Technology penetrates different industries, revolutionizing tons of processes and making people’s lives easier. One of the practices it reshaped is caregiving, particularly, caring for seniors. Plenty of devices and inventions are available for caregivers – either licensed professionals or family members who chose to take care of their loved ones personally.
These technological advancements supplement the standard caregiving tools and equipment, such as medical charts, medication tracker, vital signs apparatus, portable walk-in bathtubs, wheelchairs and walkers, and shower grab bars.
Here are some of the newest technological breakthroughs that make caregivers’ lives easier.
Remote Patient Monitoring
Remote Patient Monitoring (RPM) is a technology that enables physicians to monitor patients in their homes, extending their reach. This allows a constant relationship and contact between caregivers and patients, even if they’re at different locations. The technology also increases the patients’ access to care services and reduces expenses on healthcare delivery and hospital visits.
RPM devices also allow continuous surveillance, preventing accidents. This is beneficial, especially for patients with dementia who are at risk of falls. Caregivers can affix RPM trackers on the patient’s walker or wheelchair. The sensor then monitors the elder’s location, posture, and manner of walking. Through an algorithm, the RPM device predicts the probability for falls and alerts the caregiver if an accident will occur or has occurred.
RPMS are getting smarter, with some models having the ability to track vital signs. The digital blood pressure cuff records the patient’s BP and pulse rate and sends these data remotely to the physician. These newer models also include voice technology that reminds diabetes patients when it’s time to take their insulin.
Personal Emergency Response Systems
People with limited mobility can have trouble calling for help when necessary, especially in the event of an injury or accident. Personal emergency response systems (PERS) come in the form of non-restricting wristbands or lightweight pendants that the patient can wear without disrupting his or her normal routine.
When an accident occurs, the patient can press the button to alert the caregiver or contact emergency services. A smarter model may house RPM technology that can detect if an accident is about to happen or has happened and automatically warn the caregiver.
Most of the models can only operate inside the home, but newer models can now work even when the user is mobile.
Telehealth is the distribution of healthcare information and services through electronic technologies, like Zoom or Skype. Telehealth allows elders to live independently.
Through this technology, older adults can set medical appointments and check-ups through their smartphone or computer. This reduces the hassle and expenses for hospital visits, preventing instances when patients have to travel far and wait a long time in clinics.
Telehealth also allows more flexibility when scheduling appointments, so physicians can easily check on their patients through digital apps. Regular check-ups also enable doctors to more accurately pinpoint symptoms and health issues.
At a time when America is running out of caregivers and the baby boomer population continues to age, these devices help fill the gap. And more importantly, they empower seniors and give them a sense of independence.