As people grow older, it can become more and more difficult to complete spring cleaning chores. What were once simple cleaning activities become a challenge with decreased mobility. Too many older people are forced to let their environment fall into disrepair, and unfortunately, a chaotic home environment only serves to speed up mental and physical decline. Luckily, in today's age of modern technology and the Internet of Things, it's easier than ever for seniors to keep their home in order. New technology helps older adults to remain safe and healthy, allowing them to age in peace. Spring Cleaning Week takes a look at just some of the ways that technology is helping us:
Personal electronic assistants such as Siri and Alexa are quickly becoming a fixture in most homes. They can be especially handy for the elderly, as they eliminate the need to move around the house to do things such as turn on lights or adjust the thermostat. Electronic assistants can help older people to keep the house organised by setting alarms, giving reminders, recording shopping lists, and much more. Better yet, most can be voice activated from any room of the house. Those who want to hire weekly or monthly cleaning services to help out can even do so by talking to their electronic assistant.
This year, it is expected that more sophisticated versions of personal assistants will be out on the market. It has been suggested that people of all ages may soon be able to have real chats with home assistants. Moreover, while it’s now possible to conduct relationships via computers through social media, it’s possible that people will also have relationships with them. Just like pets, computers and AI may soon become part of families all over the world.
Most people are familiar with the Roomba, a handy little disk-shaped robot designed to sweep floors and vacuum carpets. The Roomba was one of the first futuristic cleaning tools to hit the market, giving homeowners a hands-free cleaning option. Instead of pushing around a heavy vacuum for several hours each week, older adults can simply turn on a small robot and kick their feet up for a bit.
Nowadays, robots can clean much more than just floors. The Braava is able to mop and disinfect hard surfaces, while The Looj is designed to clean gutters. This eliminates the need for seniors to climb a ladder and increase their risk of falling.
Older adults can even find more cuddly robotic companions designed to help out around the house. The SpotMini is a robotic dog that helps to pick up around the house, removing items from the floor that may increase the risk of slips and falls. It can also hand things to its owners so that they don’t have to crouch or bend.
Robotic walk assist systems
Older adults with mobility problems may be able to move more freely and regain their independence using robotic walk assist systems. Last year, Toyota Motor Corp. announced that it would be commercialising rehabilitation robots for rent. The technology was first made available to Japan’s elderly and it is expected that the system will be used all over the world in the next few years. By adding a high-tech element to mobility aids, it is likely that older adults will be able to stay independent longer and will be able to do everyday tasks with less difficulty.
Apart from enabling seniors to do their chores with ease, robotic walk assist systems can also help them to become more social. Imagine being able to go anywhere to visit friends and family members with the help of a robot. Staying social is part of a healthy lifestyle as it can improve mental health and also lessens the risk of social isolation and depression. As older adults become more mobile, they are also able to interact more and ask for help to do heavy chores that they may not be able to do anymore.
Modern technological marvels are making everyday cleaning tasks easier for seniors and older adult. Electronic assistants and cleaning robots are just some of the emerging technology designed to help us keep our houses clean and tidy.
For more ideas on cleaning upgrades, check out Spring Cleaning Week's top tips on technology to help your spring cleaning.
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