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Care technology


medication regimen. In care homes, medication management is particularly time- consuming, especially given staffing challenges. Fortunately, new apps can help simplify medication management for seniors. For instance, in addition to sending


reminders, some apps can send drug interaction warnings, missed medication alerts, refill alerts when the resident is running low, reminders to check vital signs like blood pressure, and can also send vital signs and medication updates directly to the doctor’s office. These apps help ensure that residents


with vision and hearing problems still get medication reminders and can also send alerts to healthcare staff if a resident fails to take their medications.


Wander management systems It is common for seniors with various forms of dementia to wander aimlessly. Hence, it is important for senior living facilities to monitor such residents with wander management systems. These systems may be deployed


in various ways, such as through GPS embedded in wrist bands or emergency call pendants worn by the resident. Some wander management systems


may also include fall detection technology and two-way voice communication to alert staff in case of emergency. Most systems also use geofencing to prevent residents from opening automated doors and gates or other parts of the facility. In general, wander management systems help ensure residents can safely explore their surroundings.


Cost savings New technologies such as voice- activated devices, sensors that track movement, smart lights and thermostats, and wearable devices that monitor health indicators enable care homes to create more efficient and secure smart environments. A mix of these technologies can help caregivers work more efficiently and reduce costs while ensuring residents get the care they need. In fact, by adopting smart home


technologies, care homes can save a significant proportion of their utility and energy consumption costs. Ongoing technology and infrastructure improvements will only continue to help improve care while reducing costs.


Entertainment and socialising Although healthcare, security, food service, housekeeping, and maintenance are critical services in any care home environment, entertainment and socialisation are also essential for the mental health and well-being of residents. Loneliness and boredom can have


a tremendously negative impact on the health of seniors, particularly in the current era when family members and other non-essential personnel are restricted from entering senior care facilities to prevent the spread of disease. Mobile technology can help make up


for the loss of face-to-face contact by helping seniors stay in contact with family members through video chats. Digital entertainment options such as podcasts, audio books, or streaming services that offer a wide selection of movies and can help residents stay mentally active and engaged. Of course, all these services


require dependable wi-fi bandwidth and devices that seniors can easily access and use.


Conclusion The later living industry is facing a multitude of complex challenges, including and especially the need to protect seniors and ensure their well-being. These needs will only expand as the senior population in the UK continues to grow in the coming years when more facilities and infrastructure will be needed to care for them. As a result, care homes will rely


more heavily on voice and data technologies that can scale to support greater operational efficiency through capabilities such as telemedicine and smart home devices. Robust, reliable, and secure wireless networking and voice communications will be critical to meeting these needs by enabling care homes to increase staff productivity and help them respond faster to the healthcare and safety needs of residents.


TCHE


Tony Fossella


Tony Fossella is the wi-fi architect at CMW (Cable Management Warehouse) Ltd. Having studied marine electronics at Merchant Navy College at Greenhithe. Tony worked in the defence industry for Racal Electronics. With the increasing reliance of business on computer systems, Tony moved into providing communications and data networking solutions and later wi-fi as the number of personal devices increased. Today’s reliance on wi-fi-enabled systems over which not only data, but voice and security systems rely on, means that providing stable solutions have never been more important, says Tony.


June 2021 • www.thecarehomeenvironment.com 21


©Medical Guardian


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