Sensor Systems: Can They Replace Assisted Living?

By Michelle Seitzer / Posted on 19 December 2012

A brand new article from McKnight’s Long-Term Care News & Assisted Living sets out to answer this question.

Though each family will ultimately have to decide if systems or community care settings are best for their loved ones, the piece provides valuable insight into the most current technology available for keeping seniors at home, safely.

Testing of the high-tech equipment is now underway in Missouri, says the article. The home sensor/monitoring network was developed by University of Missouri faculty members Marjorie Skubic, Ph.D., and Marilyn Rantz, Ph.D., RN, FAAN. Skubic has a background in electrical and computer engineering; Rantz has a background in nursing.

What does the system do?

It monitors gait and changes in activity patterns. It measures “pulse, respiration and restlessness during sleep.” It evaluates baseline health conditions, particularly for those who are living with chronic ailments like diabetes or arthritis.

Technology is a tricky thing. Though it may have amazing monitoring capabilities like the Rantz-Skubic system described above, can it really provide the peace of mind that human touch affords, or replace the sometimes intangible benefits of living in community?

Yes, most seniors want to stay at home instead of transitioning to assisted living, but it’s important to recognize there may be an equal number of risks to choosing either one. Look at the options objectively, weigh the pros and cons carefully, and thoughtfully consider your decision from all angles.

Read more posts about Making a Senior Care Decision in this blog channel.



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