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Has anyone used technology based in home care?

Hi there,

I'm looking at care services for my grandfather. There's the typical in-home services but I also noticed people starting to use technology more. For example, using video based consultations for medication prompts/quick checks, using sensors around the house for monitoring or even FitBit to get vitals data. Has anyone used technology like this in care for their relative in place of the typical in-home service? Is it effective? What benefits have you seen?

I'm looking forward to your thoughts.

Status: Open    Dec 01, 2015 - 08:02 AM

Caregiving, Other

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4 answers

Expert Answers

Dec 01, 2015 - 01:51 PM

Technology can certainly play a role in providing assistive aid in the home, but you cannot expect it to completely replace a human. Our agency frequently augments personal care with a technological solution. IE: medication dispensers, fall detectors, video monitoring, etc. In many cases, a technolical solution can be implemented that will extend services. For instance, an individual may receive assistance for a few hours each day from a caregiver, but needs to maintain a strict 24 hour medication regimen. As there may not be another family member or friend that can reliably verify the medication is taken, a monitored medication dispenser would be a good solution. Since the system is monitored, if the medicine is not taken from the machine when the alarm sounds, it will notify a central station, and a call will be placed to the client to see if there is a problem. Of course this is not as personal as if a caregiver were providing the reminders, but works tirelessly 24 hours per day and is very affordable. In a case such as this, technology "extends" the personal care.

Dec 13, 2015 - 09:13 AM

There are many technologies that can improve the well-being of a senior within their home. Generally, tech-enabled devices are very good at assessing or monitoring one thing, such as falls or medical issues.

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Voted Best Answer

Dec 01, 2015 - 01:51 PM

Technology can certainly play a role in providing assistive aid in the home, but you cannot expect it to completely replace a human. Our agency frequently augments personal care with a technological solution. IE: medication dispensers, fall detectors, video monitoring, etc. In many cases, a technolical solution can be implemented that will extend services. For instance, an individual may receive assistance for a few hours each day from a caregiver, but needs to maintain a strict 24 hour medication regimen. As there may not be another family member or friend that can reliably verify the medication is taken, a monitored medication dispenser would be a good solution. Since the system is monitored, if the medicine is not taken from the machine when the alarm sounds, it will notify a central station, and a call will be placed to the client to see if there is a problem. Of course this is not as personal as if a caregiver were providing the reminders, but works tirelessly 24 hours per day and is very affordable. In a case such as this, technology "extends" the personal care.

Answers

Dec 13, 2015 - 11:07 AM

Some technology can help but remember that as a person declines they will be less and less able to ues some technology so it will have to be more passive.
A neckalace or bracelet that can summon help is great if the person is aware enough to know how and when to push a button to summon help. Video based consultations again can be great but the person has to know how to use the equipment and there is a disconect between a voice and a face that is one dementional. My husband had problems with phone conversations as it is a disembodied voice from a box and there is no face to put a voice to.
You can call a person on the phone or video chat with them and ask if they have eaten that day or bathed...at some point do you trust the reply or not?

Dec 13, 2015 - 03:39 PM

My favorite has been Skype on a laptop in her apartment, set on automatic answer (which she loves). For me, it allows me to peek in and listen to what is going on, and see her in person. I also like the nest cam I have mounted above th kitchen cabinets, which allows me to log directly into the camera on my iPhone and see if she is up and about which assures me that she is OK an ddoing her regular things. I wish she had learned to use a med reminder/dispenser with the alarms before she became unable to learn such things.
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