Transforming Elderly Care in Singapore with Voice Assistants
The life expectancy of Singaporeans is one of the highest in the world. Though that in and of itself is a magnificent feat from a medical standpoint, it has also brought about major concerns with regards to healthcare for the aging population. Beyond the socioeconomic implications of an aging population, there are other interrelated issues that require immediate action. Although the Singapore government is already responding to the shift in demographics to mitigate the issues at hand with care programmes and more, there are things we can do to play our part. And one of the innovative solutions we can leverage is smart home devices for the elderly.
According to the public sector report released in 2020, the life expectancy of Singaporean men and women is 81.4 and 85.7 respectively. With our life expectancy rates being one of the highest in the world, the elderly are estimated to make up almost 50% of our population by 2050. Some of the effects of an aging population include an increase in dependency ratio and healthcare costs. As such, the government has invested large sums of money to ensure that those of old age will not only have sufficient funds for coverage after retirement but are also covered in terms of hospitalisation expenses and personal development.
In addition to the challenges that might arise in the healthcare industry and personal development-related fields, there is also a shortage of caretakers offering aid. Add to that the risks of caregiver burnout, and elderly care becomes an issue that will soon plague society if no immediate action is taken. Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, leveraging digital technology is one of the key methods of addressing these challenges.
Technology Adds a New Dimension to Elderly Care
Being in the midst of the golden age of innovations, it is inevitable that technology is intertwined with our everyday lives. From smartphones to smart locks, we interact with technology daily. Though initially designed to remove the hassles of mundane tasks, advancements in areas such as voice technology mean that this evolution can be utilised in areas that we once never considered – providing care, more specifically, elderly care. Although smart gadgets like smart SOS buttons are quick to come to mind when considering smart care solutions, other innovations that make full use of voice assistants are just as effective in offering personalised care through their seamless communication capabilities.
Benefits of Using Voice Assistants at Home
By definition, voice assistants are smart home devices that communicate with their users and effectively respond to commands. A common feature in any smart home, voice assistive technology can also cater to the needs of the elderly. From independent living to safety, voice assistance and smart homes could be the solution to positive aging-in-place. When used strategically to transform how we provide elderly care, it offers many advantages that include:
1. Improving the Lives of the Elderly and the Disabled
It is said approximately 1 in 3 elderlies over the age of 65 experience a fall annually. The fear of an elderly parent lying helplessly and risking severe injury is one that troubles the minds of many caregivers. With voice assistants, however, this fear can be eliminated relatively easily. It also helps the elderly living alone connect with their caregivers and communicate their needs verbally without the need to go through the hassle of utilising other complicated tech devices like a smartphone. In addition, those with limited dexterity or sight due to old age or a disability will not have to struggle and fidget around with devices and tools – all that is required of them is to make the slightest vocal command for a response.
2. A Digital Companion
According to the Voice for Loneliness study conducted by Abbeyfield, Greenwood Campbell, and the University of Reading, it was demonstrated that voice assistants act as digital companions to the elderly. This was an observation made based on the fact that it managed to improve the moods and emotional health of the residents at elderly care homes. Being available 24/7, this is quite possibly one of the best comforting options to support the elderly living alone at home.
Transform Lives with HomeAuto
With wireless hubs such as the Zigbee Wireless Hub being able to handle up to 25 devices, connecting several smart home devices, such as voice assistants, for the elderly is a breeze. Boasting a range of smart care and smart home solutions, you can rest assured that HomeAuto will keep your home safe for the elderly and improve their quality of life.
Have queries about HomeAuto products or whether your voice assistant is compatible with a particular protocol? Contact us at [email protected], and we will offer you more information on our range of smart home solutions.