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Here's How Technology Will Change Elder Care

By September 3, 2015Aging in Place

It seems as though another new device pops up every day. Although the majority of the market develops gadgets to make work, school, or social life more convenient and fun, there’s a growing number of entrepreneurs looking to use technology to seniors.

Currently, there aren’t a lot of high-tech devices designed to make life easier for seniors, but that’s going to change. Technology that keeps track of an older person’s safety in their home or monitors their health 24 hours a day will soon come into play with advances such as sensor technology, wearable health tracking, and improved contact for at-home caregivers.

Remember the old commercial, “Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” A senior would press a panic button and help was on the way. Technology is taking that to an entirely new level. Sensors placed around the house will be able to track an older person’s movements. Whether it’s a simple activity like walking from one room to the other or leaving the house to run an errand, new high-tech sensors will detect a fall. The data from these sensors will be transmitted to an “app” on a caregiver’s phone, notifying them that help is needed.

Wearable high-tech items are going to become more commonplace. Imagine if an older person didn’t have to make a trip to the doctor’s office just to have their blood pressure or heart checked? What if a heart attack could be detected before it strikes? A simple device worn on the wrist can track vital signs, instantly detect a rapid, or declining heart rate, and instantly send the data to the doctor.

Often the key to detecting a problem with elderly people is by finding a change in their normal movements and activities. A wearable device can detect these movements, including fine motor skills such as the removal of a pill bottle’s cap. the ability to detect irregular patterns in medication adherence can go a long way toward improving a senior’s health.

Touch-screen devices can be installed in the home of a senior and connected to the Internet. The doctor can update the condition and needs of their patient and share these files with caregivers. Caregivers can enter their information into the same files. In this way, a crucial circle of shared information is created, bringing everyone up-to-date on the senior’s status and greatly improving their health care care. A caregiver coming into the home of an older loved one will be able to “sign in”, and see the most up-to-date status available.

A senior’s ability to stay at home makes them happy. Technology helps to keep them safe and healthy. Families can relax knowing that their loved ones are receiving proper care and that everyone is sharing important information.

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