How Senior Care Technology Has Improved Senior Medical Care
Technological advances have changed every aspect of your life. Compared to the generations that came before you, how you work, raise your children, entertain yourself, and learn are different.
It should thus come as no surprise that technology has drastically altered the way you diagnose, treat, and care for your aging loved ones. Senior care technology is giving older adults the ability to live longer, more fulfilled lives.
The following are just a few of the many ways that senior care has improved due to advancing technology.
More Engaged Living
Many seniors desire to stay in their homes for as long as possible. Unfortunately, for many elderly people, there comes a time where living at home by themselves is no longer feasible or safe.
When the time comes for a safe alternative to living at home, a senior living community equipped with senior care technology may be the right answer. Here, advances in technology allow them to stay in contact with their family members and doctors from the comfort and safety of their living quarters. Doctors can now read their patients’ vital signs and monitor other activities — like adherence to medication guidelines — without the senior having to add the extra stress of traveling for a doctor’s visit.
Virtual or robotic assistants use artificial intelligence to send seniors medication reminders or to encourage them to get up and exercise. They can also be used to converse with your aging loved ones to keep them engaged while assessing their mental fitness.
Some of them even offer features like automatic calls to family and friends to keep the seniors connected. Plus, this tool can connect to calendars and be programmed to audibly remind them of significant events and dates.
Other possible features include fall detection devices and medical alert buttons or watches. These can be set up to connect directly to emergency response services or medical staff at a long-term care facility. Either way, they ensure that help is immediately on the way.
Better Medical Care
The recent advances in medical technology have benefited people of all ages and stages of life. Older adults who frequently have the dual burden of multiple ailments and decreased abilities likely benefit more than most.
Managing several conditions — and the medications used to treat them — is a challenge all by itself. And if there are multiple health care professionals involved, each with their own appointments, procedures, and medications, it is easy to see how even the most organized and astute person could get confused.
There are several ways that senior care technology helps to keep everyone and everything organized and focused on the overall health and welfare of an older patient.
The advent of and increased use of digital records may have saved more lives than any other single new medical technology. Through the use of digital medical records, every doctor involved in the care of a senior — or anyone else — can instantly see test results, notes, and medications being given from any doctor within the network.
This drastically reduces the chances that different doctors prescribe treatments, medications, or procedures that may interact poorly with each other. Like any technology, digital records are only as good as the people who use them. Digital records will not protect people from the misinterpretation of the results reported in the record.
It should also be noted that digital records are not universal. At least at this point, record sharing is limited to medical practices within a given network.
Smart Medication Devices
Keeping track of which medication should be taken and when can be difficult. Many seniors take several different medications, all of which need to be taken on a distinct timetable to be effective.
Smart pillboxes are designed to help with medication management. They have programmable alarms to let a senior know when it is time to take their medication.
Others also have a locking mechanism that does not open until it is time for a specific medication to be taken. Both of these are vital since both memory and the ability to keep track of details can fade as a person ages.
Currently in development are smart pill bottles that have a digital connection to doctors and pharmacies. This would allow medical professionals to monitor how often and at what times a pill bottle is being opened. This would allow for automatic refilling of medications or give the doctor a chance to contact their patient to discuss how the medication is supposed to be administered. Receiving refills promptly reduces the chances of forgotten medication while bottles that empty earlier or later than they are supposed may mean that a medication is being taken incorrectly. The smart pill bottle gives the doctor a heads up about this potential misuse of the medication and allows them to rectify the situation before damage is done.
Internet Think Tank
The internet has turned the globe into a giant think tank. Now medical professionals from around the world — including small villages in Africa to bustling cities in North America — can connect to each other. This gives them the ability to share their experiences, ideas, successes, and failures in real-time.
This connection has led to a better understanding of how and why people age and how best to treat the impacts of aging. This deeper understanding of the aging human body has led to new medications and treatments. It has also led to fresh ideas about how diet, exercise, and lifestyle may delay the onset of the symptoms of aging.
Better Diagnostic Technology
Innovative technology coupled with a better understanding of what causes many diseases has led to many important diagnostic tools. When coupled with the appropriate software, these tools — like the MRI or CAT Scans — can show doctors where the problem is as well as provide a map to track the success or failure of a given treatment.
Not all diagnostic tools offer new insights; some simply offer a faster and more reliable way to get the answers you seek.
Blood tests are no longer necessary to determine the amount of oxygen in a patient's blood. Alternatively, a sensor attached to a finger can accurately relay that message in real-time. Blood sugar levels can also be read continuously through the use of an implanted sensor that can send immediate blood sugar results to the patient and the doctor.
LivGenerations: Luxury, Comfort and Senior Care Technology
If the time has come to consider a different living environment for your elderly loved ones, take a look at what LivGenerations Ahwatukee has to offer them. Adaptable to all stages of elder care, our assisted living community offers just the right care to residents, whether they need minimally invasive senior care technology or full-time, around-the-clock care.
To find out how we can help your elderly family members live in upscale senior living, contact us today.