For the past dozens of centuries, seniors have been taken care of somewhat routinely: there is a doctor who diagnoses and looks after the medical needs as well as a caregiver in the form of a family member or a group of nurses who look after the daily needs. Even with such extensive support, they might require assistance due to a variety of issues, which include:
- Dementia (due to ageing or diseases like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s)
- Lack of mobility
- The loss in vision or hearing
Technology has never had better implications for senior care. Over the past 10 to 15 years, with the increasing development of smartphones and advances in the GPS, senior care has drastically improved, thanks to the technology associated with these advancements. This allows seniors to be taken care of without a human presence.
Some of the implications of technology in senior care are as follows:
Primarily, GPS can help locate a senior who may become lost. Seniors with memory derangements stemming from Alzheimer’s disease have a habit of wandering, which could mean disorientation resulting in the individual to lose their way despite knowing the location well. More than 60% of people suffering from Alzheimer’s or some other form of dementia will wander. It is also estimated that if a person is not found within 24 hours, up to half of the individuals who wander will suffer serious injury or encounter death.
The need to locate seniors is tremendous and having updated GPS services can be a great help. For example, some of the GPS trackers produced by the companies can be ironed into clothing, put in handbags or placed insoles of shoes. You can place these systems in seniors’ routine clothing accessories, and they can be easily found if they are not where they are supposed to be.
Elder abuse is a real issue for seniors. According to researches, about one in 10 seniors over the age of 60 are under the influence of some sort of abuse, whether it is physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, or some other form. It is estimated that the figures go as high as 5 million elders who are abused each year, the researchers reported. What is noteworthy here is that only one in every 14 cases of abuse are usually reported to authorities.
Cameras can be a great help with this. They allow caretakers or families to make sure they are being treated properly. For instance, there have been numerous events when Nurses were caught on camera taking advantage of elders. Health professionals can also take advantage of these cameras to track the movements of seniors with health and mental issues when they are not around, noticing their tendencies and habits.
There are apps for touchscreen gadgets, many of which come with automated voices that allow seniors to feel as if someone is nearby to help them. This translates to a sense of community, which is imperative for seniors as they age, especially for the ones that live alone. There are also robots that seniors can have roaming around their homes to remind them to take medications, listen to their favourite music, browse digital content, connect with family, and music more.
Emergency Response Services
Lack of sight, mobility, and hearing can put seniors in severe danger when they are alone. With the help of GPS, ERSs have evolved and help with locating seniors as quickly as possible. This world of ERS has also developed unique gadgets to help seniors in the act of falling. Development of a safety belt by a company that deploys airbags around the hips when it notices a senior is falling has been a great innovation. A signal is then relayed to a device by the belt that gets emergency responders to their location as soon as possible.