Personal Senior Care Technology

Allowing Seniors to Age in Place and Personal Senior Care Technology

Who wouldn’t like personal senior care technology which offers easy and comfortable life not only at home but at work? Today, a new technology is introduced to aid our aging parents to stay independent as much as possible. I am referring to a motion sensors which allow seniors to live independently.  Seniors may think its similarity to spy camera or “nanny cam”. They may dislike it with the thought of control, restriction, invasion of privacy or reverse authority. For these reasons, it is necessary to ask their approval. The pros and cons should be discussed. American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) supports this system to allow senior to “age in place” as they describe it.

What is a motion sensor?

Motion sensor is a system or technology used to monitor or supervise an aging parent or a disabled person. Rather than move to an assisted living or nursing home facility, it allows them to stay and live in their home. The motion sensor will provide ample supervision 24 hours a day to secure their safety and welfare. It serves as medical alerts, and to enable seniors to live independently.

How does it work?

A wireless sensors are strategically installed around the house to keep an eye on the movement which is monitored by a 24-hour response system.  As the sensors detects the movement, it sends a signal to the receiver. Receiver refers to a caregiver or the occupant’s family who wants to supervise the aging parent. It collects information about mobility, toilet use, sleeping and eating habits. A sensor that is placed in a bed, is to monitor the sleeping time and getting up of the occupant. One may be placed in the door to supervise the getting in and out. Sensors in the kitchen and refrigerator will monitor whether the occupant is preparing food or eating. Sensor placed in the medicine cabinet, will determine whether the occupant take her/his medicine or not.

The receiver will be able to check their parent’s routine and activities regularly using a private and secure web page. In case there is any disruption in the movements, the receiver will be notified and alerted through phone, email or text message automatically. For example, in the case of George, the sensor did not send any movement at his waking time. No movements means he haven’t get up from bed yet. An alert will be sent to George caregiver. The caregiver will then decide what to do, whether he call him or pay a visit. Any interruption in signal can be a sign of problem that need immediate attention.

The Advantage of Personal Senior Care Technology

  • This system allows the aging parent to live with privacy and independently without leaving home.
  • It gives children peace of mind leaving their parents alone. They can still supervise them even they are busy with their own lives.
  • It is an option to a caregiver child. If aging parent is able to be by themselves but need a supervision, this system can be an alternative.
  • This system is not at all cheap but it is cheaper than hiring a caregiver.
  • It will eliminate the constant monitoring on the phone by the children. For example, instead of reminding your parent everyday about their medication, you can just call them when they fail to take it as your sensor reported.

The Disadvantage of Personal Senior Care Technology

Like other technology system, this too has its limitation. It is important to understand its limitation before purchase and installation.

  • This system only records the time spent in the certain area but will not tell you exactly what they are doing. For example, if they open the medicine cabinet, it really doesn’t mean he/she has taken the medication.
  • In case of interruptions of signal and emergency, the alert is solely sent to the designated care giver and not to the health professionals or emergency providers.
  • This system cannot directly help and assist your aging parent’s need.
  • This system may be means invading privacy of others. Your aging parents may dislike this idea. It is important to make conversation and discuss the advantages and disadvantages.

As technology advances, personal care to aging seniors will advance as well. This innovation may be best to your aging parent. However, innovation that concerns your parent’s need and welfare it is best to put in trial and see if it will meet their needs.

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