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Technological Advancements to Keep the Aged at Comfort and Ease The use of technology-supported devices is to reduce the dependence on manual labour for the monitoring of critical health indicators

By Kavya J

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Technology has been constantly evolving in and around us. With access to easier and feasible methods of living, each and every one of us is a pivotal part of this particular sector. In terms of senior care, technology has paved the way for a new beginning when it comes to comfort and healthcare.

In a population census conducted during the year 2011, there are nearly 104 million elderly persons, those of which are aged above 60 years old, in India. With this being said, the need to induce technology along with senior care is essential. As old age is one of the important stages in a person's life, it is equally important to ensure each and every individual receives a peaceful and contented life ahead. Since seniority is a priority, it is vital that we also implement technological advancements that are made solely to cater to the needs of the elderly.

Technology and Healthcare

The introduction of these technological advancements is predominantly seen in assisted living facilities. Assisted living facilities are increasingly approached, for holistic wellbeing. It is not only because of the assistance provided in daily activities but also due to significant improvement in the health of seniors and their Quality of Life. One of the factors towards this cause, technology plays a great role in taking healthcare to the next level. The purpose of various research studies is to assess the suitability of health monitoring technological aid in an assisted living set-up. The suitability of the device is determined through the ability to contribute to senior health by empowering healthcare professionals to make informed decisions. The device continuously monitors the vital health metrics among elderly population such as Heart rate Fluctuations, Respiratory discomfort, Stress effects, Sleep pattern disturbance, and fall risk assessment.

Technology-supported Health Devices

Conditions such as lack of mobility, loss of memory, inability to hear or see or abandonment and loneliness, are some of the factors that are commonly seen amongst citizens. The evolution of technology has been quite rapid in the past few years and a drastic change has been noted. Each year as innovation builds, people seek the innovators that could provide solutions that are not only viable but also portable and accessible easily. Some of the greatest breakthroughs in technology for senior citizens are Telehealth, Remote Patient Monitoring and "Nana' Technology.

Telehealth can be defined as the dissemination of health-related information or an elderly person's diagnosis via a virtual medium such as Skype etc. This is mainly done to curb the distance between the patient and his/her family, who may be beyond their geographical bounds. Remote Patient Monitoring, on the other hand, is a technology to assist in the monitoring of patients at their place of residence. This, in turn, also increases their access to healthcare by decreasing their medical delivery costs. "Nana' Technology, as the name suggests, is a term created by Andrew Carle, who designed a microchip to increase the quality of life for the elderly. With all these budding innovations, it has become easier for senior citizens to keep their needs intact through all practices be it social, spiritual, physical or rational.

Contactless Healthcare Monitors have come into the market where individuals can keep track of their personal health. With regular tracking of heart health, respiration, sleep and much more and with incredible precision, these healthcare reports are submitted at hospitals and doctors alike for patient evaluation. Apart from this, Nurse Call Bells and Clinical Beds have been implemented at assisted living facilities to provide easy accessibility and geriatric care according to their needs and health requirements.

Benefits of Healthtech Devices

The use of technology-supported devices is to reduce the dependence on manual labour for the monitoring of critical health indicators also, enabling the sharing of the health status of seniors both to their respective caregivers and family members residing away from the assisted living set-up. The technological device used in the study fulfilled the above parameter and empowered the healthcare team to make informed decisions. Assisted living with in-built and continuous health monitoring technology would ensure a safe and secure environment for seniors.

With this being implemented in assisted living facilities, it's evident that senior citizens often resort to such facilities to experience the comfort they can receive at a reasonable value. Moreover, since retirement is inevitable, it is ideal that seniors reside in assisted living facilities as well-being and care are the most important in one's life. With age comes a lot of responsibility and it is our time to take care of our elders who made it a point to bring us up through the years.

Kavya J

Co-Founder & CEO of Athulya Assisted Living

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