Forbes mentions that families can spend as much money to care for their aging relatives as they do raising a child. Saving this much money may make sense in the long term and allows your aged relative to retain their independence. However, there comes a time when freedom needs to be balanced with the necessity of care. When a loved one gets too old to safely care for themselves, a family may no longer have the option to let them stay on their own. There’s always the fear that they will injure themselves during their daily lives, and no one will be aware until it’s too late. New technology could hold the key to changing this tipping point and allow loved ones to live independently much longer.
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Smart Homes and IoT As Senior Living Assistance
We all know about smart homes by now, with all the electronic devices of the house connected. IoT extends this functionality to additional tools that may come after the construction of the house. Together, they provide a way for monitoring a senior relative’s day to day actions. This system doesn’t use surveillance but instead relies on small, unobtrusive sensors tagged around the house. The system can pick up on your loved one’s routine and immediately alert someone in case of abnormal behavior or if their routine has become erratic or changed significantly.
The system collects data and stores it in a remote cloud server that family members with the right password can access. During the first two weeks, the system contains and aggregates this data into the database, taking care to note the behavioral patterns it sees. This learning period then allows the system to pick up on irregularities so that it can generate real-time alerts for family members and on-call senior care professionals. The data that it collects can help determine problems with your loved one’s sleeping and eating habits and even their balance while they walk. Alerts are generated automatically and pushed to the phones of connected relatives and professionals.
Independence would be pointless if surveillance were used to ensure your loved one’s safety, but this system doesn’t both with cameras. Instead, it pulls all the data it requires from the in-home sensors. There’s no need to turn on or off the system as it uses the collected data and comparative methods to come up with alerts in the right circumstances. Even the stored data on the central server keeps personal information down to a minimum. While the server is secure, precautions are taken to make sure that the data collected remains unidentifiable.
The Future of Home Care?
While some people may see this technique as a step towards a more modernized home care system, it’s still in its infancy. Other individuals prefer a personalized approach that Skylark Senior Care and other companies provide for older folks. We may see this technology become more prominent with time, as the technology becomes more affordable and competitors enter the market.