3 Trends in Senior Care Technology

CAST | January 25, 2021 | by Donna Childress

Forbes shares predictions for three senior care trends that provide opportunities for health technology vendors.

As the new year kicks off, Forbes has shared "Three Trends In Senior Care That Offer Opportunities For Health Tech Companies." The 2021 predictions reflect the growing need for user-friendly tools that keep older adults independent and support family caregivers. The pandemic has highlighted the following trends.

1) In-Home Care Preferences

As more older adults seek ways to age in place, the demand for healthcare and independent and in-home care is growing. Forbes noted that health tech companies are already reimagining the home’s function, creating fully connected household devices that make it easier for older adults to get help. To succeed, these products must be accessible, developed with empathy, understanding and creativity.

2) Increased Screen Time for Seniors

Smart versions of what once were simple home tools like doorbells and pill dispensers are proliferating. Examples include Internet of Things devices like Google Home and smart doorbells for security or a pill dispenser that sends medication reminders via smartphone.
 
Usability will be paramount, and the products must support older adults’ health and independence. Products that rely on auditory notifications must be loud enough, and visual interfaces must have easy-to-read text and appropriate colors. Devices must accommodate dexterity challenges.

3) The Emergence of The Sandwich Generation

The ratio of working-age adults to seniors, known as the “old-age support ratio,” continues to drop, landing in 2020 at one out of 3.7. As fewer workers are available to care for older adults, more adult children will be pushed into the “sandwich generation,” caring for their children and aging parents.
 
Forbes foresees an increase in virtual assistants and connected devices to meet this need. Related tech solutions may include monitoring the older adult’s diet and activity levels and ensuring they are taking their medications. Those tech solutions will promote older adults’ independence while supporting caregivers and providing more family quality time for all generations.