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Will Technology Mean the End of Nursing Homes?

senior technologyOnly child Linda was used to calling her mother three or four times a day to ask if she’d remembered to take her medications. Linda also made it part of her daily routine to drive over to her parent’s house at least once a day to make sure that her parents were eating properly. Just when the situation was getting overwhelming and Linda’s husband was suggesting nursing home care, Linda’s parents began using a system called Lively. Six sensors were placed in various areas of the elderly couple’s home, including on the pillbox and refrigerator. These days Linda can remotely monitor her mother’s medications and “see” the number of times her parents open the fridge. Linda can now rest easy, and keep her parents out a nursing home – at least for now.

In addition to homecare systems and homecare software like ClearCare Online, technology such as this is making it possible for more seniors to enjoy living at home during their golden years. Innovative technology gives elderly ones confidence in their ability to live alone and is helping families avoid nursing home care. Just a few of these technologies include:

  • Voice activated appliances
  • Smartphone apps for monitoring health or medication management
  • GPS trackers
  • Activity sensors
  • Life alert bracelets
  • Homecare systems and homecare software

"Technology is allowing me to stay on my own as long as I can,” says Phyllis Bek-gran of Venice, Fla., who turns 90 this month. Bek-gran is one of the 40 percent of U.S. adults age 85-plus who live alone. With sophisticated homecare systems and homecare software like ClearCare Online becoming increasingly popular, this number is expected to rise.

"We've entered the era of low-cost, miniaturized, technological capabilities that enable smarter caregiving and greater independence," says Laurie Orlov, an aging-in-place technology analyst. It's currently a $2 billion industry, and Orlov expects it to reach $30 billion by 2020. In addition, “device stigma” is disappearing – meaning more seniors are becoming okay with using GPS watches or Med Alert bracelets. Seniors recognize the value this technology and homecare systems and homecare software that can help them maintain their independence longer.

“Connected independence” technologies – including homecare systems and activity sensors – are popular because adult children can keep tabs on their loved ones, without having to physically be there. Homecare software like ClearCare Online allows family members to verify that their aging relative’s caregiver has arrived on time and has completed all scheduled daily tasks properly.

Embracing new technologies such as homecare systems and homecare software will continue to improve the lives of seniors and their families. What technology has your family enjoyed learning?

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