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4 Ways Tech Can Help Us Live With Greater Purpose

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4 Ways Tech Can Help Us Live With Greater Purpose
As we rush headlong into our silver years, we want to be able to achieve everything we set our minds on.
While slight wobbles and speed bumps can slow us down en route, they shouldn’t stop us dead in our tracks. With a little help from technology we can still push towards our goals.
Here is a list of assistance aids to keep you moving forward.
1. Mobility Aids
Mobility aids improve balance, stability, endurance and confidence.
Walking sticks provide extra support for anyone who experiences problems with balance or walking.
Some affordable ($30-$50), high-tech options that go beyond the ordinary include the i-Cane Intelligent Cane with LED and Radio, the 3 in 1 Stainless Steel Walking Stick with Build-in LED and the cool if somewhat impractical Walking Stick Umbrella (what happens to your walking aid when it starts to rain?).
Walking frames or rollators offer more support than a walking stick, under $200. They have a light metal frame with four legs and wheels or rubber tips. The user can push the frame as they walk and some models have brakes, seats, or baskets.
Here are a few options.
FS969 3 Wheel Rollator (S$158) has three wheels for easy manoeuvring and compactness and includes a basket for a combined weight of 7.5 kg.
FS965LH-B Rollator (S$190) has an adjustable backrest with different angles with a seat cushion and a basket, weighing 8.8 kg in total.
DNR4-Wheel Rollator (S$175) with its light aluminium frame and foldable design comes with a padded seat and backrest, removable basket, and ergonomic handles. Measures 6.5 kg in weight.
Wheelchairs can help those with severe mobility limitations or who need frequent rest.
The NeuroNode Trilogy: For people with ALS/MND or other severe disabilities. It uses a wireless sensor that detects muscle signals and controls the wheelchair.
It incorporates a speech-generating device that uses eyes or muscle signals to speak, and can be attached to the SGOrion Neis Foldable Wheelchair, one of the best-rated and best-selling foldable wheelchairs in Singapore.
Mobility scooters help those who can’t walk well or over long distances.
Singapore company Falcon Mobility offers a range of mobility scooters, such as the Budget-Lite 4-Wheeled Mobility Scooter (S$998), the Solax Mobie “S” Foldable Mobility Scooter (S$2,399), and the Moving Life Atto Foldable Mobility Scooter (S$4,399).
These scooters are lightweight, foldable, and easy to transport. They also come with battery chargers that are certified with a “Singapore Safety Mark”.
Mobot is the dealer of Dualtron e-scooters in Singapore selling mobility scooters such as the FLEXI Prime 4 Wheels (S$1,399), the FLEXI 4th Gen 3 Wheels (from S$1,599), and the RELYNC R1 3 Wheels (S$2,999). These scooters are also portable, durable, and comfortable.
2. Swimming Aids
4 Ways Tech Can Help Us Live With Greater Purpose - Swimming
Swimming is a great form of exercise for seniors as it can improve cardiovascular health, muscle strength, flexibility, and mental well-being.
It can also be beneficial for seniors who have arthritis, diabetes, or other chronic conditions as it can reduce pain and inflammation, lower blood sugar levels, and improve mood.
However, some seniors may face challenges with swimming due to fear of water, lack of confidence, or physical limitations.
Let tech splash in and lend a hand.
Swim belts provide buoyancy for the user and can also help with improving posture and balance while swimming.
The Inflatable Swim Belt can be inflated or deflated to adjust the buoyancy. It is made of durable PVC material and has a buckle closure.
The Aquafitness Swim Float Belt has four foam blocks that provide flotation and stability. It is made of neoprene material and has a Velcro closure. It can help you perform aqua fitness exercises and strengthen your core muscles.
Swim fins are attached to the feet to enhance the propulsion and speed of the user. They can also help with strengthening the leg muscles and improving blood circulation.
Training Fins are long blade fins that provide extra propulsion and lift in the water.
Made of soft and buoyant rubber material and have a closed heel design, they can help you improve your body position and technique for all four strokes.
Some good options to consider include the FINIS Z2 Gold Zoomers, which are short blade fins that provide instant feedback and speed and are made of durable and comfortable silicone material with an open heel design.
The FINIS Edge are high velocity fins that provide optimal thrust and resistance. They are made of 100% silicone material with a patented technology that aligns with the natural angle of the foot, to enhance your kick cycle and stroke rate for all swim styles.
Swim trackers monitor the user’s swimming performance and provides feedback on metrics such as distance, speed, calories burned, strokes per lap, etc.
Garmin Swim 2 can track your heart rate underwater and tell you how far, fast and efficiently you swim. It also has GPS so you can map your open water swims.
FitBit Inspire 3 is a sleek and stylish tracker that can measure your heart rate, calories, steps, sleep and more. It also has a touch screen that lets you control your Spotify music and a one-year premium warranty that gives you access to personalized guidance and insights.
Polar Grit X Pro can handle any condition and activity. It has a special mode for swimmers that tracks your distance, pace, strokes, and more. It also has a compass, altimeter, weather forecast and recovery advice to help you navigate any adventure.
3. Stability Aids
4 Ways Tech Can Help Us Live With Greater Purpose - Stability Aids
Falls are a common and serious risk for everyone, but more so if you’re older and if you live alone.
Fall detection watches are wearable devices that can automatically detect when a person falls and alert emergency contacts or services.
Some of these devices also have GPS tracking, heart rate monitoring, medication reminders, and other features that can help you stay safe and healthy.
The Apple Watch Series 4 and later have a built-in fall detection feature that can call for local emergency services if the user is unresponsive after a fall.
Another option is the Guardian Love 4G Senior Smartwatch, which includes GPS tracking and a heart rate sensor.
Most branded smart watches also include fall detection features, so models from Samsung, Fitbit and Garmin, among others are worth a look.
4 Ways Tech Can Help Us Live With Greater Purpose - Orthotic Wear
Orthotics are devices with technology that support or correct musculoskeletal problems.
They can be custom-made or ready-made for different conditions, such as knee pains, plantar fasciitis, and flat feet.
Other products that can help are knee guards, insoles and customisable footwear.
These products can reduce pain, improve blood circulation and joint function, correct foot posture and gait, prevent foot problems, and provide more comfort, support and stability.
Some brands of these products in Singapore include Bauerfeind, FeetCare, Footkaki’s Formthotics, Footkaki’s Revitalign, Feetcare’s Sole, and Dr. Scholl’s.
Before buying these products, it’s best to consult a podiatrist or a foot care specialist.
Gait and posture management are important aspects of maintaining mobility and preventing falls among seniors.
Gait refers to the way you walk, while posture refers to the way you stand, sit or lie down. Having a good gait and posture can improve your balance, stability, coordination and confidence. Here are some helpful apps.
Posture Pal uses the motion sensors in your AirPods to detect your posture and help improve your head and neck position. A cute animated giraffe reminds you to maintain a healthier posture if you start slouching or leaning to one side.
Right Gait & Posture is available on iOS and helps users improve their gait and posture through a series of exercises and tutorials.
Perfect Posture & Healthy Back is available on both Android and iOS and features 125 back and shoulder exercises with tutorial videos, animations, and text to help you maintain proper form. The app comes with 26 “everyday” plans and a 30-day challenge.
4. Health Management Aids
4 Ways Tech Can Help Us Live With Greater Purpose - Health Management Aids
Managing one’s health is crucial for everyone, especially silvers who will want to prevent or delay the onset of chronic diseases, such as diabetes, hypertension, or dementia.
Technology can help seniors to monitor their vital signs, track their medication intake, access health information and services, and manage their chronic conditions.
Wearable devices are gadgets that can be worn on the body to measure various health indicators, such as heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose, oxygen saturation, etc.
They can help seniors keep track of their health status and alert them or their caregivers if there are any abnormalities. Some wearable devices can also provide feedback or coaching to help elders improve their health behaviours, such as physical activity or sleep quality.
For example, Fitbit is a popular brand of wearable devices that can sync with smartphones and provide personalised insights on health and fitness.
Medication management systems are devices that can help elders to organise, dispense and remind them of their medication intake.
They can help seniors avoid missing doses, taking wrong doses, or mixing up medications.
Some medication management systems can also connect to the internet and send data or alerts to caregivers or health professionals.
Pillpresso is a Singapore-based company that offers a smart pill dispenser that can sort and schedule medications, send reminders via an app, and notify caregivers of any missed doses.
Use Tech To Your Advantage
Seniors deserve to live their golden years with dignity and joy. Technology can help them do that.
However, technology is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It has to be accessible, affordable, and user-friendly for silvers to adopt and benefit from it.
Technology can be a game-changer for ageing and longevity, but only if we ensure that no one is left behind in the digital era.

Also read:

Leon Pereira

The Silver techie who enjoys good sound and gadgets that make life more enjoyable.

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