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How the Internet of Things are Changing Senior Care in a Positive Way

by Frank Herold

internet of things changing senior careTechnology is always advancing and creating more opportunities for us to stay connected to friends, family, services, and much more. This is an especially intriguing concept when it comes to the senior care industry. The Internet of Things is changing the way assisted living communities are connecting, serving, and caring for their residents. While technology may seem like an impersonal way to interact with residents, it is, in fact, creating a better quality of life for those it serves.

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Understanding the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things, or simply IoT, is all about connection. It is the connection of devices to each other, people, and things. Data gathered via wearable devices or sensors is transferred to the connected device and used for measurement. The data collected is useful in providing insight and in making improvements.

The Creation of SMART Communities

Communities are beginning to use IoT to create SMART Communities. These communities are taking steps to use technology to actually humanize the senior care experience. Here's how:

Safety - Communities are using IoT to predict, prevent, and detect falls. Technology provides for real-time monitoring and gait analysis by using responsive flooring and sensors in watches or belt clips. It is also finding use in preventing residents who wander by showing the resident location, working both inside and out.
Mental/Physical Health - Soothing music or sounds are played using smart speakers. This use of IoT is helpful when a resident has increased heart rate or is anxious. Sensors are also helpful in monitoring conditions such as blood pressure and oxygen levels.
Activities - The IoT when it comes to senior care goes far beyond the standard wearable fitness tracker. Seniors require more targeted monitoring of their functionality such as how fast they get up and down. Devices are available that tell seniors when to rest their knees and even when it's time to drink water.
Rest - For some seniors, getting in and out of bed is a challenge. Sensors used on a resident's legs or placed on the backboard of a bed notify staff if a resident has left the bed and not returned. Technology has come a long way from the days of loud bed alarms. IoT is changing the way assisted living communities to monitor residents at night.
Togetherness - Because technology and the internet are all about connection, there's no better use for it than connecting residents with their loved ones. The ability to use technology to communicate with friends, family, staff and even other residents creates personal experiences and eliminates isolated feelings.

The Future

With increased life expectancy and baby boomers attributing to an increasingly aging population, the use of IoT is becoming more popular. Assisted living communities are viewing the use of technology as a way to create a better quality of life for residents while at the same time, reducing costs. The use of IoT in senior care is taking emerging technology and connecting it with residents in a way that provides for better monitoring and care.

The IoT provides important resident information in real time. From wandering residents to monitoring oxygen levels, doctors and nurses have the ability to act faster when alerted to a resident's changes. IoT is about connections that improve the quality of life for seniors not only through their physical health but their emotional health too. Connecting with their loved ones is one of the best benefits that IoT brings to senior care.

Sarasota Bay Club is a retirement community in Sarasota, Florida. The Inn at Bayshore Place is located within the Sarasota Bay Club's campus. It is an Assisted Living and Memory Care Community. For more information or to schedule an appointment for a tour, contact us today.

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