Aging in Place (With a Little Help)

Oct 15, 2014

aging in place and technology

It’s no secret that elders express the desire to stay in their own homes as they age. Few of us dream of moving to an Assisted Living Facility when we get older. But, as with many things, reality sets in, both for elder and family, when illness strikes or challenges arise. That first call from Mom at the hospital or the visit during which you see that the home is in disarray often leads to a tug of war over the love of home versus basic safety.

In order for staying in the beloved home to remain a good idea, basic safety and well-being should be provided (access to decent nutrition, proper taking of medications/managing health, cleanliness and personal grooming, low risk of accidents and ability to get help when needed, etc.). Fortunately, this can be accomplished with a combination of resources. A home care plan can be arranged to suit each client’s needs, as well as a variety of budget levels. For many elders, family, friends and neighbors can also offer support in certain areas. And, with the advent of greater technology, more unique solutions can bolster the human resources available.

Here’s our latest update on some interesting aging-in-place technologies, to give you an idea of what is available (and coming) to assist elders and those with disabilities.

  1. WalkJoy (www.walkjoy.com): A technology system to help people with peripheral neuropathy by replacing the “feedback loop” that has been lost to restore normal walking and reduce the risk of associated problems. They’ve also developed Walking Health, an electronic assessment tool for practitioners for fall/walking issues.
  2. Enhanced Emergency Response/Monitoring with Lively (www.mylively.com) and Guardian Medical Monitoring (www.guardianmedicalmonitoring.com): Lively is a combination “safety watch” which offers traditional emergency response along with medication reminders, step counting and more (coming soon, a fall detector add-on!) along with activity sensors placed throughout the home to track behavioral patterns and spot abnormalities (for example, no activity at the pill box or refrigerator, indicating possible missed medication or nutrition concerns). Guardian offers the traditional emergency response system, as well as an electronic medication dispenser and a monitored camera system.
  3. Pocketfinder GPS (www.pocketfinder.com): Small, personal GPS devices that allow real time location information (along with an app, with various features such as zones, history tracking, etc.). They also offer devices for vehicles, pets and more.
  4. MC10 Health Monitoring Technologies (www.mc10inc.com): This company is developing a number of new technologies, including sports technologies using biofeedback to improve athletes’ performance (and safety, with things like impact monitoring) and wellness products (heart rate and activity monitoring). Remote health monitoring (via a band-aid like instrument) will measure things like hydration, temperature, heart rate and more, allowing data to be uploaded to practitioners and family caregivers.

Technology will never replace the human interaction and personal touch of care from family, friends and caregivers. However, technology can further the reach and abilities of caregivers to ensure the well-being of our elders.

Our expert team puts together recommendations and care plans customized to meet your needs, using the best resources and tools. Contact us for ideas and help today! 727-447-5845 or Complete our Online Form

Topics: Home Care, Caregivers, Aging in Place, Assisted Living

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