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Older individuals are especially interested in tech to:

Source: Older Adults Keep Pace on Tech Usage—2020 Tech Trends of the 50+, aarp.com, 1/20

Home was once where the heart was. Now, it’s where the technology is. And that’s a good thing for people who want to stay in their current residence as they age. Our homes play an integral part in our family lives and are full of memories and our personal effects.

 

Aging In Place Can Be Challenging

Often, the memories associated with our house and being comfortable in that familiar environment are the leading factors in wanting to stay put. According to AARP, nearly 80% of adults age 55 and older intend to stay in their own homes for as long as possible.1 But doing things we could easily do ourselves in the past, such as changing a light bulb, can become challenging and even risky.

Today, new technologies can help in ways not possible in the past, by allowing retirees to care for themselves, regulate home energy use, and receive assistance with daily living while still maintaining the freedom they cherish. These innovations can not only alleviate concerns of the aging client but also those who care about them.

 

Getting Things Done Around Your Home

Technology can help make tasks that were taken for granted in younger years easier. Because of that, it can help your clients age easier by being a significant helping hand for them to remain independent and age in their own homes.2

1. Meals at home: There are various websites and mobile apps that can now assist in delivering groceries and ingredients for meals. Peapod allows you to shop online without leaving the comfort of your home, and groceries can be delivered as early as the next day.

Not in the mood to shop? Blue Apron provides all the ingredients needed to make a delicious meal in exactly the right proportions. Craving your favorite dish from a local restaurant? Grubhub offers online ordering from restaurants near you. 

2. Daily chores: Get ready for life without chores. With the Hello Alfred app, you don't have worry again about dry cleaning, laundry, or house cleaning. TaskRabbit is another app that can take care of all your chores and errands to help you be more productive every day.

3. Home maintenance: There’s no need to try to repair things yourself. Home owners can get matched with top-rated remodelers and contractors with the click of a button. Angie's List provides trusted, credible customer reviews to help you choose companies for home improvement and maintenance projects. HomeAdvisor also helps you locate and connect with reputable home improvement and repair professionals.

4. Voice-controlled systems: The Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Google Home are hands-free, voice-controlled speakers that can play music, read books, deliver news and sports scores, recite recipes, and tell you the weather—just to name a few things.

5. Smart living: Programmable, self-learning, Wi-Fi-enabled devices, such as those from the Nest company, can help with everything from adjusting the temperature and lighting in the home to setting the security system. The smart speakers mentioned above can act as voice-activated controllers to access a number of these helpful devices. A vacuuming robot called the Roomba helps you stay ahead of daily dust and dirt by vacuuming every day. 

 

How Can You Help

Aging in place is much easier for clients with technology on their side. From services that help them maintain their home to devices that make life more convenient, a helping hand is always just a click away. Try the services, apps, and devices mentioned with your clients to show them how helpful—and easy—they can be to use. 

 

Next Steps

1 Download or order the client workbook
2 Use the workbook to familiarize yourself with the latest apps, sites, and devices
3 To bring these tools to life for them, order a meal from Blue Apron for three clients

 

More on 5 Ways Technology Will Change How You Age >


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1Most Retirees Prefer to Stay Put, aarp.org, 10/18. Most recent data available. 

2Please note that not all services may be available in your area.

Hartford Funds may or may not be invested in the companies referenced herein; however, no particular endorsement of any product or service is being made.

The MIT AgeLab is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford Funds.

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