How Healthcare Tech is Revolutionizing Senior Care
Most people don’t think about technology when they think of senior citizens. But today’s 65+ population is much more tech savvy than people realize. Not only are older adults streaming shows, using tablets, and taking advantage of virtual assistants—they’re using senior care technology to meet their health & wellness goals. Healthcare tech is also changing the way that assisted living communities and nursing homes provide for their residents in a lot of positive and exciting ways.
So, what can we expect from the senior care of the future? Technology will allow for greater transparency, keeping family members informed and connected even from a distance. It will remove some of the rote tasks from caregivers so they can put their energies into better care. And it will give us new avenues to improve health and wellness across the board.
Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities—and realities already taking place.
Smart Home Technology
Smart home technology has mostly been marketed toward the world’s young upstarts. But smart devices have a real place in senior living communities for those who are forward-thinking enough to adopt them.
For example, smart LED light systems that change color and intensity to mimic natural light patterns can encourage healthier sleep patterns and break cycles of fragmented sleep. Smart motion sensors can help detect falls and unusual activity, and digital pill dispensers can provide carefully dosed medications, track when seniors take them, and even provide audible reminders.
These features won’t take the place of the personal touch of caregivers—in fact, they’ll enhance it. By easing the burden of doing tasks that can be automated, caregivers can focus on providing more loving, attentive care.
While these things may sound great, some may wonder if they’ll be more of an obstacle than a help. For instance, what stops a motion sensor from going off when your loved one is doing normal, everyday activities? That’s where artificial intelligence comes in.
The AI aspect can create a baseline of normal daily activity patterns, vital signs, and more. Then, if anything significantly deviates from that baseline, caregivers can intervene proactively. This tech has helped assisted living facilities detect early signs of wandering behavior, changes in activity levels, and prolonged isolation.
AI also has the potential to provide senior care providers with crucial data to improve their safety measures. For example, if a fall happens, staff could analyze the situation and make interventions to prevent future accidents and injuries going forward.
Wearable Digital Health Tools
Wearable health tools no longer have to be the bulky, red-button necklaces of old. Today’s smartwatches, activity trackers, and medical alert devices for seniors have come a long way, are less intrusive, and look pretty stylish, too. From well-known fitness trackers like FitBit to medical alert watches designed with seniors in mind, these tools are powerful, nonintrusive assistants.
These devices can track sleep quality, motivate health and wellness habits, and make it easy to share your loved one’s vital information with healthcare providers. Other forms of tech include smart skin patches that help manage chronic conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, making healthy lifestyle interventions more accessible and easy-to-remember than ever before.
Virtual Reality & Senior Mental Health
It may seem like science-fiction, but virtual reality is already making waves in assisted living facilities across the country. VR headsets can provide enhanced experiences to older adults who are otherwise limited in how far they can travel and move through the world. With VR, they can watch a Broadway musical or take a virtual hike through a redwood forest. And these experiences are more than just a bit of fun—they have real wellness benefits for seniors.
VR is a promising therapeutic tool that could provide another way to help seniors with dementia, depression, and other mental health challenges. We’re just beginning to explore the full potential of VR technology for helping seniors thrive.
Find the Best Senior Living Care for Your Loved One
If you’re interested in finding a senior living option for your loved one that’s on the cutting edge of health, safety, & wellness technology, CarePatrol can help. Our senior living advisors take your family’s needs and preferences to heart, providing personalized recommendations so you can find a perfect fit.
We’ve vetted thousands of local assisted living and nursing home communities for their quality, and we can accompany you on tours, compare properties, coordinate moving day assistance, and so much more. Together we can find a safe, supportive, and inspiring place for your loved one to live!
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