Care technology

relying on the older adult’s recollection of the appointment or follow-up calls to the doctor’s office. Not only does telemedicine eliminate

the stress of driving to the appointment and long office wait times, but it can also save homes a great deal of cost each year by reducing transportation costs for in-person doctor office visits. Most importantly, however, telemedicine enables healthcare providers to respond more quickly to a resident’s health changes so any medical issues can be addressed before they become serious emergencies.

4 - Voice activation One of the biggest challenges for seniors is the feeling of losing independence and control, especially when they have to leave their own home to move into a care facility. They have to readjust to new surroundings and daily activities they do not manage. For many seniors with vision or memory impairments, using a mobile device or desktop computer is a difficult challenge to overcome. However, voice-activated devices can

help seniors regain some sense of control over their immediate environment because they can execute simple tasks such as turning on the television, adjusting the sound and display, or viewing the menu simply by speaking. Voice activation does not require them to learn any new technologies or type on small screens and keyboards, which can be next to impossible for seniors suffering from Parkinson’s and other mobility impairments. In addition to giving the resident more

control, voice-activated devices can reduce the need for care home staff to constantly perform minor tasks such as turning the resident’s lights on and off, which frees their time for more essential services.

5 - Security and cybersecurity There are many types of security requirements in every care home facility.

In addition to physical security, cyber security is increasingly critical because sadly, financial scams constantly seek out vulnerable seniors because they are an easy target. Some scammers pose as medical or

other representatives to trick the senior into divulging personal information that can be used to defraud them for payment. Charity scams, internet fraud, phishing emails, and investment schemes also victimise seniors by stealing their identity and defrauding them of large amounts of money that may never be recovered. To better protect residents from both

physical and online threats, many homes are boosting their security approach with spam filters, firewalls, mobile device management, and pass keys to exterior doors to help better protect residents.

Other wi-fi-enabled technology As modern technology becomes more widely adopted across the healthcare industry in general, care home facilities stand to benefit in several ways. Both residents and caregivers are benefiting from wi-fi-enabled technologies. Some examples are listed below.

Now more than ever, care homes need a reliable and scalable communications infrastructure to fully deploy and leverage the benefits of these technologies


Fall detection For many years, seniors have mostly relied on a personal emergency response system (PERS) device to summon help after a fall. Newer PERS devices can now be worn outside the house and some can detect a fall automatically in case the person cannot press the button. However, these devices often carry

a stigma for seniors who may not want to indicate they are at risk of falling. Fortunately, wearables like smart watches can now be configured to detect falls and automatically send a message for help. Voice-activated devices can also hear a senior ask for help after a fall and automatically contact emergency staff. Other technologies, such as wall-

mounted devices that use radar-based 3D imaging, can be used in the bathroom where 80 per cent of falls occur and where a senior is least likely to be wearing a smartwatch. Overall, the combination of wearables,

voice-activated devices, and 3D monitoring go well beyond PERS devices to ensure the resident can get help quickly even if they are incapacitated.

Medication management Inconsistent medication management is one of the top causes of medical intervention for seniors. For seniors with vision, hearing or memory issues, remembering to take medications on time and in their correct dosages can be a significant challenge that is not easily remedied by pill organisers, especially for seniors who have a complicated • June 2021


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