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Innovations in Aging: Technologies and Services Enhancing the Quality of Life for Canadian Seniors

Updated: Aug 25, 2023


An older woman looks at her ipad.
Discover how innovative technologies and services are enhancing the quality of life for Canadian seniors.

As the Canadian population continues to age, with seniors now making up 17.5% of the total population, the need for innovative solutions to address the unique challenges faced by this demographic has become more critical than ever. In response, numerous technologies and services have emerged, designed to enhance the quality of life for seniors and empower them to live independently and maintain their well-being. Let's explore some of the most transformative innovations that are improving the lives of seniors in Canada.


Health Monitoring Devices


Health monitoring devices have made it easier for seniors to keep track of their overall health and receive prompt medical attention when needed. Wearable devices like smartwatches and fitness trackers allow seniors to monitor their heart rate, sleep patterns, and physical activity levels, empowering them to maintain a healthier lifestyle. For example, Apple Watches have a fall detection feature, which automatically alerts emergency services if the wearer experiences a hard fall and doesn't respond within a specified time.


Telehealth Services


Telehealth services have revolutionized the way seniors access healthcare, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Canada, telehealth platforms like Maple and TELUS Health Virtual Care connect seniors with healthcare providers through video consultations, phone calls, or messaging services. This enables seniors to receive medical advice, obtain prescription refills, and manage chronic conditions without leaving their homes.

Connecting to telehealth platforms like Maple and TELUS Health Virtual Care is simple and user-friendly. Here's a brief overview of how to get started with each platform:

Maple:

  1. Visit the Maple website (https://www.getmaple.ca/) or download the Maple app on your smartphone or tablet from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

  2. Create an account by providing your name, email address, and other requested information.

  3. Select the type of healthcare provider you need (e.g., doctor, mental health professional, or specialist).

  4. Provide a brief description of your medical issue or concern.

  5. Choose your preferred appointment time (if available) or wait for an available healthcare provider.

  6. Once connected to a healthcare provider, you can discuss your concerns via secure text messaging, phone call, or video call.

TELUS Health Virtual Care:

  1. Visit the TELUS Health Virtual Care website (https://www.telus.com/en/health/personal/virtual-care) or download the TELUS Health Virtual Care app on your smartphone or tablet from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

  2. Create an account by providing your name, email address, and other requested information.

  3. Complete your medical profile, including personal and emergency contact information, medical history, and any medications or allergies.

  4. Choose the type of healthcare provider you need (e.g., doctor, mental health professional, or specialist).

  5. Request a virtual appointment by selecting an available date and time or wait for an available healthcare provider.

  6. Once connected to a healthcare provider, you can discuss your concerns via secure text messaging, phone call, or video call.

Both platforms are designed to be accessible and easy to use, even for those who may not be tech-savvy. With telehealth services, you can receive medical care and advice from the comfort of your home, making healthcare more convenient and accessible.


Smart Home Technologies


Smart home technologies can provide seniors with added safety, convenience, and independence. Voice-activated assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home can help seniors control lighting, temperature, and home security systems, as well as access news, weather updates, and reminders for medication. Additionally, smart home systems can be customized to include features like automatic stove shut-off devices and motion-activated lighting to reduce the risk of accidents in the home.


Virtual Social Engagement Platforms


Loneliness and isolation can significantly impact seniors' mental health. Thankfully, virtual social engagement platforms like Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime have made it possible for seniors to stay connected with friends and family, despite physical distancing measures. In Canada, organizations like Seniors' Centre Without Walls offer telephone-based group activities, including trivia games, book clubs, and conversation circles, to help seniors stay socially engaged.


Transportation Services


Innovative transportation services have emerged to cater to seniors' mobility needs. Companies like Uber and Lyft offer accessible ride-sharing options, while specialized services like iRide Plus in York Region provide door-to-door transportation for seniors and persons with disabilities. These services make it easier for seniors to attend medical appointments, go shopping, or visit friends and family.


As technology continues to evolve, we can expect even more groundbreaking innovations to enhance the quality of life for seniors in Canada. By embracing these advancements, seniors can maintain their independence, stay connected, and lead fulfilling lives in their golden years.