of technology. As those aged 65 and over didn’t grow up in a technological age, many incorrectly suspect that the older generation and technology use is not at a high level of adaption. But the residents across all of the award-winning LifeCare Residences’ retirement communities are proving just the opposite, and these residents exemplify how the older generation are embracing technology, sometimes faster, than any other generation.
Those of retirement age are one of the fastest and most studious learners of new technologies with their ability to plug into new apps, staying connected with loved ones. And, as technology continues to grow, retirees will be able to keep up with and adapt to the mainstream even more. This means information, social media, ecommerce and other forms of being online belong to those of retirement age as much as the rest of the world. And, possibly most importantly, it means that those adapting at a faster pace will find new ways to stay healthy by continuing to reduce isolation and increase options for cognitive care. According to research (Pew Research), over 80% of retirees own a smartphone, and these levels are growing with over 67% of retirees regularly going online for activities and to connect with others. The recent Covid pandemic has also seen a rise in the connectivity and capacity of retirees and technology use has steadily increased to stay in touch remotely with loved ones and even attend online medical appointments.
One of the main reasons for retirees to embrace technology is because it’s quite literally, everywhere! There is no avoiding it and what is more – it can make life easier for retirees. Technology has completely changed the way we communicate with each other. For those of us with loved ones who are far away, technology is making it easier for us to talk and even see each other on a regular basis. Social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram allow us to catch up on what the people we care about are doing and can also be a quick way to send a message or share news. Video chatting services like Skype and Facetime allow people to have a literal face-to-face conversation, even if they’re thousands of miles apart. And let’s not forget the importance of texting when it comes to communicating with grandchildren! When embraced with an open mind, the social aspect of technology can be a real bonus for retirees, particularly if they have mobility issues or otherwise don’t get out and about as much. Residents across all of LifeCare Residences’ communities benefit from having constant technological help at hand whether it’s dealing with a FaceTime or WhatsApp communication issue, through to helping set up a video conference.
The teams at the LifeCare Residences’ retirement communities have shown great commitment to improving quality of life for residents, using technology, and have been keeping a close eye on the latest digital health trends to emerge from around the world. Digital health is one of the fastest growing areas in technology – such as mobile and wearable devices for example – designed to enable consumers and their care providers to monitor health at home and collaborate on care management. One such example used at Battersea Place and Grove Place is the use of award-winning Person-Centred Software which means individual care is monitored on a 24-hour basis. The use of Mobile Care Monitoring can save at least an hour per day for each carer, allowing valuable time to be re-invested in providing person-centred care for the residents. The risk of losing information is eliminated as all data is recorded in one central portal which can be viewed at any time. Furthermore, the adoption of technology has made the workplace a much healthier and happy place to work, providing person-centred care and creating meaningful experiences for those in their care day after day.
As we all know, staying fit and healthy is very important, no matter your age. However, staying active is especially important, as we get older, in helping prevent common medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. And this is where modern technology can help too. The team at luxury retirement community – Battersea Place has installed specialist equipment for active ageing. The residents-only gym at Battersea Place has been kitted out with specialist HUR SmartTouch gym equipment which can be tailored to a resident’s personal specifications. All adults experience some level of muscle loss and the ageing process compromises muscle cells’ ability to repair damage. However, research has shown that even into your late 80s, your body still has the potential to build muscle mass which can play a major factor in falls which is why the HUR SmartTouch is an ideal piece of equipment to aid strength training in older age. This system was developed in Finland and designed specifically for active ageing and wellness. It has been designed to combat the risk of falls and tackle Type 2 Diabetes as well as aiding cardiac, hip and knee rehabilitation. Each of its programmes are personalised and every resident at Battersea Place has access to the HUR SmartTouch which comprises four multipurpose machines that benefit the legs, shoulders, arms and back. The HUR SmartTouch is ideal for residents who are building up their strength. With settings as low as 0.1KG, it allows greater control as incremental adjustments can be made. This, of course, provides greater flexibility than the average gym, where weights are rarely lower than five kilograms, added to this, the HUR works with air pressure, which allows residents to exercise in a more comfortable way at an appropriate intensity without risking damage to joints or connective tissue. As the session begins, residents have simple instructions from a virtual personal trainer. Empowered to exercise independently, the touch screen on the machine provides goals and feedback as well as instructions for an immediate sense of achievement as they can see the progress they have made in real time. One resident at Battersea Place, comments: “I find the HUR system to be very good. The exercises I have been given to do help strengthen my legs and arms. The machines are easy to use because I have a bracelet that has my specific exercises on it and it monitors and regulates what I do.”
As today’s retirees are more tech savvy than ever before, in the coming year we can only expect an increase in technology to enhance their healthcare and quality of life. The teams across all Lifecare Residences will ensure that residents are at the forefront of these changes – whether it’s through wearables and apps or simply ensuring faster and accessible Wifi.
If you would like to learn more about our offering and how we can enhance the ‘every day’ please call T. 0800 009 6950.
For those who are unable to visit in person, we are also able to offer virtual tours of our communities at your convenience.