Health+Wellness • Article

Aging in Place Through Technology

Carol Sorgen

Share this article

Find out how apps for caregivers and other tech allow seniors to grow old in their own homes. 

"Technology is the new assisted living," says Lisa Cini.

Cini, who has been designing assisted living facilities for some 25 years, is also the author of the forthcoming book, BOOM: The Baby Boomers Guide to Leveraging Technology, and founder of the retail website, Best Living Tech.

Through her firm, Mosaic Design Studio, Cini's mission is to create comfortable and functional spaces for senior living, long-term care, and health care institutions across the country.

But Cini acknowledges that most people would much prefer to age in place—living in their own home.

Indeed, according to Laurie Orlov, founder of Aging In Place Technology Watch, 80 percent of older adults today do live in their own homes, with one-third of those 65 and over and more than 46 percent of those 75 and older living alone.

The desire for independence and the sense of well-being that comes from living in familiar surroundings are driving forces in wanting to age in place, but safety and security issues are significant causes for concern, both for older adults and their family members.

To allay those fears and meet the needs of seniors and their caregivers, investment in the mature market is increasing, especially in the field of technology. The recent Consumer Electronics Show, sponsored by the Consumer Technology Association, featured senior-friendly technology, including:

  • Watches that offer a professionally-monitored personal emergency response system

  • Wireless earbuds that evaluate the user's hearing

  • Artificial intelligence platforms with such features as motion- and fall-detection

  • Robots that can schedule and coordinate activities, such as family get-togethers, medical appointments and social activities

  • Home security cameras with facial recognition software, so homeowners can create a gallery of trusted visitors

  • The Sleep Number 360™ smart bed from Sleep Number Corporation (NASDAQ: SNBR), which gives a glimpse into the future of health and wellness by doing everything from identifying and warning of a heart attack to detecting sleep apnea. The bed's biometric sleep tracking technology and comprehensive sleep database are laying the foundation for an effortless sleep and health platform.

“We envision a future where higher quality sleep transforms consumers' health and wellness," said Shelly Ibach, Sleep Number® president and chief executive officer. 


“Sleep Number®'s 360 smart bed's robust SleepIQ® technology platform integrates sleep science, sophisticated biometrics, and artificial intelligence to provide effortless adjustability and tangible improvements to their health."


In fact, sleepers who routinely use their Sleep Number 360® smart bed features and SleepIQ® technology get almost 100 hours more proven quality sleep per year.*


Apps for caregivers can provide well-being updates, help manage care, and send alerts if the sensor picks up on changes in activity or eating patterns.

Innovation in senior-living technology is not stopping there. Research institutions like the MIT AgeLab and the Oregon Center for Aging & Technology are challenging technology developers and entrepreneurs to develop solutions and products that will transform the landscape of senior care.

Home monitoring devices and software, for example, will be able to relay your vital signs to your doctor. Skype will no longer just be a convenient way to see the grandkids, but will connect patients to their health care professional, helping them avoid an expensive or inconvenient office visit.

"Technology is giving us the confidence and security to remain in our homes as we age, which is what most of us want to do," says Cini.

Like diet and exercise, quality sleep has a profound impact on our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. Because no two people sleep the same, Sleep Number 360
® smart beds, with SleepIQ® technology, sense your movements and automatically adjust firmness, comfort and support to keep you both sleeping comfortably and provide proven quality sleep. Find your Sleep Number® setting for your best possible night's sleep, and if you own a Sleep Number® bed, log in to your InnerCircle℠ Rewards account to see your exclusive offers, refer friends and more.

*Based on internal analysis of sleep sessions assessing sleepers who use multiple features of Sleep Number
® products. Claim based on sleepers achieving over 15 more minutes of restful sleep per sleep sessions.



Carol Sorgen is a full-time freelance writer based in Portland, Oregon. She covers a variety of topics including healthcare, lifestyle, travel, aging, the arts, architecture/design, life sciences, business, and education. Her articles have appeared in such publications as The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, WebMD, Ocean Home, and Psychiatric News, to name a few.

Share this article