Technology has come a long way in recent years. We may be most familiar with technological advances as it relates to our cellular phones, televisions, automobiles or music delivery choices. Another area where technology has seen major advances is in home monitoring devices. These devices monitor daily blood pressure, pulse rate, weight, oxygen and glucose levels. The equipment and attachments take the patient’s vital signs in their home, without having to spend the time traveling to their physician's office.
These devices also provide medication reminders several times daily. Forgetting to take routine medications is one of the key factors in the decline of seniors in the home. The routine takes only a few minutes each day. The data collected is then transmitted to the company monitoring the device through a wireless network (similar to a cell phone).
By using this technology, a senior is able to remain independent in the comfort of their own home while their family members around the world have the reassurance that they are being looked after. This type of technology is perfect for those seniors that need minimal or no physical care but may be living alone without daily contact of friends, neighbors or family members.
According to research by the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), www.aarp.org, nearly 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age, often referred to as “aging in place.” Even if they begin to need day-to-day assistance or ongoing health care during retirement, most (82 percent) would prefer to stay in their homes. Only a few express a preference for moving to a facility where care is provided (9 percent) or for moving to a relative’s home (4 percent).
When evaluating monitoring technology for the home, it is very important to also examine what level of services come from the company providing the device. The best option is to choose a company that has a clinician reviewing the client daily. This can be done via phone or with a live two-way video feed on the actual monitoring device. With this level of monitoring, you can take comfort in knowing that a registered nurse will be checking on the patient daily, not just during scheduled in-home nurse or physician's office visits. The system alerts the company’s clinical staff before a major problem occurs, helping seniors stay out of the hospital, prevent a visit to the ER and unplanned doctor visits.
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