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Quantifying Aging in Place Technology

Hoca

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A man and woman laying in bed smiling for the camera.


In God we trust, all others bring data.

~ W. Edwards Deming



Aging in Place Technology



I was reading an article in Forbes online by Dwight Raum that begins with this line: Whenever I hear conversations about “aging in place” my interest is piqued. I share that interest. . . So, I had to read the piece. Dwight is an admitted “sandwich generation” member who is taking care of teens at home and an aging parent; his 80-year-old aging well father, living on his own. As many have discovered the challenges mount as time passes pulling you in directions never dreamed of in calmer times.

The author paints the picture of a demographic shift (as most of these articles do) by stating that the U.S. is facing an increase in the senior population of over 95 million in the next 40 years. He alludes to the daunting task and makes the appeal to do better for caregivers in the future. He is seeing this as an opportunity–which it is!

Gerotech

Dwight makes an important distinction between proactive and reactive solutions. He gets it from the end-user perspective (aka informal caregiver) and has employed aging-in-place technology for help. Admittingly, there was some initial convincing to get this dad to use the monitoring system. The new-age-old issue of safety vs. privacy came into play. But the collected data on his father’s daily activity proved to be informative and worth the effort.

The system just melted into the background. I don’t even think about it.

~ Dwight’s Father

Activity data is viewed as “Proactive” information by the caregiver son in that he can quantify his dad’s daily activities and intervene if indicated. This use of Gerotech is well established, but what I found insightful was how he used the data to show his father’s changes in behavior to him (hard to argue). Dwight had numbers to show–it wasn’t just antidotal information, he had actual quantifiable evidence for declines in “normal baseline” activity to show his dad. Given the data, they could negotiate together the appropriate interventions. This is huge, and yet another tool in the box to help seniors be safe and secure at home.

Keys:

  1. Peace of Mind when data shows “Dad’s alright today”
  2. Immediate (proactive) actionable data for the caregiver
  3. Non-Invasive “melts into the background” (lowers the barrier to adoption)
  4. Provides quantifiable data of functional status to show loved one / hard to argue w numbers

See

What’s The Promise Of Healthcare Technology For Aging In Place? forbes.com



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