Can Wearable Technology Help Aging Parents Remain Independent?
Many elderly people want to remain independent, which can cause their children to worry about the parent’s wellbeing. Fortunately, the wearable technology (WT) trend is making monitored independence more feasible.
There are many forms of WT that can benefit aging parents and provide some peace of mind for their children. A caretaker who isn’t always with the person, like an adult child or other relative of an elderly parent, can access information from the wearable devices and notice changes in movement, patterns, or overall health. When coupled with indoor security cameras, such as those from ADT wireless alarm monitoring, these caretakers can visually check on the monitored individual if they notice irregular reports from the electronic device.
We’ve found some WTs that can help aging individuals remain independent while keeping their loved ones’ minds at ease.
WT Meant for Anyone
For those who want a simple and cost-efficient way to keep an eye on their aging loved one, there are wearable devices like fitbit and UP by Jawbone. While these devices are intended for anyone who wants to track his or her activity, these trackers can be particularly useful to the elderly because the user is required to check in on a daily basis. The devices include ways to log activity, diet, and sleep. The recorded information is wirelessly transmitted to an online database that can be easily accessed. To enhance the service, you can use your elderly loved ones security cameras to check in on them. When you notice a decrease in regular activity or a skipped day of logs, you can have a quick glance at the camera footage to make sure they are okay.
The ManDown App is another possible tool if the elderly person always “wears” or carries his or her mobile phone. This app tracks movement of a mobile device, and when that device stops moving for a certain period of time, it will send out a text or phone call to programmed recipients. These recipients can then check on the person and ensure his or her wellbeing.
WT for People with Health Concerns
BodyGuardian Remote Monitoring System by Preventice is an exciting new monitoring system that is valuable for anyone with health concerns that require regular attention by health care professionals. The system includes a wearable sensor that monitors medical data, such as vitals and insulin levels. This data is sent to the individual’s physicians, who use the information just as they would use the same data in a face-to-face clinical setting. They may notice alarming trends that they need to keep an eye on, or they may make recommendations or prescriptions for the patient. While the recorded data is primarily available to health care professionals, the patient and any other authorized loved ones may also access it online.
Aside from the technologies mentioned above, many others are in the works that can greatly benefit seniors. Be sure to keep your eye on Vancive Medical Technologies’ Metria Informed Health. This is a small device that adheres to the patient’s upper arm and tracks vitals and activity for one week. Unlike Preventice, this technology is a personal monitoring system that available to anyone and does not involve a physician. The information that is recorded is analyzed by the company and reported back to the customer with suggestions on how to make healthier lifestyle choices. While the product lasts only one week and is not reusable, the concept shows promise for future wearable technologies to monitor seniors’ activity.
All of these WTs have the potential to communicate critical warning signs that a loved one needs help. What other technologies have helped you keep an eye on one of your loved ones?
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