Technology advances have led to thinner TVs and phones that are TVs, and these same advances have had a positive impact on older adults and their families, especially when they live far apart. Social media and video chat have made it fun and easy for older parents and adult children to keep in touch over long distances and has the added benefit of supporting improved health and well-being of older adults.
Online video communication is especially helpful for long-distance family caregivers (or healthcare professionals), allowing them to physically see their loved ones and providing a real-time view of their health, mental state and living conditions even from thousands of miles away. While family may use video chats to judge well-being, health professionals use it to evaluate health through care coordination services.
Care coordinators often tap into something called the “Internet of Things,” devices connected to the Internet, to remotely monitor older adults through care coordination programs. The Internet of Things provides the ability to keep tabs on health status, falls and more through the use of specialized sensors.
Companies are developing digital products allowing older adults to be confident care coordinators will be notified instantaneously if they fall, or will remind the older adult to take medication. Seniors now can wear small body patches to continually monitor vital signs and wirelessly transmit the details to caregivers and/or care coordinators, who can quickly act on the information.
Bringing together technology and care coordination allows older adults to remain safely living in their own homes.