Just as technology has made dramatic changes in the way we work and play, senior housing too is in the midst of a technology-driven upheaval. Geriatric care is advancing rapidly.
According to a research report from BCC Research, the global market for elder-care technology products should reach nearly $7.2 billion by 2018. Much of that investment will occur in senior housing, where operators are eager to improve quality of care while driving competitive advantages in a crowded marketplace.
From falls prevention to wellness sensors to sophisticated communications systems, technology is rapidly revolutionizing care in senior housing.
Among the foremost concerns in senior wellness is the prevention of falls. Many of the most serious injuries among seniors are the result of potentially preventable falls. Today’s technology can make a difference. With sophisticated sensors and real-time monitoring, it’s possible to build a dynamic model of motility: Smart software “knows” when a senior may be at risk of a fall and can automatically alert caregivers.
It’s almost impossible for caregivers to deliver real-time monitoring of a resident’s physical state. Technology can fill the gap, though, with 24/7 sensors reading key vital signs and alerting caregivers to the warning signs for many negative health events including stroke, heart disease, urinary tract infections (UTIs) and more.
Such capabilities are bringing dramatic change to geriatric care in the senior housing landscape. First, they are helping to improve resident wellness. At the same time, these technologies give operators a competitive edge by helping them to reduce the workload on staff, while at the same time providing superior service. Such capabilities even help move the nation toward its big-picture healthcare aims. According to the trade journal MD+DI, the Brookings Institute has predicted that the ability to remotely monitor patients could save the U.S. health care system $197 billion by 2035.
Isolation is one of the greatest risks among senior: It can lead to depression, worsening health and a range of other negative effects. The solution lies in communication, and that’s something technology can help to deliver. A solid communications infrastructure can help seniors stay in touch with their community and their loved ones, while also helping senior housing operators to deliver a high level of satisfaction.
An integrated communications system can give seniors simple, push-button access to social media, tied together through a portal that also offers email, video calling and relevant health information. Some systems will go one step further, incorporating a “concierge,” or technology specialist, to help seniors make the most of their digital communications experience.
Falls prevention, real-time monitoring, communications portals – these are just a few of the ways in which advanced technology is changing geriatric care for the better, within the senior housing experience. How can these advances help to give your senior housing operation a competitive edge?