Caregiver helping senior with alert necklace

How to enhance senior safety with smart technology

Seniors make up a significant portion of Canada’s population at present. This demographic is growing at a rapid pace too. By 2030, it is estimated that 23% of the population will be 65 or older (around 9.5 million) [1]. Sure, an aging population poses challenges. But it also opens up new opportunities for the use of smart technology.

Health and safety is a big focus for everyone involved in senior care. Health is not just restricted to physical well-being. Today, senior communities aim for a more comprehensive approach. They want to focus on all aspects of senior health. It includes physical, mental, and emotional health. Part of ensuring that is enhancing senior safety.

Enhance Senior Safety with Smart Technology

Experienced people – doctors, nurses, other caregivers – are a crucial part of keeping senior adults safe. In any emergency situations, you need people at the scene. But what about everyday life? Many seniors prefer technology to assist in day-to-day living in their home. A virtual assistant or robot is not nosy, will not gossip or judge. It also helps seniors avoid the feeling of intrusion in their lives.

How exactly do senior homes use smart technology? There are many smart devices that can assist older adults. Some monitor a person’s physical fitness or overall activity in their home. Others are designed to alert emergency services or a caregiver in the event of a crisis. Companies are even designing apps to enhance the emotional and mental well-being of seniors.

Smart Technology for Monitoring

Many senior homes have invested in centralized administrative systems. If they haven’t, it will soon become a necessity. These tools bring together various subsystems for alerting, reporting, security management, etc. It helps managers to get a quick overview of what is going on within the community. The more devices and services you use, the more you need a central hub for keeping an eye on things.

The same is true for a home or apartment within the community as well. For instance, a senior living space may have several devices and sensors. One monitors the front door, another turns on the lights. You’ll need a smart home hub that ties everything together through voice commands. They make it easy for the elderly to use them with natural language. This way they don’t have to fiddle with multiple apps to turn off the lights!

Reminder Alerts

It is ironic that the time when you need to take medicines is also when you start forgetting to take them! It is not uncommon for seniors to forget their medication schedules. They may also take a pill at the wrong time which can react adversely with other medication. That is why many senior homes invest in medication reminder systems.

These systems often come with dedicated apps where you can customize the alerts. For instance, a person first gets a reminder to take medication. If the senior has not taken it, they get a call on their phone. If there is no response, a caregiver can be notified for direct action. Such preventative action can mean the difference between life and death for older citizens.

Nurse Call System Integration

In spite of the shift towards using more technology, there are some situations where you simply need human intervention. So how can you tell when a senior needs help and send it quickly? There are two parts to this equation. The first is identifying a situation where medical help is necessary. The second is to alert the designated person – nurses or doctors – that they are needed.

Pull Cords/Pendants

A senior home can invest in pull cords or pendants for their residents. When worn in the form of a pendant, these devices are always within reach. A senior can easily summon help if and when something happens. For example, an older person may fall down the stairs and be unable to reach the phone to call 911. Simply using the pendant can trigger an alert to emergency services instead.

Advanced System Integration

Senior communities can go one step further and integrate nurse call systems with phones. These systems can analyze collected data from sensors and devices. If they detect any unusual activity or patterns, they can automatically send alerts to the staff. This way, seniors don’t have to actively call for help. 

These type of systems are invaluable because seniors may not always recognize an alarming situation. Integrating alerts with the phone system ensures you get smart and real-time notifications when needed. The medical staff gets advance notice when human intervention is the best option. 

Smart technology can enhance senior safety in ways you didn’t think of before. They are a good investment to make sure your residents get the care and service they need.