How is technology useful for elderly institutes?

How is technology useful for elderly institutes?
Amid an increasingly aging population, countries across the globe are witnessing a rise in nursing homes and assisted living facilities catering to seniors. And these institutes have begun to realize the benefits of using technology to improve quality of care.
 
Needless to say, aging has become a major trend across the globe. According to figures from the United Nations, the number of people over 60 years worldwide is expected to more than double by 2050, and to more than triple by 2100, rising from 962 million in 2017 to 2.1 billion in 2050 and 3.1 billion in 2100. Amid this trend, caring for the elderly has become more important than ever.
 
Elderly care today can be roughly divided into two categories: independent living, which mostly deals with seniors living at home, and assisted living/institutes. For the latter, their numbers are increasing amid stronger demands. “The market for elderly care is growing quickly as the baby boomers are getting ready to move into these institutions,” said Alden Warr, VP of Finance and Strategic Partnerships at VoCo. “Several of the largest senior living providers are looking to double their number of institutes in the next few years.”
 

Rising challenges

Amit Shamiss, Business
Development Manager,
Essence Smart Care
 
Yet as more seniors move in, institute operators find themselves faced with various concerns when caring for their residents who tend to be vulnerable and forgetful.
 
“Older people might fall or may fall ill without anyone noticing. In early stages of dementia, they may begin night wandering or forget to close the doors when leaving the apartment, forget to close the gas when they finish cooking, or may leave water running in the sink or bathtub,” said Amit Shamiss, Business Development Manager at Essence Smart Care.
 
Making things worse, a lot of nursing homes today are understaffed, leaving staff members frustrated with overwhelming workloads. It’s common, for example, for 300-400-bed nursing homes to take three to four types of data, for example blood pressure, blood oxygen and blood sugar, from each resident daily. This can take hours and puts a lot of burden on nursing home staff, who are looking for solutions that can automate these processes, thus saving time and reducing errors associated with manual data entry.
 

How technology can help

 
Indeed, more and more institutes are turning to technologies which, much like those deployed in homes, can detect unusual movements or behaviors and issue alerts to institute staff accordingly.
 
“Institutes can adopt newly available early warning systems to provide better care for their residents. Those systems can provide, for instance, passive fall detection without the resident needing to wear a pendant. Other systems can use voice recognition to allow person to say a phrase code to call for help and allow them to speak directly with monitoring center. These systems can save lives for the person who falls and can’t get up or is unable to sound the alarm by himself,” Shamiss said. “Other unique solutions can seamlessly follow a person during his daily activities, spotting abnormalities in his routines or behaviors that may indicate problems in his medical or mental condition – like unusual sleep or wake patterns, changes in eating or bathroom routines. The institutes can use a wireless system that comes with a digital hub (cellular or Ethernet) that communicates with several devices like motion sensors, door contact, voice-enabled extender devices, fall detectors, bed/chair sensors, door lock, and smoke/flood detectors.”


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