Senior Services

Forty percent of U.S. adults over the age of 85 live alone, as do one third of those over age 65. There are an estimated 5 to 7 million long-distance caregivers in the country as well. Clearly, elder care is a big concern for many of us. As our parents and loved ones age, and need more care and monitoring, we are faced with difficult decisions about where they will live, and how we will ensure their well-being and safety. Fortunately, there is now an array of intriguing new technology that not only gives older people more confidence to live on their own, it also brings more peace of mind to their family members, who may be trying to monitor their senior loved ones from a distance. This results in smarter and more efficient caregiving, and more independence for seniors.

Recent technological advances such as sensors, GPS, Bluetooth, voice activation, cellular connectivity, and smartphone monitoring apps all make it possible for more older people to remain in their homes if they wish to. Technology continues to decrease in cost and also in size, making more and more tools accessible for our aging population.

Some of the tasks that new technology can perform are amazing. One system called Lively consists of a set of sensors that can be placed on pillboxes, the refrigerator door, the microwave, the bathroom door, or a key chain, for example. A family member or caregiver can then log in to a website to monitor the activity of a parent or grandparent. There are also alerts that can be received by email, text or phone when there is unusual activity detected.

There are GPS location tracking devices to keep track of a person’s whereabouts. Most of us have heard of personal emergency response systems (PERS) that notify emergency responders at the push of a button. There are also systems that can track activity or inactivity in the house, or wandering outside the house. Some monitoring systems can detect falls. Some families of seniors are using programs that monitor medical information such as glucose  and oxygen levels, blood pressure, or weight. There is technology that allows family members or caregivers to be part of doctor’s appointments from a remote location as well. 

Clearly, this is a trend that will continue as our population ages, and more families are faced with the challenges and decisions that come with that reality. For support and more information about senior services Vancouver WA, contact A Caring Heart.

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