More and more often, new technologies are being employed to allow older populations to still live safely independently but not be completely alone. Aside from the regular tools such as emergency alert pendants, technology today can assist older adults from avoiding expensive trips to the emergency room or nursing homes. According to a New York Times article by John Leland, “Sensors Help Keep the Elderly Safe,” and at Home wireless motion detectors are now being readily used in bedroom and bathrooms to electronically keep tabs on the patterns of people living alone. A new system called eNeighbor (http://www.healthsense.com/) will detect when an older adult client does not leave or enter a particular part of the home for a pre-set period of time and can relay the information to a central monitoring system.
Technology allows a number of devices to serve as monitors and warning systems, from motion sensors, pill dispensers, and wireless devices that transmit data on blood pressure, weight, oxygen and glucose levels. Though Home Care Assistance Columbus realizes this is not a substitute for day-to-day human contact, these new technologies offer promising new support systems for older adults everywhere.
Similar systems allow older adults to check in with a virtual nurse in the morning to report their vitals and answer a series of questions by the nurse. Some technologies can be tied to cell phones to prompt reminders to take pills, and can include automated alerts to family members if part of the routine is off schedule. In addition to the surface-level benefits, proper use of these assistive devices have shown improvements in memory, health, and safety.