Bet There’s an App for That!

Author:  Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
Age-Friendly Business®

Do you line up the night before to buy the latest shiny new device being launched the next day? Perhaps you are a self-proclaimed “luddite” who opposes technological change.  

More likely, you shun the two extremes and embrace technology that actually works, serves you, and makes your life easier, safer, and more convenient. New technologies are being introduced continually to help us maintain our independence and age more safely in place.

Monitors alert us to take specific medications at prescribed times of day and ensure the medications are accessible only then. Do you fear a loved one will miss taking meds? No problem. A pre-recorded reminder message can arrive to the loved one through the TV set and a text message can alert you or another caregiver that the meds were not taken.

Motion detectors can identify when routine activities of daily living fail to be carried out. Perhaps the fridge door was not opened throughout the day or the toilet was not flushed. Once again, caregivers can be alerted to the lack of activity. 

In terms of your personal health, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar can be monitored on a regular basis. Various vital biomarkers can be tracked, recorded, and uploaded to a cloud file for review by your healthcare practitioners. Is mobility a problem or do you live in a rural area? Telehealth connections allow you to engage directly with healthcare professionals through Skype and other technologies.   

Robots are being developed to assume some of the caregiving tasks and Japan is leading the way. With an emerging aging population and an insufficient number of caregivers to meet the demand, Japan is developing “carebots” to do everything from lifting individuals from bed to a wheelchair, to noticing if someone has fallen. They monitor vital signs and recognize when something is inconsistent with a person’s regular routine. A camera attached to the carebot records in real-time; caregivers can log-in at any time to view the videos, especially when the caregivers are alerted through the program’s applications.

Want a pet companion without all the work? Meet adorable fluffy “robo-kitty” that purrs when petted and meows and nuzzles when you scratch behind its ears. As a lifetime pet owner and pet lover, the robo-kitty was a bit of a stretch for me until I thought about no more shedding, no claw marks on the floors or tears in the furniture, and no kitty-litter boxes! 

Hmm . . . maybe I’ll line up for the next shiny new device launch. 

Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
Age-Friendly Business®

Turkey Sweet Potato Pita Enchiladas

4 servings.

Ingredients -1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped (about 1 lb/454 g), 1 tsp (5 mL) canola oil, 1 pkg (450 g) lean ground turkey, 1 small onion, chopped, 3 cloves garlic, minced, 1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder, 2 tsp (10 mL) dried oregano, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin, Pinch cayenne, 2 whole wheat pitas, halved.

Red Sauce – 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) passata (tomato puree), 1/2 cup (125 mL) water or low sodium vegetable or chicken broth, 1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder, 1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin, 1 large clove garlic, minced, 2 tsp (10 mL) sodium reduced soy sauce.

1.    Red sauce: In a saucepan, bring passata, water, chili powder, cumin and garlic to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Stir in soy sauce; set aside.
2.    Cover sweet potato in a microwaveable bowl with water; cover and microwave for 5 minutes or until tender. Drain well and mash coarsely; set aside.
3.    In a nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat and cook turkey, onion, garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin and cayenne for about 8 minutes or until no longer pink inside. Stir in mashed sweet potato.
4.    Divide mixture among pita halves and place in a casserole dish. Pour red sauce over top. Cover with foil and bake in preheated 400° F (200° C) oven for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for about 5 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and pita is slightly golden and crisp.

Nutritional Info Per Serving (1 of 4)-Calories 389, Protein 29 g, Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 3 g, Cholesterol 97 mg, Carbohydrates 50 g, Fibre 9 g, Total sugars 12 g, Added sugars 0 g, Sodium 517 mg, Potassium 973 mg.

Recipe by Emily Richards (PH Ec.), Reprinted with permission from The Heart and Stroke Foundation


“Change the changeable, accept the unchangeable, and remove yourself from the unacceptable”.

Denis Waitley

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