America’s 65+ population is growing at a swifter pace than the working age sector. One result will be a decreasing supply of caregivers relative to the number of people needing care. Technology solutions—like those of Safety Choice by Comfort Keepers—are proving their value by helping to fill this gap, extending the reach of caregivers, and enabling seniors to stay safe and independent at home between visits by family or professional caregivers.
The growing ranks of seniors who choose to age at home greatly benefit from the protection provided by safety technology solutions, such as emergency response systems. Their families enjoy greater peace of mind knowing their loved one is still being watched over when they can’t be there. Technology solutions, such as video monitoring, give even distant family members the opportunity to be involved. The Family Caregiver Alliance says that an estimated 5.1 to 7 million Americans care for an older family member from a distance.
In-home care technology also improves health outcomes, for instance, as it reminds seniors to take medicine. Failure to follow prescriptions is attributed to 30 percent of hospital admissions among people over age 65, while 40 percent of people entering nursing homes are unable to manage medications at home.
Staying on schedule with multiple medications is not easy. But it can be with technology, such as Comfort Keepers Safety Choice Medication Solutions.
By simplifying the process of organizing and dispensing medicine on time, this Medication Management System helps seniors and other adults get the greatest benefit from their prescriptions. The system provides reminders for each dose in three ways—an automated voice, a display screen and flashing lights. And when a dose is missed, the system sends an alert to the Keepers monitoring center, which notifies whomever the client has chosen. For safety’s sake, the Medication Management System’s locking storage compartment limits access to one dose of pills at a time. The locked compartment can hold three to four weeks of medicine organized by the caregiver.
The Medication Management System is an easy-to-operate, cost-effective way to promote a senior’s health and continued independence.
Technology can also provide seniors a quick way to get help in the event of falls or other emergencies when they are alone. Quick response lessens the extent of injury or illness and long-term effects. The Centers for Disease Control reports that more than one third of American adults 65 and older fall each year—and falls are the leading cause of death by injury for seniors.
Personal Emergency Response System (PERS)
The Safety Choice PERS allows seniors to easily summon emergency help at home when a caregiver is not present. All it takes is a simple push of a button on a console, or a pendant or wrist band that can be worn for easy access. A response professional at Comfort Keepers’ 24-hour Centralized Monitoring Station will answer the call through the two-way, tabletop PERS console, determine the nature of the call, dispatch help appropriate to the situation—an ambulance, neighbor, family or friend and stay on the line to reassure the senior until help arrives. The PERS is $22 a month with free installation.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the 65+ population increased eleven fold during the 20th century, compared to threefold for the entire population. The ratio of working age adults to senior care recipients is expected to drop 40 percent between 2010 and 2030. If you have any questions or would like more information on how to keep your senior safe at home, please call Comfort Keepers at 814-765-8760.
The Women’s Health Task Force of Clearfield County meets the first Thursday of each month at noon. The next meeting will be held on June 2 at Children’s Aid Society, 1008 S. 2 St. in Clearfield, and all interested persons are invited to attend.
Debbie Baughman, Client Service Manager and Judy Dixon, Marketing Director of Comfort Keepers