Guest Blog: New Technologies Creating Better Living For The Elderly
If you are a working adult who has to single-handedly take care of an aging parent, you
Smart Sensors For Homes:
Does your aged parent like taking a walk around the house? Do they have a problem with incontinence? Deploying smart sensors around your house can often make life simple for your aging parent. A pathway sensor can detect movement and can light up the area to help in better visibility while they are taking a walk. An incontinence sensor can detect wetness on the surface of the bed and can be used to alert the caregiver. Sensors can also be used to turn the room lights on at specific times of the day to serve as a reminder to take pills. Sensors can work in intelligent ways and how you want to use them is limited just by your creativity.
Home Health Monitoring Systems:
General Electric (GE) has been testing a new project called QuietCare that would make it easy to monitor the health of elderly patients. The device prompts its patients every morning to take a routine test to measure their vital parameters like blood pressure, sugar count, weight, etc. These measurements are sent wirelessly to the doctors. The doctors can then use this data to monitor the patients’ health and take proactive steps to treat them instead of waiting till the patients’ next visit.
While this is a very effective way for doctors to keep track of the health of their elderly patients, this can be costly. Insurance plans do not cover for remote heath check-ups yet and so doctors are not reimbursed for monitoring health data sent remotely. Also, these devices often cost around $100 a month to rent which may not be affordable for everyone.
Personal Emergency Response System:
One of the biggest worry for any caregiver is a personal emergency to their old parent while they are away. The Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) is a small transmitter that can be worn as a pendant or a bracelet. This is connected to a 24-hour call center via the home phone line. Any time your parent suffers from a fall or is need of any other kind of emergency, they need to push a button for the call center to be alerted. This system doesn’t come cheap though and can cost up to $1500 if you need to own one. Monitoring fee is normally around $15 to $50 a month.
Technologies as these are not in the mainstream yet. However, by deploying these gadgets and sensors, you could give your parent a sense of independence that they so deserving need.