Sunday, May 25, 2008

High tech monitoring for "aging in place" develops complex systems, maybe relieving adult children

The capability of families, with innovative technology, to deal with eldercare issues and helping aging parents “age in place” is certainly developing. Such is the theme of the story on p A16 on May 25 of The New York Times, by Elizabet Olson, “High-Tech Devices Keep the Elderly Safe from Afar,” link here. There are systems involving motion detection, and some that can monitor blood pressure and respiration. Some systems do not involve the use of cameras, which would raise privacy concerns. Adult children fear that their parents will resist using these monitoring devices and sometimes parents may crave the personal attention, but experience in acceptance of these devices has been favorable, according to the report.

The development of these “James Bond” devices is important because assisted living facilities will fill up and become more costly, and home health services may get more difficult to hire at acceptable cost in the future as demographics increases demand.

I had written about some of the devices, like Life Alert, on this blog in Nov. 2007 (see archives) but the devices are turning into whole monitoring systems.

These systems may have their limitations, however, in many situations, such as Alzheimer's.

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