Technology Aids Aging In Place
“Technology enabled Mother to live the last weeks of her life in her home, where she wanted desperately to be.” Donna Hughes of Asheville, North Carolina, is talking about her 81 ½ years old mother who was fiercely independent and did not want to end up living in a nursing home or assisted living facility. Her mother had a history of falls and she knew the alert system her mother had was not going to be enough if she wanted to remain living in her own home. “I wanted some security as to how she was doing on a daily basis, if I was unable to check in on her personally.”
In the last few years, a series of technological developments have given parents and their adult children some new options. Devices and web based solutions are now available that allow caregivers to keep an unobtrusive, high-tech eye on their family members, ensuring they’re safe, healthy and well cared for, exactly what Hughes was looking for.
The system Hughes chose is a sophisticated in-home monitoring system made by SimplyHome that uses discrete sensors and specific rules to generate notifications to a family member or caregiver via text message, email, or phone call. “I appreciated the technology at night, when I would learn if she had left her bed for a pre-determined period of time and not returned. This was comforting knowing that she had not fallen.” Hughes mother was also prone to getting blood clots, so she had a chair sensor set on 2 hour intervals. The system would alert her via text message if her mother remained in her chair for more than 2 hours.
Today, 37 North Carolina counties have more people age 60 and older than those 17 and younger. In 2030, it is projected that 71 counties will have more people age 60 and older than those 17 and younger. The cost of care in nursing homes and assisted living has been and continues to be high. Based on the MetLife Market Survey of Nursing Home & Assisted Living Costs for 2010, the national average yearly rate to live in a nursing home cost $83,585. The national average annual rate to live in an assisted living facility is $39,516. Hughes found that she could support her mother at home as primary caregiver and by using technology for $959.40 a year.
Hughes said her mother spend her whole life giving to others and never asking for much. She said it was her turn to give her mother what she asked for and deserved, to age gracefully in her own home. “Without this system, it would have been impossible for Mother to have lived out her life in her home. It was a true comfort and blessing.”
For more information on assisted living technology visit the SimplyHome website at www.simply-home.com or call (877) 684-3581.