Tue 25, 2021

10 Ways Technology Has Improved Senior Care

The aging population is constantly embracing new solutions with the help of health IT companies, which help create consumer technologies that are primarily aimed at assisting the elderly.

Technologies have helped seniors in a variety of ways,  for instance helping them to avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency room and costly nursing homes. Overall, technology has helped improve the overall quality of living.

1. Internet of (Medical) Things

Professionals in the medical world are now connected to each other, with the help of the internet. Thus, this helps them learn from one another. Moreover, caregivers, patients, payers, and even providers are experiencing a new level of engagement that results from remotely monitoring patients and remotely maintaining connected equipment with the help of the internet. 

This also helps to provide visibility as well as insights about exercise regimens, diet, and vitals of patients. Thus, the internet has helped the medical world to focus on the quick spreading of information all in the name of helping seniors in the best ways possible.

 2. GPS

Over the past years, GPS has significantly improved in two ways – location accuracy and the detail that the system of satellites is able to convey.

GPS has greatly helped senior care by helping individuals locate a senior who may become lost. This is specifically suitable for Adults with memory issues stemming from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease who have a habit of wandering. 

This can result in them getting disoriented or lost even if the adult knows the location well. The Alzheimer’s Association has stated that more than 60% of those with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia tend to wander, and if a person is not found within a day, almost half of those individuals who wander will suffer serious injury or even death. Therefore, updated GPS services and technology have greatly helped senior care with issues like this.

Moreover, there are numerous companies today that produce GPS trackers that can be ironed into clothing, placed in shoes, or even put in handbags of the elderly.

 3. Camera

Abuse is one of the many real issues adults face. The National Council of Aging has stated that around one in every 10 adults over the age of 60 faces some sort of abuse, whether it’s physical, emotional, sexual, or any other form. Moreover, only one in every 14 cases of abuse is actually reported to authorities.

However, cameras have significantly helped overcome this common issue. Cameras have helped and allowed seniors’ families and carers to ensure adults are being taken care of and treated properly. 

There have been common reports of nurses being caught on camera taking advantage of adults receiving care. Moreover, cameras also help health professionals track the movements of seniors with health and mental issues as well when they aren’t around.

In case some adults are not comfortable being around cameras watching their every move, one can opt for sensors. These small pieces of wireless technology help keep track of how active an adult might be. 

An automatic notification (via text, phone, or email) is sent in case the sensors detect some unusual movement, for instance, not getting up from bed, going to the bathroom, etc.

4. Phone Apps

Phone applications have helped both adults receiving care, as well as carers, in a number of ways. With the help of even the most basic smartphone, adults can now monitor things like their medications, heart rate, and even location (in case they suffer from memory loss).

Phone apps have also helped family members to keep track of their loved ones and know where they are at all times, and also to view notes and plans made by carers remotely. Moreover, apps have also helped adults keep themselves occupied. Numerous phone apps are designed specifically for adults, to keep them updated on the news, and even allowing them to read their favorite books.

 5. Virtual/Robot Assistants

These virtual assistants allow adults to feel as if someone is there to help them, which provides a sense of security to them. Thus, with the help of these, adults are reminded to take medications, browse digital content, listen to their favorite music, connect with family, and more.

6. Emergency Response Services

Emergency Response Services (ERS) are specifically designed for adults who have fallen or gotten hurt when they are alone and with no help around.

Adults suffering from lack of mobility, sight, and hearing can put them in severe danger when they’re alone. Thus, ERS helps locate seniors and get someone out to reach them as quickly as possible to help. 

7. Medication Assistance

It is reported that almost 40% of senior citizens had to take five or more prescription drugs (often daily) over a 30-day period. Moreover, numerous adults are misusing prescription drugs as well. However, recent advancements in technology have helped adults manage their current prescriptions outside of a basic transparent bottle or blue pillbox.

There are certain pillboxes that feature alarms that allow adults receiving care to know what exact pill they need to take and when they need to take them. 

8. Patches/Implants

As adults age, they become more prone to type 2 diabetes. Thus, rather than being unsure of their glucose levels, glucose sensors help to simply wave a transmitter over to let them know if they need help or not.

9. Identify Problems Before they Become a Full-Blown Crisis

Technology can also help identify a problem in adults before it becomes a crisis. It helps establish patterns more easily, and even spot changes earlier on than without data. When data starts to look a bit different from the usual, carers can reach out to intervene early on before a crisis.

Therefore, this helps deal with problems more effectively than before and also takes some burden off of carers. Carers, as well as family members, can rest assured that their loved one is being monitored around the clock. 

10. Exercise

Adults, especially those living at home, could also benefit from technology. There are numerous games that offer a fun opportunity for them to engage in light physical activity, which is crucial for their well-being, from the comfort of their own home. There are also numerous games available that serve as ideal mental exercises as well.

Hence, the use of technological tools in adult care has not only proved to be better at spotting inconsistencies or changes than humans do, but are comparatively more affordable and faster too.