Posts Tagged ‘senior safety’

Technology Changes the In-home Care Landscape

Posted on: June 25th, 2015 by Kim McCreery

Senior couple video conferenceTechnology has revolutionized in-home care, for patients, caregivers and loved ones. For decades, being “home” had the potential to become extremely isolating, as aging parents and relatives were often cut off from their families and social circles due to immobility and lack of comfortable access, transportation and support. However, with the proliferation of smart technology, social media and interactive telecommunications platforms, senior home care means more connection, comfort and engagement than ever before.

Many new technology entrants to the marketplace have infinite applications for home care services, from traditional medical applications to socially-driven engagement capabilities. Not only do these tools bring a much-needed peace of mind to seniors, their caregivers and loved ones, but more importantly, they enable more freedom, more independence and an increased quality of life. Nowadays, just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can’t connect, converse and feel like you’re a part of something outside of your immediate surroundings. And likewise, should a medical emergency arise, it’s these tech enhancements that keep loved ones safe and cared for. Here are a few favorites:

  • Webcams: Installing webcams throughout the home allows both family members and caregivers the ability to virtually check in on the senior at any time. Webcams also allow family members who live far way to video chat with their loved ones.
  • Sensor Monitors: In conjunction with webcams, sensors can be placed throughout the home to track movement. These are particularly handy for seniors with ambulation or wandering issues. Most sensor systems connect to a TV or computer monitor and an Internet connection.
  • Medical Alert Pendants: These handy devices have been around for a few years now, but continue to be updated to increase effectiveness. They are worn by the senior and the button is pressed in the event of a fall or other emergency, connecting the senior to 911 or another emergency response service.
  • Automatic Pill Reminders/Dispensers: These are perfect for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. An alarm goes off, alerting the senior to take his or her medication by voice message, and dispenses the correct dosage. If the senior misses a dose, an alert is sent to the caregiver after 90 minutes.

At Home Solutions provides a monthly rental service for automatic pill reminder dispensers and medical alert pendants. There is no long-term commitment and there is always the option to purchase the equipment. Contact At Home Solutions today to learn more.

And don’t forget about some of the non-traditional medical and personal care technology—platforms like Facebook, Skype and Facetime as well as gaming platforms such as Wii Fit and Lumosity which add a much-needed layer of engagement, excitement and enjoyment to provide an overall greater quality of life.

Besides providing assistance with in-home technology for seniors, At Home Solutions provides a wide variety of home care services, including personal care, transportation, light housekeeping and specialized disease care management and education. At the core of these home care services is a commitment to creating an increased emotional wellbeing, added social engagement and the utmost in safety and security. Learn more about how At Home Solutions provides a different kind of home care in the Mesa and Casa Grande areas.

Aging Safely in Place

Posted on: January 17th, 2013 by Kim McCreery No Comments

Senior Resource reports that about 70% of people over 65 spend their remaining years in the house or apartment where they celebrated their 65th birthday. Why? When surveyed, 89% of people 50 and older expressed a strong desire to remain in their own homes indefinitely (AARP). However, this preference may pose a challenge as physical difficulties often accumulate with advancing age.

As a loved one ages, he or she may encounter balance issues, hearing impairment, limited reach, trouble bending and more. None of these conditions are life-threatening, however, they can present challenges to a safe and happy home life.

A concept called “aging in place”allows seniors to live in their own homes, using products, services, and conveniences which offer a safer living environment. Aging in place is more than simply “staying at home”. For the senior, it translates into independence, confidence and emotional familiarity. For the family caregiver, it means modifications and safety education may be needed.

Some of the most important features of an aging in place ready home include:

  • A master bedroom and bath on the first floor
  • A low or no-threshold entrance to the home with an overhang
  • Lever-style door handles
  • No change in levels on the main floor
  • Bright lighting in all areas, especially places like stairways
  • A low-maintenance exterior
  • Non-slip flooring at the main entryway
  • An open floor plan, especially in the kitchen/dining area
  • Handrails at all steps

If a home does not accommodate these recommendations, hiring a contractor trained in aging modifications is a great alternative. The National Home Builders Association (NAHB) reports that 75% of remodelers have seen an increase in requests for aging in place work, and 60% of remodelers already perform aging in place work.

Contractors are able to modify the home to accommodate impairments such as balance and coordination, hearing impairment, limited reach, limited vision, poor strength, poor flexibility, trouble walking and climbing stairs. Some common modifications that a contractor or family member are:

Flooring

Smooth, non-glare, slip-resistant surfaces, interior and exterior

Low (less than ½ inch high pile) density carpet, with a firm pad

Color/texture contrast to indicate change in surface levels

Stairways, Lifts, Elevators and Ramps

Hand rails on both sides of stairway

Increased visibility of stairs through contrast strip on top and bottom stairs, color contrast between treads, risers on stairs, and use of lighting

Counters and Cabinets

Accented stripes on edge of counter-tops to provide visual orientation to the workspace

Base cabinets with roll out trays and Lazy Susan’s

Pull-down shelving

Loop handles for easy grip and pull

Fixtures

Grab bars in the shower and/or tub with fold down seat

Curbless shower (a minimum of 36 inches wide)

Lighted shower stall with hand-held head

Higher toilet or height-adjustable toilet

An in-home care provider understand the needs of those aging in place and can provide a free safety

check along with recommendations for making the home environment as safe and comfortable as possible. Contact At Home Solutions at 1-888-496-3983 to schedule a free safety check in Southeastern Maricopa, Pinal, or Gila counties.

Kim