In 1959, a car driving around the bend on a quiet suburban street - rolled over. One of the occupants, a young man, got out.
Fast forward, and the other will go on to live an outstanding life; meet his wife, become a parent [and grandparent], start a business, and earn national and international awards and the respect of all he meets.
During that first year, breathing through a tracheotomy and regular rehab, the hospital was home, and 'quadriplegia' was the term most used. Between him and my mum, they were extraordinary at finding a way to do more and give more, whatever the obstacles.
These days, decades later, we know nothing can take the place of humanity, medical care, and hard work - but there are now incredible possibilities with health-related technology to help those with health or age-related conditions or disabilities. Examples include help for needs associated with heart conditions, sleep apnea, diabetes, seizures, Autism spectrum, dementia, Stroke, Parkinson's, and hearing, vision, or mobility restricted.
Billions of dollars are invested, many with the relevant regulatory approvals and clinical validations. Brands from Amazon and Apple to Wellue and Withings. Technology from mainstream and niche to emerging providers.
Sleep peacefully, knowing a ring on your finger tracks your heart rate and oxygen levels while you sleep, gently vibrating to wake you when breathing slows. and showing loved ones miles away the same trends in real-time.
A temporarily foggy mind is at rest when the family places a hand on a shoulder, having located them and now gently heads home.
A laser light on your belt that shines a red light on the ground to prompt another step when Parkinson's would otherwise freeze your gait. A watch on your wrist calms your pondering thoughts by taking a medical-grade ECG while you wait for the coffee you ordered to arrive.
Isolation and distance can be somewhat be switched with chatter, dropping in on those you love to see each other and all the non-verbal signs of concern or joy, when you can't drive over.
Know what you need to, with voice assistants that let you ask anything, get jobs done, or show you who's at the front gate. Unlock the door from where you are or switch on the lights with a few short words.
It can be a little intimidating, to reach for technology. (Let's name it..)
So think about what you want to be doing.
Think about what you want to be feeling or what you want to be different.
Gaining strength with rehab? Living independently with a chronic condition? Going out without a driver's license? Focus on that outcome, and weave technology into your day. You're in charge. It's there if you'd like the help.
Always seek your doctor or health professional's advice, and don't consider these to be life-saving devices. If you'd like more information, you'll find hundreds of choices across these areas, listed at www.helloedlife.com.