A new study conducted by housing and aging experts at the University of Stirling found that incorporating low-tech gadgets into your retirement planning can have a significant impact on your health and well-being.
Led by Dr. Vicky McCall in partnership with leading housing association Stonewater, the study, funded by the Longley Foundation, sought to find out how technology could best support retired residents. Researchers have found that gadgets like Fitbits, water heaters, bottle openers, and smart speakers make small changes to residents’ daily lives, transforming their health and safety.
Dr. McCall, Senior Lecturer in Social Policy and Housing at the University of Stirling, said: The biggest impact, where routine changes can have transformative effects. This can be anything from making a cup of tea alone, to joining a “Fitbit” walking group, to receiving medication reminders on your tablet. ”
The research included interviews with staff and residents at four of Stonewater’s retirement homes across the UK and identified technologies that could improve living and working conditions. Then technology or “gadgets” were introduced and researchers recorded people’s experiences.
Dr. McCall said: Helping people with simple, mundane tasks has been recognized to make a big difference. ”
One staff member involved in the investigation said: Some of the small, simple gadgets like plates, angled spoons, and jar openers are great. The little things that really challenge someone are huge in their life. It’s these little, little things that make a big impact. ”
“The reconceptualization of this technology – the inclusion of low-tech gadgets alongside cutting-edge digital technology,” added Dr. McCall. It plays an important role in everyday life, supporting personal well-being, social connection and a sense of independence. ”