Recent advances in home care technology provide added security for the elderly and peace of mind for their families. Those who benefit from home health care services are discovering increased independence as well as enhanced levels of professional care, all without a health care professional being physically present.
A combination of active and passive home care technology devices provide visual, sensory, and biometric monitoring, as well as active communication links with family, friends, and medical professionals. How can technology enhance the home care for your elderly loved one? Here are 5 essential services provided by home care technology.
Passive heat and motion sensors can detect the difference between the normal heat generated by cooking and excessive heat caused by leaving the stove on unattended. Alarm systems can alert the loved one under home health care to fires, floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes.
Cameras allow remote monitoring of living spaces to provide early warning of accidents or unusual activity. Sensors can detect unusual levels of activity in the home, or unusual levels of inactivity during daylight hours.
Active sensory devices can monitor vital signs, measure weight, and detect unusual symptoms and even report this data to a home health care professional. Bed sensors can measure quality of sleep, detect sleeplessness, and even measure pulse and breathing while sleeping.
Anyone who watches television knows of devices that can be worn around the neck to alert someone in the event of an accident. But new home care technology provides for sensors embedded in the floor that can detect nearby falls. In addition, new devices worn by elderly home health care patients can detect a fall and automatically alert medical personnel, without the need for input from the patient.
Perhaps the most innovative and popular home care technology involves social networks and software that allows home care patients to remain connected with family and health care professionals. Not only are loved ones monitored, but they can actively connect and communicate with others. As a bonus, sensors track the number of visitors, time spent in passive pursuits, and other sedentary behaviors.
Between 2010 and 2050, the senior population is expected to reach 88.5 million, or 20 percent of the U.S. population, greatly increasing the need for senior care. Home care technology will become an increasingly popular choice for those elderly patients who choose to age at home. As the elderly population increases, seniors will require higher levels of affordable health care that can be delivered at home.