Placing a loved one in a nursing home can come with both relief and stress.
On one hand, you might feel like your elderly relative or friend has unlimited access to help. On the other hand, neglect due to understaffing happens at nursing homes across the country. So, if a resident desperately needed to use the bathroom and there isn’t a caregiver in sight, then they might have to fend for themselves. And if this resident has limited mobility, then this simple bathroom trip might turn into a painful or deadly slip and fall. If only there was a way to better monitor elderly patients, right?
Fortunately, progressions in technology make it easier to keep track of patients. Gadgets, like GPS devices, scanners and sensors may help reduce the amount of accidents in assisted living centers. Some specific examples include:
- Smartwatches: One way residents can receive immediate emergency help is through wearable technology. A mainstream example of this is a smartwatch. Since smartwatches are an extension of a smartphone, a user can call 9-1-1 wherever they find themselves.
- Indoor proximity sensors: Caregivers may be able to look out better for patients with any range of needs by using proximity sensors. These sensors track each patient’s location, which can lead to a reduced lag in the time between a patient calling for help and receiving the help they requested. This could save the life of someone who falls and can’t figure out how to get back up or someone with memory problems that doesn’t quite know where they are in the facility.
- LiDAR scanners: While a resident may fall in their own apartment or a common area, it’s important to watch over the activity happening in private spaces as well. This can be attainable by using a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) scanner. LiDAR scanners don’t give a clear image of people like cameras. They only identify the outline of an object, which means they could prevent bathroom incidents in a non-invasive way.
If you have yet to choose a new home for an aging loved one, it’s worth asking the management of potential homes what kind of measures they are using to keep tabs on all patients.