Posted on Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 at 10:28 am and filed under Technology
New in-home technologies are helping a growing number of aging adults live independently longer.Â SafetyChoiceâ„˘ by Comfort KeepersÂ® is a line of in-home safety technology solutions that assists seniors in aging independently at home; whether used with or without in-home care provided by a caregiver.Â The initial release of products under the Safety Choiceâ„˘ banner which includes personal emergency response systems (PERS) and other monitoring devices has been developed through a partnership between Guardian Medical Monitoring and CK Franchising, Inc..
Mike McGee, owner of the Comfort Keepers franchise in West Chester, OH said that technology is helping to complement and extend the personal, human touch provided to senior citizens by professional caregivers and family members. â€śWith the senior population growing at a much faster pace than that of working-age Americans, itâ€™s becoming more challenging to provide around-the-clock care for seniors at home,â€ť he said.
HeÂ added that demographic studies show that the ratio of seniors to working-age Americans is expected to continue growingâ€”30 percent from 2010 to 2020, Â and another 29 percent in the following decade.
In the meantime, seniors and their loved ones are discovering that technology solutionsâ€”such as those offered through SafetyChoice by Comfort Keepers â€”can effectively bridge the times when a caregiver canâ€™t be present or when a senior may not yet need a caregiver in the home. Such technologies are monitored by professionals at central stations and provide phone notifications to first responders whether a professional caregiver, family member, neighbor or emergency personnel.
â€śThese systems provide family members the peace of mind that their loved one can get help, even when a caregiver canâ€™t be physically present with them,â€ťÂ McGee said.
Responding to the increasing needs for care among seniors, Comfort Keepers recently introduced the new SafetyChoiceâ„˘ line of technology products, which extends personal caregiving. These products include PERS Units as well as other monitoring devices that can detect certain activities by persons with Alzheimerâ€™s and other dementia-related illnesses.
â€śTechnologies like these, in combination with personal caregiving, lead to improved health outcomes and quality of life for seniors,â€ť McGeeÂ said. â€śThese technologies make it possible for them to continue living at homeâ€”where they most want to beâ€”safely, confidently, and independently.â€ť
PERS units help seniors summon help quickly with the push of a buttonâ€”reducing wait times for emergency assistance in the event of a fall, illness or other emergency at home.Â â€śBy greatly decreasing the time for emergency help to arrive,â€ťÂ McGee said, â€śemergency response systems help reduce the complications that can result from a fall or other emergency. The shortened wait time usually results in quicker and fuller recovery and an improved chance of returning to independent living.â€ť
McGeeÂ added, â€śFalls are one of the greatest concerns of the elderly.â€ť The Centers for Disease Control has reported that more than a third of American adults 65 and older fall each yearâ€”and falls are the leading cause of death by injury for seniors.
Technology can be a good prescription for caregiversâ€™ health, too. Â According to testimony delivered by the Alzheimerâ€™s Association to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, one in eight caregivers providing care to those with Alzheimerâ€™s becomes ill or injured as a result of caregiving. Technology can relieve some of the stress by giving family members the opportunity to take breaks from their caregiving responsibilities.
To learn more about the SafetyChoiceâ„˘ by Comfort KeepersÂ® in-home technology solutions in the Cincinnati area, call Comfort Keepers atÂ 513-755-3710.Â
About Comfort KeepersÂ®
Comfort KeepersÂ® is a leading franchise network in the in-home care market for senior and other adults needing care. Since its founding in 1998, the network has grown to more than 600 franchised locations around the world by staying true to the founders’ goal of providing quality, caring in-home care services that allow clients the opportunity to age in place. In August of 2009, the brand was strengthened even further by the purchase of the franchisor, CK Franchising, Inc., by Sodexo, one of the world’s leading food and facilities management services companies and the global leader in the health care and seniors markets. For more information, visit www.comfortkeepers.com/westchesteroh
About Guardian Medical Monitoring
Guardian Medical Monitoring, initiated in 1998, offers products and services nationwide andÂ is a division of Guardian Burglar Alarm, North America’s largest independent security and life-safety company.Â Guardian offers commercial/residential fire and burglar alarms throughout Michigan, Ohio, Floridaand Canada. For more information visit www.guardianmedicalmonitoring.com.
Posted on Friday, July 27th, 2012 at 7:55 am and filed under Technology
In simple terms, one does not usually equate modern technology with seniors. Smart phones, computers or other trendy electronic gadgets can be navigated by younger generations in their sleep, but may be a bit more complicated or of no interest to older generations. However, modern technology as it applies to seniors, especially those living home alone, is more high-tech than you may think.
The goal for many seniors is to live independently in their own homes for as long as possible. However, for some, doing so can be challenging due to physical or mental limitations. Sometimes seniors need help that is not readily available in human form. This is where technology enters the senior world, offering a plethora of aids that assist seniors with daily living.
Comfort KeepersÂ®, a leader in the home health care industry, offers SafetyChoiceÂ® products designed with the independent senior in mind. Pill boxes are available that beep reminder messages at appropriate times and even dispense proper medication dosages. Mats with electronic sensors can be placed at the sides of beds and send electronic alerts if seniors fall out of bed in the middle of the night. Tabletop consoles, necklaces and other pendants with panic buttons to alert help are readily available for seniors to use in other times of need. Portable GPS systems are popular to help keep track of those who often wander or get lost.
But, technology for seniors does not stop there. The number of seniors 65 and older is projected to double worldwide over the next few decades. During this time, 80 million baby boomers are expected to enter their golden years in the United States. Japan is preparing for the fact that 1 in every 4 of their citizens will be over the age of 65 within the next few years. While governments are cringing and crunching Medicare and other health-related aid dollars, technology companies across the globe are rising to the challenge of helping seniors live independent lives in their own homes.
Japan, notably a leader in the technological world, is developing legions of nurse robots to assist in senior care. Other technology in the works includes robotic bathtubs designed to help seniors bathe, GPS chips to monitor physical whereabouts, and inflatable arm sleeves to facilitate muscle strength when lifting. Full-body robotic suits with pressure points that sense when a senior is lifting something heavy and fill weak spots with air to support muscles while lifting are purportedly being developed.
As the years progress, the world is bound to see technology many of us have never imagined designed to assist aging seniors. For that, we should be thankful. No matter our age, every bit of help enhances our quality of life. While robotics and computerized devices can never replace basic human touch and companionship, this type of technology can facilitate our goals of healthy, independent living in our own homes well into our golden years.
Comfort Keepers continues to research and develop cutting edge technology to ensure the safety of the independent senior living home alone. For more information regarding SafetyChoiceÂ®products, please visit http://www.comfortkeepers.com/office-326/technology-solutions/safetychoice-products.
Leland, John (2009). New York Times. Retrieved on April 28, 2012 from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/16/technology/16iht-sensors.1.20210425.html.
Comfort Keepers. SafetyChoiceÂ® products.Retrieved on April 28, 2012 from http://www.comfortkeepers.com/office-256/technology-solutions/safetychoice-products.
Baby boomers started reaching retirement age in 2011. With 78 million of them in total, they will make a significant impact in their senior years, as they have at every phase of their lives.
How will baby boomers influence how senior care is delivered?
First, consider the general characteristics of baby boomers. They are:
â€˘Â Â Â Â Â Â Independent and self-reliant, having grown up in a time of change, challenging the status quo
â€˘Â Â Â Â Â Â Expected to live longer than previous generations
â€˘Â Â Â Â Â Â Health conscious and physically active
â€˘Â Â Â Â Â Â Accustomed to technology, having grown up in a time of non-stop technological change
Because they are independent by nature, baby boomers are likely to look for alternatives to traditional facility-based senior care. In fact, many of the 13 million baby boomers now caring for their aging parents have discovered in-home care. Many are providing at least some of the caregiving themselves, relying on professional caregivers for the rest, as they help their mothers and fathers â€śage in placeâ€ť in the comfort of their own homes.
A 2006 study at the University of Southern California’s Leonard Davis School of Gerontology reports that baby boomers are more committed to caring for their parents than were their own mothers and fathers. (This research followed two generations of 333 families in the USC Longitudinal Study of Generations.)Â As they help their parents, baby boomers are seeing the advantages of aging at home and thus may be more likely to choose in-home care for themselves when the time comes.
However, baby boomers may not be as fortunate as their parents to have children to care for them. Many baby boomers have never married and as a whole have had fewer children. For instance, the Urban Institute reported in 2007 (â€śMeeting the Long-Term Care Needs of the Baby Boomers: How Changing Families Will Affect Paid Helpers and Institutionsâ€ť) that women born between 1956 and 1960 had only 1.9 children on average, compared with 3.2 children for women born between 1931 and 1935. And between 1980 and 1998, the portion of women ages 40 to 44 without children almost doubled, to 19 percent.
This means baby boomers will have to rely more on professional in-home caregivers, since they may not have family caregivers available.
Baby boomers will be ideal candidates for in-home care because they have pursued active lifestyles and preventive health practicesâ€”and are likely to enjoy better health than previous generations of seniors. According to Health, United States, 2005, a report issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, baby boomers will age more slowly due to healthful habits that have contributed to such indicators as 60 and 70 percent drops since 1950 in the death rates for heart disease and stroke, respectively. Further, the cancer death rate has declined 10 percent since 1990.
Baby boomers will particularly feel at home with in-home care like Comfort Keepersâ€™ Interactive Caregiving, which builds on seniorsâ€™ life-long activities and interests, helping them stay engaged in physical, mental and social pursuits that heighten their quality of life.
In-home care technology will further aid in making in-home care the ideal senior care solution for the baby boomer generation. Throughout their lives, baby boomers have been faithful adopters of the latest gadgets that have come along to make life better. Plus, in-home care technologies, such as SafetyChoiceĂ¤ by Comfort Keepers, can help bridge the family caregiver gap for those boomers who donâ€™t have children.
These technologies, which are continually being developed and improved, monitor seniorsâ€™ movements and vital signs and can alert help in emergencies when caregivers are not present in the home. Other examples include medication systems, which remind seniors to take their medicine as prescribed, and GPS tracking devices that help locate a senior who has become lost.
So, just as they have throughout life, baby boomers will make their own distinctive mark on senior care â€“ and in a big way.
Posted on Friday, July 29th, 2011 at 3:09 pm and filed under Technology
The supply of professional and family caregivers canâ€™t keep up with Americaâ€™s rapidly growing senior citizen population. In fact, the ratio of seniors to working-age Americans is expected to rise 30 percent from 2010 to 2020 and another 29 percent in the following decade.* (citation below)
At the same time, more senior citizens want to continue living at home, for as long as possible, even with chronic health conditions.
So, how can a shrinking supply of caregivers catch up to this increasing demand? The answer, many believe, lies in caregiving technologies that complement and extend the personal, human touch.
Already, seniors and their loved ones have discovered that technology solutions – such as monitoring devices, electronic medication dispensers and emergency response systemsâ€”effectivelyÂ bridge the times when a caregiver canâ€™t be present. Such technologies are monitored by professionals at central stations. Monitoring and assistive technologies offer family members the opportunity to take respites from caregiving with the peace of mind their loved one is still being watched over.
Ultimately, this melding of technology and personal caregiving leads to improved health outcomes and quality of life for seniors, enabling them to age right where they most want to beâ€”at home.
Safety Choice in-home care technology solutions by Comfort Keepers means help is always at hand.Â Safety Choice complements our in-home care services with around the clock monitoring so you know that help is available.Â
* According to Dowell Myers, a demographer at the University of Southern California, in a May 7, 2007, article in The Wall Street Journal.