Technology Solutions Help Enhance Independence and Security For Seniors
Johnson County LIVING WELL Magazine
New in-home technologies are helping a growing number of aging adults live independently longer. SafetyChoice® by Comfort Keepers® is a line of in-home safety technology solutions that assists seniors in aging independently at home, whether used with or without in-home care provided by a caregiver. The initial release of products under the Safety Choice® banner, which includes personal emergency response systems (PERS) and other monitoring devices, has been developed through a partnership between Guardian Medical Monitoring and CK Franchising, Inc., the franchisor for the Comfort Keepers franchise system.
Stephen Bright, owner of the Comfort Keepers franchise of greater Kansas City says that technology is helping to complement and extend the personal, human touch provided to senior citizens by professional caregivers and family members. “With the senior population growing at a much faster pace than that of working-age Americans, it’s becoming more challenging to provide around-the-clock care for seniors at home,” he says.
He adds that demographic studies show that the ratio of seniors to working-age Americans is expected to continue growing—30% from 2010 to 2020, and another 29% in the following decade.
In the meantime, seniors and their loved ones are discovering that technology solutions—such as those offered through SafetyChoice by Comfort Keepers—can effectively bridge the times when a caregiver can’t be present or when a senior may not yet need a caregiver in the home. Such technologies are monitored by professionals at central stations and provide phone notifications to first responders whether a professional caregiver, family member, neighbor or emergency personnel.
“These systems provide family members the peace of mind that their loved one can get help, even when a caregiver can’t be physically present with them,” Bright says.
Responding to the increasing needs for care among seniors, Comfort Keepers introduced the new SafetyChoice® line of technology products, which extends personal caregiving. These products include PERS Units as well as other monitoring devices that can detect certain activities by persons with Alzheimer’s and other dementia-related illnesses, and a portable PERS device with GPS technology.
“Technologies like these, in combination with personal caregiving, lead to improved health outcomes and quality of life for seniors,” Bright says. “These technologies make it possible for them to continue living at home—where they most want to be—safely, confidently, and independently.”
PERS units help seniors summon help quickly with the push of a button—reducing wait times for emergency assistance in the event of a fall, illness or other emergency at home. “By greatly decreasing the time for emergency help to arrive,” Bright says, “emergency response systems help reduce the complications that can result from a fall or other emergency. The shortened wait time usually results in quicker and fuller recovery and an improved chance of returning to independent living.”
Bright adds, “Falls are one of the greatest concerns of the elderly.” The Centers for Disease Control has reported that more than a third of American adults 65 and older fall each year—and falls are the leading cause of death by injury for seniors.
Technology can be a good prescription for caregivers’ health, too, Bright says. According to testimony delivered by the Alzheimer’s Association to the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, one in eight caregivers providing care to those with Alzheimer’s becomes ill or injured as a result of caregiving. Technology can relieve some of the stress by giving family members the opportunity to take breaks from their caregiving responsibilities.
To learn more about the SafetyChoice® by Comfort Keepers® in-home technology solutions, call 913-385-2636 or look for information online at ComfortKeepers.com/JohnsonCounty-KS.
Comfort Keepers is a leader in in-home senior care to promote independent living. Services include companionship, meal preparation, light housekeeping, grocery shopping, incidental transportation, laundry, recreational activities, personal care and technology products. For more information visit www.ComfortKeepers.com/JohnsonCounty-KS.
Guardian Medical Monitoring
Guardian Medical Monitoring, initiated in 1998, offers products and services nationwide and is a division of Guardian Burglar Alarm, North America’s largest independent security and life-safety company. For more information visit www.GuardianMedicalMonitoring.com.