Updated: Jan 3, 2022
Technological innovations have paved the way for senior adults to live longer and healthier lives. In the past, the elderly had to rely on their doctors and caregivers for their daily needs, but now with the latest advancements in tech, it can even reach a point where seniors can be taken care of without a human being present.
The active-aging industry in the U.S. is expected to triple in the next three years with the surge in safety and smart-living technologies, health and remote care, and wellness and fitness tech. Thousands of companies are targeting the senior market, and these are just some of the ways in which they help improve senior care:
Meaningful connections with robotic pets
Loneliness is prevalent amongst older adults, but toy companies have developed a series of robotic pets to create meaningful connections with them through play. For instance, Hasbro found that their largest customer base for robotic pets is the older adult market, as the pets have the unique ability to engage, delight, offer companionship, calm, soothe, and of course, promote happiness—especially for those living alone or in care communities.
It has led the brand to launch a line of companion pets, with robotic cats and pups having sensors that allow them to interact with a human companion as they would with an actual pet. These robotic pets may be toys to some, but they can help combat loneliness and provide comfort and companionship for isolated seniors. Of course, nothing can replace human companionship, which is why places like VSC offer a welcoming community where senior adults can forge positive relationships with their peers.
Nurse training in the latest tech
Technology and senior care go hand in hand, as evident by the latest innovations that help improve the quality of nursing home care across the board. There is a slew of advancements that allow nurses to provide better service, including Solo-Step, a rehabilitation harness that prevents fall-related injuries and lets patients move about more freely, and The Kidney Project, an artificial kidney that eliminates the need for dialysis.
Such innovations not only give older adults a brighter future, but they also enable nurses to provide better care. They are, after all, responsible for guiding patients on how to use these tools, and are responsible for continuously educating themselves on the latest health tech trends to enhance their care plans. This is why professionals who have careers in nursing have to take into account the different technologies that can improve a senior’s quality of life. Specialists are not only trained to be emphatic, patient, and communicative but are also able to use IT systems and implement data driven decisions. With their medical expertise, coupled with tech know-how, they're able to help increase the quality of life for seniors.
Injury prevention via smart devices
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that falling is the main cause of injury and death among one-fourth of older Americans. Falling incidents, even minor ones, can become a medical nightmare, as they typically lead to bumping their head, bone fractures, internal bleeding, and much more. Luckily, there are wearable devices that are designed for fall detection, allowing brittle bodies to get the help they need from their caregivers.
Gadgets like wristbands, neckwear, and smartwatches monitor vital signs and relay potential problems, so even remote nurses can take action right away. Plus, these devices also have the capacity to remind patients to take medicine or begin online therapy, helping them maintain their overall well-being.
Patient data analysis using AI
Healthcare AI is predicted to reach $190 billion by 2025, ushering in a new era called data-driven medicine. Artificial intelligence helps in culling, organizing, and identifying patterns in big data, leading to early diagnoses, prevention of diseases, accurate treatments, decreasing medical mishaps, and more.
Many AI-assisted platforms like voice assistants and smart devices also have the capacity to help customize patient treatment and long-term care. Computers will be able to spot patients who are at a higher risk when it comes to certain illnesses based on data taken at different facilities at different times. With the data these devices collect, AI analysis will be much easier and can complement a clinician's experience.
Written by Asha Chelly Howells
Exclusive for victorianseniorcare.com