Technology is consistently evolving right before our eyes. In the past twenty years, the Internet has taken the world by a storm. Today, over forty percent of the world is online – that’s roughly 3.5 billion people! To say technology has influenced our day-to-day lives is an understatement. Not only has our personal lives changed, but because of technology, so has the senior living industry – particularly with fall mitigation.
When combined with the proper resources, implementing technology and emergency call systems can be beneficial to keep seniors healthy, self-reliant, and out of the hospital by reducing the likeliness of falls.
When deciding how technology can be useful in your community, there are a few factors to consider.
What exactly is it that you want to know?
Deciding which data will be useful to you depends on the current situation and environment. Are your residents at a higher risk of falling? Will seniors in your community be conditioned to call for help after a fall? Fall response technology can vary greatly from fall prevention methods. Identifying the factors that directly influence fall risk is imperative. Understanding the desired outcome of technology use is crucial, as is evaluating the risk level of individuals in your community.
How will you respond to the information?
Technology can be either proactive, reactive, or even both. Once you receive the information, such as a fall alert, how are you going to respond? Who will be notified, and what are you going to do to address the situation? Another essential factor to consider is how you will be alerted – is it via an app, tablet alert, or another method of communication?
Is it user-friendly?
Regardless of how advanced technology is, it should remain user-friendly. Unused technology is useless technology. It should deliver the proper notification or alert to the correct person, so they can act on the event that requires attention. Technology is a great tool, but that is all it is. When data is collected by technology, it is then used for either proactive or reactive care, and it then becomes useful. For example, an emergency call system will notify staff about a crisis, but caregivers must know how to use their system in order for it to be useful.
Will implementing technology be intrusive or disruptive?
Using technology in senior living communities has a myriad of benefits. While safety is the primary concern, maintaining dignity and privacy of seniors is essential to consider. Keep in mind that some devices may call to reveal one’s weakness, or that they’ve experienced “decline,” which could have an adverse psychological effect. Talk through the solution with residents and their families, revealing to them how it can be a win-win situation.
Technology, especially in the senior living industry, is never “one size fits all.” There are so many unique solutions that can be used for adults in different stages of the aging process. Chair and bed pressure monitors, portable pendants, call systems, and motion sensors are just a few of the options available to you today. Each community and resident is unlike the next. Fall prevention may not be an attainable goal, but fall reduction is something we strive to make a reality. Contact Silversphere today to explore your options when it comes to using technology for fall reduction.