The Longevity

Tech Solutions Ease Caregiving Burden

A recent article in the Miami Herald discussed the potential of tech solutions for reducing the caregiver burden and easing familial anxiety about aging loved ones:

Who hasn’t worried about elderly family members and wished it was easier to keep up with them from afar?

Now there’s technology that offers better care for the seniors and peace of mind for the family caregivers, employing advances in artificial intelligence, big data and voice technologies.

It’s a large and growing market. More than 50 million Americans are over 65, and 10,000 more reach that age every day. While that age group is now about 13 percent of America’s population, it will jump to 19 percent by 2030 — about 72 million people — according to a U.S. Census Bureau report. About $1.2 trillion is spent on health care for American seniors each year, according to government estimates.

Perhaps most important, this technology can keep seniors safe and independent, allowing them to live in their homes — their overwhelming preference, according to surveys. Some of the technology could also prevent life-changing injuries caused by falls. The big vision is to empower the elderly to live more safely on their own while easing the worries of their loved ones.

The technologies mentioned in the article include:

Papa Pals: An app that connects college students in health related fields with seniors who need assistance performing day-to-day tasks, running errands, or getting to and from doctor’s appointments.

Room2Care: A similar system which connects seniors who are unable to continue living independently with caregiver homes with caregiver “roommates”. 

CarePredict: Smart wristbands which track vital signs, activity, and behavior patterns so that family members can detect behavioral shifts before they cross the line into medical problems.

Care Angel: A program that asks seniors a series of daily health-related questions and alerts caregivers when a user’s answers indicate that there might be a problem.

MobileHelp: Emergency alert system that can be worn around the neck or on the wrist and works inside and outside of the home. 

SpeechMED: Provides users with written or spoken medical instructions in any of 16 languages.



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