Many people living in senior housing communities are visually impaired. Macular Degeneration and other eye disorders heavily impact aging individuals. There are a number of Low vision aids that make life a little easier, but nothing is quite as advanced as the E-sight glasses. This innovative product provides a new level of independence for the visually impaired.
How they work
These glasses are called “electronic glasses.” Two small digital screens rest in front of the eyes. A tiny camera between the eyes captures video and feeds it into the screens. The user can magnify the image up to 23 times, change the contrast and color.
E- sight is the first device of its kind. Because it is wearable, the user can walk around with the glasses on for assistance in nearly every aspect of life. They are great for distance viewing. For example, reading street signs and navigating while on a walk. They can also be used for close viewing, like reading a book and watching television.
Anyone with severe vision loss may be a candidate for these glasses. It is recommended to contact the company for a demonstration before purchasing. Because vision loss is so unique to each person, not everyone will benefit from this type of device. There are a few different models and the price ranges from $10,000-$15,000. The newest version is smaller and less expensive. However, most aging people find the older version easier to use because the controls are larger and simplified. These glasses would not be great for an elderly person with dementia or other mental impairments. They are not simple to use and will take time for anyone to master.
Videoconferencing services like Skype help seniors stay connected to friends and family. In today’s fast-paced environment, it is sometimes difficult to stay in touch with those we love. Video conferencing allows people to see each other. This provides a deeper level of communication than what is available on a traditional telephone call. We know how important it is for elderly people to nurture social connections. Imagine a grandparent having a video call with her grandchild who lives hundreds of miles away. This child shares a picture he drew just for his grandma and gets to show it to her in real time. Compare that to a traditional phone call where the child simply tells grandma he drew her a picture. The difference in these two types of communication is staggering. Video conferencing has a significant positive impact on the mental and emotional lives of aging adults by strengthening social bonds.
Problems and Solutions
Low vision – Some seniors struggle with low vision problems. This can make video conferencing difficult and less beneficial. Luckily, there are systems that hook straight to an hd television. This allows people to experience their video calls directly on the tv. This is a wonderful solution for elderly people that suffer from vision loss.
Hearing loss – Those with hearing loss may struggle with verbal communication during a conference call. Headphones are available which are specifically designed for those with hearing impairment. The volume can be turned up very high without disturbing others in the room, and many of them offer a noise cancellation feature.
Complicated technology – Many people believe that video conferencing is too complex for older people. However, this is generally not the case. There are a number of solutions that simplify the process. Usually, if a tech-savvy individual handles the initial configuration and set up, the elderly person can easily learn how to use it.
Video conferencing is proving to be an asset for senior citizens. Senior care communities might consider creating a video conference calling area, similar to a phone booth of the past; this would be a shared space where residents could speak to and see their loved ones.
Older adults are embracing technology and gaining significant benefit from the use of mobile devices. Smart phones and tablets are proving themselves extremely valuable in the lives of elderly people. They allow seniors to engage on social media platforms and stay connected with friends and family. There are also a number of apps and games to help keep the mind active, which plays an important role in retaining cognitive abilities. Now, there are even apps to help seniors manage their medications. This is crucial, as most elderly people are on several medications. It is easy to accidentally miss a dose or even overdose when a person has multiple medications to take at varying times throughout the day. The apps discussed in this article are designed to help solve this issue. The top three medication management apps for seniors are as follows:
MedCoach – This is a free app available for Android, iPhone and iPad. The app offers a list of medications and a user-friendly interface to set up reminders. It also connects to your pharmacy for simple refill orders. Caregivers particularly appreciate this. It is used by some tech-savvy seniors as well.
MediSafe – This is another medication reminder app available for Android, iPhone and iPad. It features loud alarm style reminders, refill options, and it is easy to use. One of the unique characteristics of this app is the ability to share information. Medication data can be shared among family members, and progress reports can be generated for physicians.
Pillboxie – This is a user-friendly app perfect for seniors or caregivers. It is available for the iPhone and iPad. The cost is only $.99. It provides on-screen visual cues with images of pill bottles. Users can set alarms and reminders for each medication. It does not require a data connection, so you will not miss a reminder due to lack of data service.
These are just three of the many apps that assist elderly people in their daily activities. We should not underestimate an older adult’s ability to use and understand modern technology. Just like anything new in life, it simply takes a little time to learn. Seniors and caregivers can both benefit from using these types of medication management apps.
An integrated fitness system generally refers to a piece of equipment that provides personalized activity tracking. While these devices have been popular among average americans for the past few years, the eldercare industry is just now beginning to recognize the benefits of these systems. Few senior care communities currently have this technology, but it is an innovation we will likely see more frequently in the future as leaders acknowledge the value of this technology. Let’s look at the present options and their potential uses in elder care.
Wearables are the most popular type of fitness tracker available on the market today. They are generally small electronic devices that track and record activity. Fitbits and Apple watches are common examples of wearable fitness trackers. They are often sleek and attractive to blend with the user’s attire. A few useful characteristics of these devices include:
Heart rate monitor – These devices can measure and record heart rate. Because they are wearable, they provide a constant monitoring system.
Sleep monitor – Sleep cycles are crucial for the elderly. Tracking the quality and quantity of sleep documents vital information for diagnosing and detecting physical and mental-health problems.
Activity tracking – The ability to observe activity levels in elderly people is significant because we can detect decreased levels of activity, which may indicate a health problem. Early detection is the key for overcoming many health issues. This could truly be a life-saving technology when used in this way.
Calorie tracking – Measuring the number of calories burned due to activity can be extremely worthwhile for those trying to lose weight or people with specific nutritional/calorie intake requirements.
Another type of integrated fitness system being used in senior care is exercise equipment that records activity. The machinery is generally networked and can record a host of important data. This is particularly useful for those receiving physical therapies or people on a specific exercise program. The ability to track progress not only encourages the participant, it also provides valuable information to doctors and caregivers.
It is easy to see how these systems benefit elderly people. We hope community operators will recognize the value in this technology and will implement it when possible. Some People in the industry believe This type of tech is cost prohibitive. Hopefully, as with most technology, the cost will drop dramatically over time so that more communities can make this innovation a reality for residents.
As our first post, it seems appropriate to discuss the purpose of this blog. Why is technology in senior living an issue that deserves your attention? Here, we will answer that very question so leaders in the industry can respond to the needs of their residents with a better understanding of the essential role technology plays in senior care. Technology is an increasingly important factor in all industries and in our personal lives. While some people are reluctant to embrace change, others realize the need for upgrades and improvements. The broad goal of new technology is to make things more effective and efficient. So, how does this impact senior care services?
Quality of care
Providing a higher quality of care not only improves the lives of residents, it also increases demand and occupancy rates. New technologies offer opportunities for immense improvements in care giving. These innovations span across all sectors of elder care. Senior communities implementing new systems are obtaining tremendous positive results.
The issue of safety is always a concern in eldercare communities. Community operators are attentive to the well-being of residents, as well as the employees and caregivers. New high-tech systems advance overall safety. A great example of this is areal time location system” (RTLS). These devices have become crucial in providing the absolute highest level of safety.
While implementing new technologies and systems typically has an initial upfront cost; it often saves money in the long term. When your systems are more reliable, running more efficiently and effectively, you will naturally cut costs. Unnecessary spending deteriorates the quality of care and therefore, defeats the purpose of your community.
Lead the industry
The senior living industry is competitive, no question about that. In order to stay in the game, communities must offer the finest care. If you plan to be in the forefront of this industry, you must provide superior services. Technology is the key to accomplishing this goal. Families seeking top-quality care for their loved ones expect modern tech to be utilized.
Now that you understand the significance of technology in senior housing communities, we hope you will pursue the knowledge and information to make your elder care community stand out from the crowd.