Elder Care and Technology

We live in an age of technology, yet the elder care industry doesn’t seem to have taken notice.  According to a recent article in Forbes, the internet and other digital tools may be able to improve the quality of elder care, and to attend to matters of elder abuse and neglect across the country.  We mentioned a recent story about elder financial abuse and online mapping.  This is only one of the tools that may help our older loved ones in the years to come.

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Taking care of our elderly loved ones will be especially important in the coming years as the large number of Americans who make up the baby boomer generation grow old and require care in assisted living facilities and nursing homes.  While none of us likes to believe that nursing home neglect is a problem that can affect our loved ones, recent news stories throughout California suggest that elder abuse is a problem that afflicts many people.  As a result, it’s important to contact a nursing home abuse attorney if you suspect that your elderly loved one has been the victim of nursing home neglect.

High Costs of Elder Care

Right now, the cost of elder care “is enormous.”  Indeed, if current projections hold true, it will be close to a $320 billion industry in America by the year 2016.  While this figure presents a potentially “massive revenue opportunity for the incumbent elder care market,” it also means a significant increase in elder care costs for older adults and their loved ones.  A large majority of the costs are expected to come from in-home care or at-home care, as it’s “one of the fastest growing segments of this market.”  But what does this mean for new technological tools?

New Tools for Detecting Nursing Home Neglect

Elder care technology has been expanding in recent years, and “We’ve come a long way from the ‘I’ve fallen and I can’t get up’ days.” Indeed, “safety monitoring and assistance technologies are improving quickly, being driven by advances in bio-sensing, sensory networks, robotics, telecommunications and cloud computing.”  While these terms can be mystifying for many of us who aren’t well acquainted with new technologies, in short they simply mean that new technologies are out there and they’re being put to use for improving elder care.

For instance, if your elderly loved one has sustained injuries because of nursing home neglect, a new technology may be able to alert you about significant health changes or bodily injuries.  A company called VitalConnect is in the process of developing “wearable health sensors.”  These devices, known as “wearables,” may have a significant impact on our ability to detect elder neglect at assisted living facilities and nursing homes across the country.  For “not only can [they] detect body vitals like temperature and heart rate, but [wearables] can also detect falls and other types of incidents.”  In short, technology may allow us to track the health of our elderly loved ones, and it may be able to let us know when something isn’t right.

And new technological innovations might also have the added benefit of lowering the already high costs of elder care.  Some of these new technologies likely will employ telehealth monitors, which can drastically reduce the number of emergency room visits since we’ll be able to treat ailments and injuries before they require a visit to the ER.  In other words, keeping seniors “out of the healthcare system and expensive caregiver market” by relying on technology can help significantly with care costs.

Contacting a California Elder Care Attorney

While technology may prove extremely beneficial for identifying elder abuse in a timely manner and providing better care for our elderly loved ones, it’s still in its early stages.  If you suspect that your loved one has sustained injuries at a nursing home or assisted living facility, it’s very important to speak to an experienced San Diego nursing home abuse lawyer.  At the Walton Law Firm, we have years of experience handling these cases and can answer your questions today.

See Related Blog Posts:

Elder Abuse and Educating Caregivers

Online Map to Track Elder Financial Abuse

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