Technology for Nursing Home Residents

I recently read an article about how the aging of baby boomers is causing some technology companies to focus on products geared toward older adults, often with the goal of helping them remain independent and at home for longer periods of time.  But what about those older adults already living in nursing homes?  What would help them be more independent?
Here are products I thought residents would appreciate, and ones I’d like myself when it’s my turn.  Please add your suggestions in the Comments section:

  • A motorized wheelchair
  • A remote control for the air conditioner/heating system
  • Windows that can open and shut by remote control
  • A rubberized telephone that can withstand frequent dropping
  • Wi-Fi
  • Any adaptive equipment I need to use my laptop
  • A staff paging system that doesn’t involve overhead announcements

13 thoughts on “Technology for Nursing Home Residents”

  1. Dr. El,

    Great list! The remote air conditioning/heat is a must, but, I particulary like the remote window idea. I would like to add remote lighting.

    I am going to ask the residents I work with what they would like.

  2. For those who have lost capacity to type (and still love their computer), voice-to-text software that allows a person to "speak" what they wish to write in an email or document.
    This truly facilitates communication.

  3. Sue, looking forward to hearing what your residents have to say.

    Good idea, Dale, about the voice to text software. Also, if people can type but not speak, text to voice software would be helpful.

  4. I find, Anonymous, that what would make the most difference for the residents I've seen is very simple and basic real-world technology. Here, I assume I'll have my laptop with me, but for most nursing home residents, computer access even on a communal computer is not a given.

  5. Dear Anonymous,

    I believe positive change occurs when people in the real world first identify things that can use improvement and then work towards that end.

  6. Great educational Wii games for elderly seniors are a big hit at many senior residences – the sports bowling games are especially popular, as is golf.

    They also have fun "Brain games" as well as popular TV game show like Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and my senior dad's favorite, The Price is Right.

    All of these combine to make good options for fun and easy exercise for body and mind for senior citizens – great additions for any senior facility.

  7. Kaye, I agree, the new game technology is great for nursing home residents. Many of them can "transport" the players out of the home and into an environment of their choosing, while adapting to their level of physical ability. "Brain games" are always popular, and technology adds a fun, new spin. They'll be successful until we get to the point where the residents are consulting their smartphones in the middle of the activity to get all the answers!

  8. I recently heard of a car that they have developed (or in the process of perfecting) for blind drivers. What about electric wheelchairs for the blind or wheelchairs with crash prevention technology.

  9. Sue, crash prevention technology would be great because one of the biggest deterrents to allowing power chairs in nursing homes is the fear that residents will crash into each other. Barring that, residents will have to apply and reapply for a "driver's license" via the rehab department.

  10. Having technology in a nursing home will surely benefit the residents there. Technology exists to help mankind, including older adults. It's a good thing that my dad's nursing home has a Wi-Fi; it's our only way of communication since the place is far from home.

  11. Cara, with Wi-Fi, residents could Skype in their rooms and keep in touch with family members all over the world. I hope some day all nursing homes have Wi-Fi and make the most of its ability to connect residents and their families and friends. Glad you and your Dad are able to do so.


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