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Helping People Age with Dignity

What impacts is technology having on senior living situations?

When a senior is thinking about the possibility of having to leave their home and move into an elder care facility, there are many worries they may have. They may be concerned about the emotions of leaving a long-time family home, how much independence they would lose by moving into a facility and what long-term financial implications them moving to an elder care facility would have on them and their family. Thus, most elderly individuals hope to stay in their own home, and out of a care facility, as long as possible.

Technology may be extending the amount of time that elderly individuals can safely live on their own in their home and have all of their needs properly addressed. More and more new technological devices are showing up that can help seniors with living at home. Such devices include things like digital safety watches (that have things like medication alerts and a medical alert button for falls), household devices with sensors that can transmit safety data and other information to family members and caregivers, and devices that can allow for remote care-giving.

Some technology experts believe that as these sorts of technologies continue to improve, further develop and become more common, it could greatly change the options available to many elderly individuals regarding where they can live.

Do you think technology has made, and will continue to make, it easier for seniors to live at home deep into their elderly years? What impacts do you think technology will have in the future on how much in the way of elder care facility needs seniors will have?

While technology may be expanding the circumstances under which seniors can continue to live at home, and looking into how technology may be able to help them can be a worthwhile thing for seniors, it is also important for seniors here in Massachusetts to not completely ignore the possibility of someday needing to move into an elder care facility. Ignoring this possibility could leave an elderly individual majorly unprepared, financially and otherwise, if they do end up eventually needing to stay at such a facility. Elder law attorneys can provide information to seniors on the different estate planning devices, such as trusts, that can be used to plan and prepare for potential future elder care facility stays.

Source: Tampa Bay Times, "Modern technology helping the elderly stay at home," August 9, 2015

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