Top 5 Technology Tools for Aged Care & Senior Living

5 Minute Read

Technology has come a long way; and the progress brings aids to help seniors maintain their independence and remain in their own home longer.

Top 5 Technology Tools for Seniors

© Danielle Robertson Consulting Pty Ltd t/as DR Care Solutions

These aids can help your loved one, especially if they live alone.

The list of new aids is extensive. Today I’ll just focus on those that detect movement and address concerns about falls.

There is technology now available that can detect virtually every move you make.

For a senior living at home, discreet detection devices can monitor whether you are seated, lying in bed, walking around, or have walked out the front door for an outing.

To some it may sound like Big Brother, but for the elderly and concerned family carers, it can put off the discussion as to whether it’s time for residential care.

I’ve separated the topic into mobility monitors not attached to person, and those attached, and listed the top five devices to consider.

 

Monitors not attached to the person

  1. The fall sensor:

    You can have a fall sensor[1] installed in the home which can detect falls regardless of whether the room is brightly lit or completely dark. This game-changing technology uses artificial intelligence, and to protect privacy, involves no camera. It can even differentiate between the movement of people and animals!

 

  1. The bed sensor:

    To monitor falls from the bed, there is a bed sensor[2]. This is not the old bed mat technology similar in look to a mattress protector. This is a small sensor that sits discreetly under one leg of the bed. It monitors movement in and out of the bed, and also heart rate, breathing rate and quality of sleep while you are lying in it.

 

  1. The voice panic detector:

    This detector[3] allows someone to call for help without the need to hit a panic button. Through the installation of battery-operated devices in every room of the home, the detector enables a two-way voice conversation between the person needing help and a 24/7 call centre. It can even be installed in the shower where most falls occur.

 

Monitors attached to the person

  1. The smart watch:

    No doubt someone has shown you how their smart watch can detect a fall. When it comes to monitoring devices attached to the person, the smart watch appears to outrun pendants in terms of popularity as the watches are more inconspicuous. In as far as effectiveness, there is some debate about whether a smart watch or pendant is the way to go. Both sides are comprehensively weighed up in this Choice magazine article[4].


  2. The pendant:

    To me the failsafe option is the pendant as for a smart watch, the user needs finger dexterity and the smarts to use their watch. This may be lacking after the shock of a fall. The range of pendants is expanding, with manufacturers taking note of consumer demand for more elegant solutions. For example, there is the choice of fashionable necklaces[5] or a wristband[6].

 

As the Choice article points out, the bottom line is that the mobile device must be water resistant, waterproof, or have an IP rating of IP67, and be connected 24/7 to a call centre. The latter will involve a monthly subscription fee.

Government subsidies for the purchase of detection devices, and ongoing call centre subscription fees, may be available through the Commonwealth Home Support Program, via your Home Care package funding or National Disability Insurance Scheme.

 


If you wish to maintain the independence of your loved one who lives alone, please don’t hesitate to call me, Danielle Robertson, for an initial discussion on how to set up the right care, support and assistance at the right time and in the right place.

- Contact Danielle - For An Impartial & Confidential Conversation

 


Resources

[1] HSC Technology Group's Fall Sensor, MD Sense
[2] HSC Technology Group's Talius Bed Sensor
[3] HSC Technology Group's Voice Panic Detector, Care@Home Communicator
[4] Choice Magazine: Smart Watch vs Pendant
[5] HSC Technology Group's Fashionable Wearable Pendant Necklace
[6] HSC Technology Group's Fashionable Wearable Wristband 

 

Danielle Robertson

Danielle Robertson

Working with you and your support network to get the right care outcomes for you and your loved ones. Danielle Robertson is founder and CEO of DR Care Solutions, offering aged care and disability care concierge services and expertise on how to set up the right care, support and assistance for your loved one, at the right time and in the right place. Danielle's experience in the Australian care sector spans over three and a half decades. Now that's a lot of experience, wisdom and networks!