Today’s Technology is Improving Senior Care
So often discussions about emerging technology revolve around its impact on younger generations. But step into any senior living environment today and you’ll find that technology is impacting the lives of older adults as well—perhaps in more profound ways.
Many communities have already implemented electronic health records to more efficiently and securely handle residents’ private information. But today’s technology has the power to do so much more—like improve care, enhance services and provide a greater degree of choice for residents.
Improved Quality of Care:
Thanks to community-wide, wireless Internet, many communities are now able to offer advanced telehealth services that remotely monitor residents’ vitals and needs—from blood pressure and weight fluctuations to mobility issues and behavior changes. With this technology, caregivers check in or receive alerts regarding changes in a resident’s well-being in real time, right from their smartphone or tablet. That faster notification means faster response—which results in fewer resident falls, hospitalizations and adverse drug reactions.
This kind of monitoring technology also adds a layer of security and safety, especially for memory care. Many communities now feature 24/7 Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS), wearable tech with wander alert functions, community-wide entrance cameras, medication tracking systems and more—all of which can be monitored via staff devices.
Improved Quality of Life:
Technology isn’t just improving quality of care—it’s improving quality of life too. Here are some ways technology benefits seniors:
- Connect: Some residents now use video chat platforms to connect with family and friends face to face—allowing them to participate in events like birthdays or weddings that may be happening miles away.
- Games: Brain games are a great way to exercise your mind and keep minds sharp. Seniors can play Sudoku, Solitaire, fill in crossword puzzles and more all with today’s technology.
- Health: There are many recent technological advances that keep people healthy from online games like Wii Fit or Walk It Out to virtual reality, seniors are able to explore new ways to get their exercise in. Plus, many tools can be used to track fitness and health conditions. This can help family members of seniors stay in the loop on their loved one’s activity level and health.
Of course, these advances aren’t without their challenges. Cost can be a factor for some communities, systems must be interoperable to be effective, and staff must be trained. But with each new technology breakthrough comes a new opportunity to improve the lives of our loved ones. And for most of us, that idea pushes all the right buttons.