Two things we don’t normally think of in the same sentence: technology and seniors. But these two are becoming constantly more intertwined with the advancement of today’s leading eldercare providers.
Technology has revolutionized the way people are able to provide care in both a professional and familial setting. Here are a few:
Researchers are constantly advancing our understanding of genetics and genomics study. This pushes our healthcare system in a direction toward preventative care rather than one that merely focuses on problems as they present themselves.
With these advancements, genetic testing has become less invasive and more affordable, allowing for a wider range of recipients. Patients are beginning to be treated based on genetic status for things such as cancer, where personal gene-traits determine that certain treatments are more effective than others.
Advanced Detection Systems:
We’re all familiar with traditional medical alert pendants or bracelets, but there are now fall detection devices that can be installed in homes or care facilities.
Along with fall detection devices have come more advanced monitoring systems, which track an older person’s daily routine. If there is a sudden change in routine, the data allows a care provider to be notified and the older person is then screened.
Sometimes a change in bathroom habits, eating habits, or sleeping habits can indicate something much more serious. By intervening immediately, healthcare professionals are able to stop problems before they become dangerous when left unnoticed.
Digitizing Health Records:
Digitizing health records has lowered the rate of error with which medical records or documents are processed. Also, having records readily available at any location has made treatment much more efficient.
With easily accessible records, healthcare professionals are able to study more complete health records and make informed decisions regarding future care of the patient.
Emergence of Care Oriented Apps:
For those seniors who are tech savvy, there are an impressive number of current and emerging apps geared towards them:
- apps that allow you to cross-check medicines finding out how they react with each other
- apps that compare local pharmacy prices
- apps which can set reminders for taking pills
- an app that allows families to assign tasks to each other when it comes to caring for an aging parent
With more apps being developed constantly, managing the care of a loved one is becoming much easier than it once was.
Accessible Medical Information Online:
This one seems simple, but it’s still worth mentioning. We’ve all had experience with sites like WebMD or other online health encyclopedias. Sometimes diagnosing ourselves can cause spiraling anxiety that results in continuing down the rabbit hole, but overall, it is helpful to go into a doctor’s office armed with some knowledge about your symptoms.
Getting on board
The baby boomer generation, soon to be the next majority of elderly Americans, has become more familiar with technology than the seniors before them. Because of this familiarity they will be able to utilize the constant advancements that are available when it comes time for them to be cared for.
Baby boomers want to remain in their homes longer and since they have been taking care of their parents for some time now, their familiarity with the eldercare system is at a higher level than generations before them.
Max Gottlieb is the content manager Senior Planning, a free service that has helped many Arizona seniors and their families navigate the process of long term care planning. Prime Medical Alert seeks to ensure the safety of seniors who choose to age in place.