Care Management and Technology
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Using Technology to Improve Outcomes
As your advocate, we are not confined to one type of health care technology because our depth of technical expertise and knowledge of the health care system.
Over the last 10 to 15 years, with the increasing development of smartphones and advanced GPS, senior care has vastly improved thanks to the technology associated with these advancements.
Technology & Senior Care
16.3% of the population is aged 65 or older. As our Baby Boomer generation continues to age that number will continue to grow.
Traditionally, senior care has been somewhat routine, visits to the doctor’s office for diagnosis, and a caregiver, either a family member or group of nurses, to see to daily needs.
With the advent of new technology, our Baby Boomer population is aging at a perfect time. Senior care has vastly improved thanks to the technology associated with advancements in medical care over phone or online conferencing software (Telecare), GPS technology, smartphones, and more.
When people think of global positioning technology, they often associate it with a car GPS tracking device. But there are many other applications for this kind of tech, and one of them involves the safety of elderly people afflicted with dementia.
More than 5 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s Disease. 1 in 3 seniors die with Alzheimer’s or another dementia. When this disease afflicts them, it can start creating cognitive impairment. Dementia disease can cause patients to wander, and they can become disoriented and get lost very easily.
The need to locate seniors is tremendous and having updated GPS services and technology can help with that. There are GPS trackers that can be ironed into clothing, placed insoles of shoes, or put in handbags. You can place these systems in seniors’ routine clothing accessories, and they can be easily found if they are not where they are supposed to be.
Phone applications are one of the biggest advancements in technology that has helped both seniors and caregivers in several ways. Not only can a smart phone connect a senior with their caregiver and/or doctor via Telemedicine visits, but information also collected via phone apps can be sent to doctors and provide more information for them to see how a patient is handling a new medication protocol.
With any basic smartphone, seniors can monitor things like their medication, heart rate, and location (if they are someone with memory loss and may suddenly not know where they are). Apps also allow family members to keep track of their seniors and know where they are always, which can be particularly useful if they notice the family member’s activity has decreased.
Possibly the most important advantage of smartphone apps is the ability for seniors to have access to news, books, music, puzzles, and other activities to keep their mind occupied.
Medical Alert Systems
The most well-known form of medical-alert technology is, of course, the bracelet. But anything that is worn by the patient daily could, potentially, become a medical-alert system. Smartwatches, jewelry and smartphone apps can all be utilized.
An Apple Watch or similar can be used as medical alert system, with fall detection, heart rate and heart arrhythmia monitoring, emergency calling as well are GPS location detection.
According to Caring.com’s comprehensive list of the most up-to-date medical-alert systems available, they are becoming advanced enough that they can monitor the user’s activity levels and sleep habits, giving caregivers the opportunity to know if there is a high fall risk due to fatigue. There are even some units that will alert the staff and give a GPS location if a patient suffering from dementia has wandered beyond a pre-set range.