Why smart living is also important in home care for elderly

Why smart living is also important in home care for elderly
In-home elderly care devices tout remote monitoring and emergency response as their main features, but many can also integrate with other home devices to provide a better smart home experience.
Climax Technology cites its GX-8 Cubic Smart Care Medical Alarm as an example. “It incorporates ZigBee, Z-Wave and/or BLE sensor devices to make your home smarter and safer by automatically turning on hallway lights at night when you pass by, or have the thermostat automatically adjust based on current room temperature, or remotely control home appliances, allowing elderly to stay safe and comfortable,” said YK Chen, Director of New Business Development at Climax Technology. He added GX had “built-in RF, ZigBee, Z-Wave optional modules, supporting up to 100 wireless sensor devices, allowing users to add in smoke detectors, water sensors, and air quality sensors to build a healthier, safer independent living.”
Rob Flippo, CEO, MobileHelp

“We believe that connected systems — or ‘smart homes,’ if you will — represent the best way to care for people as they age in place,” said Rob Flippo, CEO of MobileHelp, which has partnered with other solutions providers in this regard.
“The first of these was a partnership with Amwell, which gives our customers a direct video connection to doctors in their home state 24/7 to help mitigate, or even eliminate, the need for an in-person office visit or provide an option to get care outside of normal physician business hours,” Flippo said. “And we anticipate other such partnerships could easily follow: access to Uber ride sharing, for example, or online food shopping … access to online libraries to check out books or to discover educational content specific to a person’s health and hobbies.”
And even voice assistants like Alexa can play a role in caring for seniors living alone who may feel lonely and isolated. Voice speakers could say something like “I’m so glad to hear you’re doing well today. I’ll make sure your caregivers know. Would you like me to contact someone from your call list?”
“There is the inclination to view the use of voice in technology solutions as a simple swap-out for the fingers and eyes we commonly used for texting or typing, but to do so would negate the psychology of voice, which allows these voice-enhanced systems to become more than the sum of their technology parts,” Flippo said. “Voice tech could be a game changer for disrupting one of the most challenging cycles I referenced above: health care issues that lead to extreme isolation, which causes depression, which further compounds health issues. Leveraging new technologies such as proactive voice will allow professional caregivers to connect to patients in a more robust, comprehensive way.”

Challenges in adopting these technologies

While these solutions do offer convenience and peace of mind for seniors and their family, there are still challenges, for example technology barriers and budgetary issues that keep seniors from adopting them. “We believe the biggest challenge is educating elderly users to adopt new telehealth technologies and solutions, to accept usage of new telehealth technology to monitor their health and keep them in touch with their caregivers and doctors,” Chen said. “Next, the challenge is funding and insurance coverage, and lastly, building the network between hospital, central monitoring centers, and family members.”
“Some elderly might consider these technologies difficult to use, cold and have the feeling they are being watched. All these can become a hindrance for them to adapt to the new technology,” said Liber Liu, RoW GM of Miotta. “Therefore, no matter what solutions have been offered, it is still important to include human touch like a regular home visit, phone call or interactive care.”

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