Improving Elder Care through Technology

By: Hallie Fisher.  A relative of mine recently moved into an independent living facility, and within days we had received notice that she had been summoning the staff for routine questions (“How late is breakfast served?” “Are there any bridge games today?”) with her emergency-alert bracelet. While everyone in the family was entertained by this story, it illustrates an important point affecting the senior living market – this technology exists, and if senior living facilities could incorporate it into their business models, it would vastly improve elder care.

 We live in a time period where technology is everywhere. We can order household items with our voice, using smart speakers. We can make phone calls to loved ones halfway around the world using our wristwatches. Our cars can now run on electricity, and are getting close to taking us anywhere we want to go, without the need for a driver. It’s reasonable that my relative assumed the bracelet she was provided was similar to the other products she’s seen – which can double as a phone (for non-emergencies). It would have been great if she had been provided such a product, which she could use contact staff simply and easily, without the need to remember a phone number. This technology exists, and the senior living facilities that incorporate it into their businesses are going to be the most successful.

 It’s indisputable that Baby Boomers are highly tech-savvy, and they’re going to expect the independent and assisted living facilities they eventually call home to be able to keep up with the latest and greatest technology. By the time baby boomers move into independent and senior living facilities, they’re going to be very used to using the latest technology, and will except their living space to be compatible with the technological devices they bring with them and any new devices they may wish to purchase during their tenure. They’re also going to expect the facility to be adaptable to current and new technology.

 It will be exciting to see how the Baby Boomers mold the market, and it would be great if senior housing could start to incorporate all of the amazing technology we have at our fingertips to improve our elder care now – as there will certainly be a need for it in the near future.

 

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