New Technologies Allow Seniors to Stay in Their Own Homes Longer

May 7, 2012 · Print This Article

With an increasing number of seniors choosing to remain in their homes rather than move to a nursing home or retirement community, advances in technology can give seniors and their families independence and peace of mind.

New sensor and electronic-based home health care systems can provide around-the-clock monitoring and services to supplement or take the place of in-home care, while allowing seniors to maintain their own homes and independent lifestyles.┬áThese services, such as ActiveHome from ActiveCare, can bring together monitoring services that keep an eye on everything from the refrigerator door to an individual’s blood glucose levels. Companies that offer home security systems often offer home automation packages as well, some of them geared specifically to the needs of seniors; contact your security company to find out more.

Sensors Can Track Meals, Prevent Nighttime Wandering
These technologies are especially beneficial to seniors who are suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other chronic mental illness. They additionally offer reassurance to families and caregivers. Sensors on the front door can alert caregivers and authorities if someone leaves the house at an unusual hour of the night, helping to prevent nighttime wandering. Sensors on cupboards and the refrigerator can help prevent skipped meals, with triggered reminders if the doors remain closed for a long period. Other sensors can be installed throughout the home to monitor if someone gets out of bed, moves around the house, or suffers a fall.

These new technologies can be of benefit to any senior who wants to keep track of their health and schedule. ActiveHome, for example, can keep track of weight, blood pressure, blood oxygen, glucose levels and other vital signs. In the case of a sudden change in vitals, the linked call centre can alert you, a caregiver, or even emergency services depending on the severity of the situation. An electronic pillbox can help organize and track complicated prescriptions. After being filled by you or a caregiver, each compartment will light up when it is time to take the pills inside. In the case of a missed dose, you’ll receive an alert to remind you to take your medication.

GPS Trackers Can Help People Find You
Thanks to advances in mobile technology, monitoring devices are becoming more sophisticated as well. These cellphone-like devices still provide help at the push of a button, but now have added benefits as well. When you are out and about, GPS-equipped handsets can keep track of your location, so that if you get lost or become confused, the call centre can provide you with guidance and directions. In an emergency, the GPS can be used to send response crews to your exact location. Built-in accelerometers allow these devices to automatically detect when the wearer has fallen, allowing the call centre to quickly get in touch to discern whether help is needed.

Combining these handsets with an automated home means, at the push of a button, you can get in touch with someone who can lock and unlock the doors to your home, turn off an unattended stove, and even put you in touch with your doctor, family or friends.

Obviously, most of these technologies are meant for seniors who are experiencing medical or psychological issues, but some of them are adaptable for the needs of all seniors who want to remain in their own homes. For financial help in remaining in your own home through your retirement, contact Horizon Equity and ask what a reverse mortgage can do for you.