We all want to live on our own for as long as possible. We want to eat, play, walk, run and socialize with whomever, whenever and wherever we want. We don't want to have our kids checking in on us or caregivers sticking mirrors under our noses.
But senior independent living can be a challenge. We can feel insecure. Our family can worry. And there are legitimate challenges to living on our own as we age. But there are plenty of things we can do to mitigate those challenges.
So we've tried to come up with a list of the 5 products we think every older adult can use to maximize their independence BEFORE having to move to a senior residence.
3 "Must-Have" Products for Senior Independent Living
Smart Speakers - Voice Activated Personal Assistants
Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo with Alexa and Google Home are already revolutionizing senior independent living. Whether you have reduced mobility, impaired vision, low dexterity or no ailment at all, smart speakers can make some of the challenges of aging a lot easier.
With simple voice commands, seniors can now make hands-free phone calls, get the weather, play music, turn-on the lights, change the TV channel, even unlock the front door!
Personal assistants can also be used to set reminders for appointments, medications and to set snooze alarms. Perhaps just as importantly, you can also use your personal assistant to shop by voice, buying anything on Amazon from soap and toilet paper to Advil and toothpaste!
Smart speakers are very affordable, costing anywhere from $30 to $85.
Medical Alert Systems
The easiest, safest and most cost effective way to ensure you can get help in the event of a fall or medical emergency is to wear a medical alert system (also called a life alert system, personal emergency response system, or medical alert).
The Mayo Clinic says "when you experience a fall, medical issue or other emergency, every second counts. If you are alone, delayed medical care can jeopardize your recovery and independence. A Personal Emergency Response System provides simple, fast access to help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."
Newer medical alert technologies offer automatic fall detection, GPS location services, waterproof shower buttons and mobile units for protection in and outside your home. They typically cost $20-$50 a month, with no up-front costs and fully cancellable contracts. So there's really not much risk in giving it a try and seeing if it's something that gives you the protection and security you're looking for. Compare medical alert systems to see which is best for you.
Smart Video Doorbells
A lot happens at your front door. Packages get delivered, door to door salesman come knocking, charities come soliciting, guests come visiting and caregivers come caring.
A Ring video doorbell, connects to your Wi-Fi network and sends you or family members alerts when someone presses your doorbell or triggers the built-in motion sensor. When you answer the alert, you can see, hear and speak to the person at the door through your IPad, laptop, phone or voice activate personal assistant!
Video doorbells add an extra layer of protection, letting strangers, caregivers, handymen, deliverymen and doormen know that they're being watched, recorded and heard by the resident and potentially their family members. It's a great deterrent, especially to those targeting seniors.
A Ring video doorbell costs anywhere from $99 to $199. After that for $3 a month you can even record the video so it can be shared or reviewed by you or anyone you designate including family, policy or caregiving companies. It also automatically connects to Amazon's Alexa smart speaker, voice activated personal assistants found at the top of the page!
If you cherish your independence, there's a host of great, new, affordable, technologies that can put retirement communities and senior residences on hold indefinitely. Most of these technologies are easy to use and very affordable, increasing your ability to stay safe, secure, healthy and happy as you age independently for years to come!