Aging In Place Top Products?
The Amazon Echo product with Alexa virtual assistant is intriguing because you can use it to schedule reminders for medication and make hands free calls. The "always on/listening" feature at first sounds invasive but it does serve as a digital sentry for the elder who is home alone. It's like the Life Alert product from the 90's but more useful. One of my biggest fears for my elderly parents is that they fall down and simply wait in pain for hours until someone finds them because they can reach their phone.
My 3 siblings and I are caring for our 91 year old mother who insists on staying in the family home. Our biggest challenge is communicatons. Whenever an adverse event occurs, triage is our biggest challenge, we need to understand what has happened, what resources are dealing with the problem and whether additional resources need to be added or not. We have a life alert type system, and if it works and an ambulance or police are needed, it is OK. However many events don't rise to that level. Doctors, pharmacies or therapists need to be scheduled and coordinated with in home care givers, transportation arragned, follow up instructions understood and acted on. Getting accurate information incorporated into a calendar and sharing that with all the stakeholders and caregivers is a challenge, especially when doctors and pharmacies resist using electronic communications due to HIPPA obstacles.
In order to maintain the independence of elderly people at home a ‘smart rollator’ is indispensable: equipped with an early warning mechanism with integrated GPS module in case of need. On the one hand you can determine the location of the person, on the other hand you can communicate.
If a two story house, if possible move them down stairs. If necessary to use stais, you can buy and install chairs that ride them up and down safely.
Bathroom tub and shower need safety bars. May need to replace a tub with the walk in tube.
Consider ramps on exterior if whelchair access is needed.
ADT makes emergency alert medallion, they can wear aroung their naeck.
Prepared food services that deliver
Grocery delivery services
Someone trustworthy should review thier checking and other accounts peridoically. Set up auto payments as much as possible. And auto deposits on checks. Set up alerts at banks to text you of any large amounts withdrawn.
I have seen Philips Lifeline work really well, triggering ambulance service to come and transport the senior person (that I know) to a local hospital. Wheelchair, rubber shoes as well as products that help getting in and out of bath also work. Any product that helps with getting in and out of bed. It might sound irelevant but kitchen utensils that are easy to grip and use, such as knives and spoons can make a difference for an elderly who insists on staying alone.
I was recently exposed to a shoe concept that contains sensors that can detect when the wearer has fallen. So, the wearer doesn't need to trigger an alert, simply assuming a sideways positioning is aufficient to trigger a text notice to a contact. The alerts become more intrusive if not shut down.
There are some really great technology out there for telehealth at home. We now have components that can use blue tooth technology with blood pressure cuff, scale, pulse oximetry, blood glucose monitoring and more! All the info with a daily survey can be sent to a centralized nursing station for review.
If you are a spouse or relative of an elderly person who needs live in care consider having things such as the fall or med-alert monitors. Also look into the smartwatch vitals monitoring apps that will be increasingly coming on market.
Also invest in some video cameras to place around the house. These can be monitored from a PC, tablet, or smartphone. You can then check the video when you get an alert. They are also useful for monitoring hired live-in caregivers. My sister installed monitors into my mother's home when she began failing. When we had to hire live-ins the cameras were pointed out to them. We had agency placed bonded people for six years around the clock. We fired many of these people based on alerts and video checks my sister received.
Optimize medications management through personalized medicine. We see it with our Pillcheck clients: 75% of people who take 3+ meds have issues that can be fixed with pharmacogenomics.
PGx testing identifies inherited variations in drug metabolizing enzymes to determine how an individual will respond to their prescribed drug(s). In a recent study in the US, the use of PGx testing reduced hospitalizations by 39% and ED visits by 71% in elderly patients taking multiple medications