originally appeared in the NY Times, February 13, 2009
Increasingly, many older people who live alone are not truly alone. They are being watched by a flurry of new technologies designed to enable them to live independently and avoid expensive trips to the emergency room or nursing homes.
Bertha Branch, 78, discovered the power of a system called eNeighbor when she fell to the floor of her Philadelphia apartment late one night without her emergency alert pendant and could not phone for help.
A wireless sensor under Ms. Branch’s bed detected that she had gotten up. Motion detectors in her bedroom and bathroom registered that she had not left the area in her usual pattern and relayed that information to a central monitoring system, prompting a call to her telephone to ask if she was all right. When she did not answer, that incited more calls — to a neighbor, to the building manager and finally to 911, which dispatched firefighters to break through her door. She had been on the floor less than an hour when they arrived. (more…)
Technology: Helping Seniors Stay Home Longer As the baby boomer generation ages and the amount of healthcare workers to take care of them decreases, experts are looking for solutions. The fine folks over at Carnegie Mellon University have adopted the attitude “Well if we can’t find elderly care workers, we’ll build them!” And that’s exactly what their research team did. Introducing Flo: a personal robotic assistant for the elderly, or Nursebot. The project was tested in a Pittsburgh nursing home, where Flo would help guide people around and would remind them when it was time to eat or when it was appropriate to take their medications. The goal is to have Flo at home, providing assistance for people whose chronic disorders prevent them from living normal lives. (more…)
As a CSA, Certified Senior Advisor, I receive many emails detailing cutting edge technologies/concepts which all have to do with our senior population. The article below was in a newsletter I received today from the Society of Certified Senior Advisors. The information is relevant to all of us.
ICE: In Case of Emergency – A simple and effective way of providing emergency responders with a direct line to you. (more…)
Who can you turn to when a mature adult can no longer look after their finances, medications or other personal affairs? We spoke with Candace Bow of Arizona Guardians about the role of a Certified Fiduciary. She discusses guardianship, conservatorship and how to engage a certified fiduciary to protect seniors from exploitation and abuse. She also talks about the certification process and why it is important to only engage the services of those who have been certified by the state to assist seniors.
Falls and the complications following a fall are a leading cause of premature death in seniors. It is important to know which rooms and situations in your home pose the highest threat to senior safety. Inspecting your home for hazards is an important step in preventing falls from happening.
We spoke with Karen Martin of MedAssure located in Phoenix, Arizona about preventing falls, doing home safety checks and creating a safe environment for seniors at home.
When I saw this video I knew I had to share it. The doctor presenting is an excellent speaker and the video is extremely informative without being in the least bit boring. I don’t think I knew the leading cause of death among men and women is heart disease. I realized it with regard to men but I guess with women I had not paid enough attention. This video may save someone’s life.
Identity theft is a crime that has increased dramatically in the last few years and to which seniors are particularly vulnerable. We spoke to two experts, Diane Stubbs of DLS Information Services and Tom Reade of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office to find out what seniors can do to protect their identities and how to react if your identity is stolen.
When is it time for a senior to assess their driving skills? How do you tell Mom it might be time to drive only during daylight hours? How important is driving to maintaining a senior’s independence? How do you objectively assess anyone’s driving skills?
We spoke to Maria Wojtczek of Driving MBA, a full service driver training facility located in Scottsdale, AZ about how to answer these questions. Driving MBA has developed a unique senior driving assessment program that helps seniors and their families evaluate anyone’s driving skills. Driving MBA creates a virtual driver’s test that evaluates a persons skills during different hours of the day, different weather conditions and with different road hazards just to name a few of the road tests.
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