When you think of technological advancement, the odds are that senior care is not the first industry that comes to mind. After all, seniors have a reputation for rejecting modern technology in favor of “old-fashioned” living.
Despite such a reputation, the world of senior care technology is advancing rapidly to help seniors stay safe, healthy, and happy. As someone in the world of senior care, tracking senior living technology trends can make your life easier while improving the lives of your residents.
Read on to learn more about the most significant senior living technology trends you should know about in 2023.
Preventing Dementia Wandering
Among seniors in nursing homes, nearly half have been diagnosed with dementia of some kind. Of those who have dementia, 60% of them will wander at least once, and some will wander frequently. Therefore, wandering presents a challenging issue for those tasked with caring for seniors.
While communities and nursing homes indeed assign employees to monitor residents and prevent them from wandering, no human-dependent solution is foolproof. However, recent advances in AI computer vision may lead to automated wandering prevention.
Using AI paired with cameras, computers may be able to learn, recognize, and track signs of wandering in real-time. For example, if a senior repeatedly paces around the same area and then moves outside or to a place without supervision, the AI could flag that behavior as wandering.
Alerted by the computer, staff could then go and check on the seniors to make sure that they are safe and secure. Like many senior care technology trends, technology may not replace in-person staff but instead enable them to do their job more effectively.
Incorporating AI Personal Assistants
For seniors with chronic health conditions, managing medication adherence is essential to their health and well-being. However, sticking to their medication schedule can be a significant challenge for many seniors, especially those with memory trouble.
Even though employees and staff can help remind residents about their medications, nobody is perfect. Given how thinly spread caretakers can be, medications can slip through the cracks.
However, recent senior living technology trends have led to AI assistants helping seniors stay on track. New virtual assistants, while complex behind the scenes, are incredibly user-friendly. They can remind patients to take their medication, have prescriptions delivered, book appointments, and find medical specialists.
While AI assistants have a long way to go before replacing in-person care, modern-day technology can still help keep seniors healthy.
Encouraging the Use of Wearable Health Monitors
Wearable health monitors are not a new concept and have been around for years in one form or another. However, the technology and capabilities they include improve every year as technology progresses.
Modern-day health monitors can track various health data while providing emergency distress functionalities in a small, discreet package. Commonly in the form of a smartwatch or pendant, the monitors play a critical role in keeping seniors safe, whether they are taking a walk outside or in their room.
While the functionality of wearable health monitors is undeniable, getting seniors to use them daily can be more difficult. Consider setting up a friendly competition to encourage seniors to use their health monitors. For example, use the monitors’ pedometer to create a contest to see who took the most steps that day or that week. Making games or setting rewards for the use of the monitors can make them a fun and beneficial addition to seniors’ lives.
Knowing When to Use Telehealth
Telehealth entered the household vocabulary as COVID-19 shut down the world and forced people to use video conferencing services to run their lives. Since then, telehealth has remained a viable option for seniors to get the medical care they need without taking a trip to a doctor’s office.
Telehealth is an excellent option for treating seniors’ mental health or behavioral problems. However, in-person doctor’s visits are required for any conditions that require physical evaluation or diagnosis. Similarly, seniors with cognitive conditions that might inhibit them from participating in a video session would benefit from in-person care.
Stay Updated on Senior Care Developments
As technology advances, seniors benefit just as much as everybody else. Between developments in safety, medication adherence, health tracking, and virtual care, modern-day senior care is very different from even a decade ago.
More than ever, senior living communities are investing in technology to expand their staff’s capacity and keep their residents safe and happy. Over time, the right technology will continue to pay dividends in the form of a more streamlined, efficient, and effective community. To learn more about HandsFree Health’s state-of-the-art senior living technology device family and the difference it can make in your community, click here.