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Guest Blog: How the Internet Has Changed How Society Cares for Seniors

Today’s technology is not only for the young. The digital age has brought with it innovations which aim to benefit seniors. A new age of Internet of Things (IoT) devices has made senior care better, more efficient and less costly. It aims to eliminate isolation, which has been a major concern for many years. It has provided caregivers in the healthcare industry a tool to allow seniors to be more independent and remain connected with friends and family.

When it comes to senior care, the IoT is revolutionizing the way seniors are living their lives. Assisted living communities are using the internet to connect and humanize senior care. Communities such as the K4Community leverage technology to make seniors’ life simpler, healthier and happier. These communities integrate IoT wearables such as watches or belt clips. They also have floor sensors that provide real-time monitoring to prevent falls and other injuries. Other types of sensors monitor heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen levels to immediately alert caregivers when there’s an emergency.

To lead a healthy, active lifestyle, IoT devices go beyond the standard activity trackers. Devices are more targeted towards the individual’s needs, alerting them when to rest, whether they’re standing up or down too fast and when to give their knees a break. Food and hydration is also considered, with wearables reminding seniors when it’s time to eat and how often to drink to maintain proper hydration. When it comes to sleep, sensors can also alert caregivers whether a senior needs help getting in and out of bed. With the internet being all about connection, keeping seniors in contact with friends and family is one of the best things the IoT can provide to improve senior health. Seniors are spending more time online, using social networks and other platforms to connect with loved ones.

This trend is only going to get more prevalent. Research shows that using the internet makes people happier and increases life satisfaction, especially for seniors. A study published in the Journal of Computers in Human Behavior shows that life satisfaction was much higher among seniors who use the internet than those who don’t. The ability to keep in touch and prevent the cycle of loneliness and isolation in an advanced age has done more for senior health than any medication. It is no wonder then that internet use among seniors rose from 8% to 34% between 2003 and 2012, as cited by the Journalist’s Resource. The empowerment that the internet and technology have given seniors is invaluable to their health. Such developments revolutionized the way society and healthcare providers care for the elderly.

With Baby Boomers contributing to an increasingly aging population, the need for caregivers and connected assisted living communities is becoming greater than ever. In order to provide quality healthcare to seniors, healthcare is not just about technology but also about the people who provide it. Maryville University details how general healthcare workers can specialize in senior services to provide care for an aging population. Healthcare and senior care are becoming two of the fastest-growing industries. Boosted with the aid of technology and IoT devices, they provide a way to create a better quality of life for seniors, while reducing the costs of healthcare at the same time.

Article submitted by Tanya Olivers

By |2021-08-02T12:12:56-05:00August 5th, 2021|Dr. Mauk's Boomer Blog, News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: How the Internet Has Changed How Society Cares for Seniors

Guest Blog: How Technology is Changing Elderly Care

Applying new technologies to in home senior care has significantly contributed to the quality of life by enhancing their daily living needs such as transportation, communication, health, and social participation. Telemedicine, voice command technologies, blood pressure cuffs, remote glucose monitors are some of the few technologies that have impacted elderly care. This article discusses various ways in which technology is changing elderly care.

Technologies are filling the caregiver gap

There is a massive growth of the elderly population which has increased the demand for caregivers. According to research by AARP, there will be about 50 million caregivers in the US by 2020, 45 million of them being unpaid family members. At the same time, there will be 120 million people in need of a caregiver. Many companies have therefore used their knowledge to create technologies that have smoothen caregiver’s work. These technologies have been designed to solve or ease various elderly needs, such as keeping track of their daily activities, medication, exercise programs, and monitoring meals.

Devices prevent wandering

Seniors with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease always need to escape a situation because they are confused or disoriented. These diseases common in the elderly erase their memory-making familiar places to be unfamiliar. These cognitive impairments make the elderly lose direction and could apt walk to dangerous places. In an aged care facility, to be precise, the seniors wander because of inactivity or boredom. Wandering gives caregivers and relatives an alarm for fear that the senior will get hurt or get lost. To address this problem, several devices have been developed, and they include bed and door alarms.

Some pendants provide GPS for the elderly, especially those under medication and prone to getting lost. Some of these apps with GPS location include angel sense, GPS Smart sole, MedicAlert safely home, and others are still under development by HCI (Human-Computer Interaction) experts.

Cameras that protect the elderly from abuse

Due to other duties you need to attend to, it is impossible to stay around nursing the aged. Small cameras are one of the most significant ways to ensure that the older person is adequately cared for. You will have to place cameras in indiscreet locations. This camera will take footage of daily activities, and thus you will be able to know that the caregiver you hired or some family members are not mistreating your elderly loved ones.

Remote technology offers 24/7 protection

Caregiving from a distance has always had innumerable challenges. Senior safety tech industries have made life easy for caregivers by developing caregiver alert systems and elderly monitoring systems. There are different options to ensure that the elderly is safe and in good health while you are away. Monitoring devices used include:

  • Sensors that turn off stoves if they are left for too long.
  • Sensors to inform you if the elderly left the water running.
  • Locked medication dispensers equipped with alarms and timers for missed doses.
  • Voice-activated virtual assistants.
  • Intelligent sensors that learn the elderly routine.

Smartphones to promote self-care

Smartphones are handy for seniors. It helps them stay connected with their grandchildren by video chatting, controlling other intelligent devices, monitoring health through pastern, and lots of features that improve the quality of life for the elderly.

Other benefits of smartphones to the seniors include:

  • Making emergency calls.
  • Using GPS to navigate when driving or walking.
  • Accessing the internet.
  • Looking at date and time.

The top features of a senior smartphone include:

  • Simple menus.
  • Larger buttons and screens.
  • Emergency button.
  • Fitness and health tracking tools.

Smartphones can serve the purpose of entertainment to seniors. Seniors can now break boredom through games, audiobooks, podcasts, and social media. This is mainly for those who are living alone. They also come pre-installed with a virtual assistant that responds to voice commands and questions.

In addition to the above technologies, the best way to avoid the elderly being mistreated is to hire a caregiver whose background check has been thoroughly conducted. Some online platforms specialize in this area, for instance, Caregiver, engaging in home-care services for the seniors. They provide the simplest and most effective way to find the right caregiver for your loved ones. In short, Caregiver empowers you to find the best in-home senior care.

Conclusion

Technology advancements have influenced how family caregivers and health care providers approach eldercare. It has bridged the caregiver gap and allowed seniors to age gracefully. These technologies have provided a mechanism for caregivers to assess the health of the elderly and provide appropriate medication.

By |2021-07-09T13:46:54-05:00July 9th, 2021|News Posts|Comments Off on Guest Blog: How Technology is Changing Elderly Care