How Sensors For Elderly Care Are Improving Wellbeing

How Sensors For Elderly Care Are Improving Wellbeing

– By Shea Karssing

September 1, 2023

Smart care for seniors with sensors for elderly care

 Sensors for elderly care present exciting opportunities to elevate standards of care, health, and wellbeing. The care of the aged and vulnerable is a moral and social imperative – one that needs to evolve through innovation. The time is ripe for change.

According to the World Health Organisation, one in six people will be over the age of 60 by 2030. This figure is set to double by 2050. This makes improved wellness of an ageing population a priority. Meeting the healthcare needs of all people to a high standard will be a challenge for providers of the future. This puts extra pressure on healthcare systems like the NHS, which need to maintain (and improve) care levels in the context of funding, resource, and infrastructure limitations.

Care for the aged raises a range of questions. How do I ensure my parents can remain at home for as long as possible? How can I maximise my parents’ independence and monitor their wellbeing at the same time? How do I monitor my elderly parent living alone? The good news is that, where sensors for elderly care are willingly installed, technologies are adaptable to every person’s unique needs. Real-time data can show location, send alerts in response to undesirable changes, and guide home and institutional care in meaningful ways for patient health and happiness.

From real-time monitoring and tracking to the utilisation of data for automation, IoT smart technologies have true scope to transform healthcare efficiency and improve healthcare standards.

What are sensors in the home for the elderly?

Smart home elderly monitoring systems use sensors and pressure pads to collect data within smart building environments. This data is transmitted to remotely accessible dashboards, which is visible in real time. By setting pre-programmable thresholds, notifications are sent whenever data reflects unusual or undesirable changes in behaviour. This smart monitoring is non-invasive in that it does not require cameras and turns behaviour into meaningful data for carers and family.

In the case of homes for the elderly or those requiring care, these data sets could incorporate anything from movement and temperature to the number of times an appliance or the lavatory is used. Data reporting can be used to inform everything from emergency response to long-term care – supporting independent living and the provision of healthcare services along the way. The solutions are easily customisable around the needs and requirements of patients.

In their simplest form, smart technologies perform a monitoring and analytic function. However, the health tech industry is poised for smart healthcare innovations that include diagnostics, healthcare monitoring, indoor environment monitoring around wellness, and residential designs informed by data monitoring.

AI and smart monitoring were conducted on a trial basis in a social care context in Dorset. The project estimated to save the council £250 000 and reduce the number of support visits by 780 hours per year according to the BBC. This is one of the myriad benefits of councils making the shift to smart council management.

The benefits of sensors for elderly care

Extended Independence

Getting older comes with the inevitable balance between care concerns and the desire to preserve people’s independence and freedom for as long as possible. The benefits of being at home cover everything from the comfort of the familiar to reducing the risk of infection-spread that can sometimes come with institutionalised care. It also reduces the burden on hospital resources and prevents disruption to the lives of older people.

Smart, data-based monitoring processes are geared to maintain a sense of privacy, as well as peace of mind for elderly people or anyone requiring care and their families. By mapping behaviour through data collection, care interventions can be arranged around real need and the changing needs of people over time.

In the case of dementia patients, the potential of these benefits are underscored – with smart monitoring providing powerful insights to preserve independence and prioritise quality of life around the condition.

Within care home and retirement village environments, smart technologies are becoming an offering within the U.K. and globally. This has become a strong marketable point around the care offering. Additionally, the scope for automation and artificial intelligence holds additional benefits for those with reduced mobility or other daily living needs. Lights can be programmed to turn off on sensing pressure on the bed or room occupancy, for example.

Boosted Efficiencies for Healthcare Providers

Smart home elderly monitoring systems use the data around a patient or resident to inspire care interventions. By optimising carer deployment, there is a cost benefit for healthcare providers and the council. Similarly, improving the quality of care at home takes the pressure off of hospitals, clinics, and practitioners to provide high-quality healthcare services that are optimised within existing structures and processes.

In a separate vein, smart technologies have the potential to boost efficiency of other internal processes. This encompasses facilities maintenance, energy monitoring, and compliance. It also automates and enhances performance in areas like legionella monitoring and testing in an industry with a strict burden of care.

In-Hospital Patient and Equipment Monitoring

Smart data insights within a hospital or care facility environment ensure that the status of every patient is remotely monitored in real time. Healthcare asset tracking simplifies and streamlines management while preventing bottlenecks and backlogs.

Data within the hospital environment has benefits for every element of the hospital environment – from directing personnel and assessing the availability and location of equipment to inventory management. 

Assisted Recovery

Data insights empower the quick release of patients from healthcare facilities, but also stand to ensure their care and recovery after discharge. Data sets can be customised around a specific patient’s condition, with alerts for any worrying indicators. Again, this optimises the care following a procedure or during an illness to ensure the ideal level of care for each and every patient.

Get started with smart sensors for elderly care

In assessing the role of technology in healthcare of the future, the NHS is alive to the need for innovation. The organisation is putting digital transformation at the heart of the need for reform for sustainable healthcare today and into the future. This includes skills development around technologies and innovations that make home care a reality. Sensors for elderly care will unquestionably have a role to play for the aged – and any home-based care operation. Contact Smarter Technologies Group for more information.

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