Assisted living facilities provide a lot of peace of mind for people who have elderly family members or friends who can no longer care for themselves on their own, but even with medical specialists checking in on them, it’s still helpful to keep in touch personally. Regular visits aren’t always possible, particularly for those who lead a busy life or live far away, which is why technology is so helpful. When visits aren’t possible, high-tech methods provide the support they need from a distance.
Calling loved ones in assisted living facilities is a great way to keep in touch, and with cell phone plans with nationwide minutes, the days are gone when families had to carefully allocate funds for long-distance calls. But loved ones aren’t the only ones who can use cell phone technology to keep in touch. Medical specialists can also use cell phones to not only call, but also get detailed images of a patient’s condition. High-powered camera phones send photos to specialists anywhere in the world to get input on diagnosis and possible treatments.
Skype has revolutionized the ways that families stay in touch, making it easy to make free video calls from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. After getting loved ones set up on Skype, they can easily log on and chat anytime to touch base. Medical professionals use Skype to arrange virtual meetings with loved ones to check in regularly without the hassle of going out to a formal office visit.
People who need to be monitored regularly but are being cared for at home may not be able to get the level of assistance from where they live, which is why telemonitoring is such a helpful feature. Monitoring devices can be installed in their assisted living facilities with audio reminders to take vital stats on a regular basis. Medical technologists receive information from telemonitoring devices right away and can keep an eye on it for changes that signal changes in health.
Desktop computers are falling by the wayside as people make the transition to tablets. These have simple interfaces, touch screens and apps that are easy to use, even for older people with no prior computer training. Many tablets allow video conferencing, and they also have apps especially designed for tracking medical information. Doctors in hospitals and other facilities even use iPads at the bedside to gather data instead of using paper records. As tablets get less expensive, they are more likely to be a go-to device for people of all ages.
What!? Yes, robots. Inside Indiana Business recently reported that researchers at Purdue University in Indiana (a state known as a haven for life sciences and for its ability to attract and grow businesses) responsible for medical and technical innovations, have been working for decades on making a robot that can ‘see’ like a human. According to the engineer responsible for bringing this to life, one hurdle robots have faced is the inability to see in 3D; but now they can interact with humans through this technology and will be found assisting surgeons in hospitals, assisting the elderly and providing sight for the blind.
Elderly people should never have to feel isolated from family, friends, or medical practitioners. With the help of technology that can be used to supplement care in an assisted living facility, they don’t have to feel this way. It’s easy to touch base on phones, tablets, computers and devices made especially for remote medical monitoring. This not only provides emotional support to loved ones, but also ensures that they are maintaining their health and keeping up with medical care.