By Carine Zeier
The expression “aging gracefully” is used so universally that it has become meaningless. But it could and should mean something.
Technology is perhaps the most important key to “aging gracefully.”
Consider These Key Questions:
- In senior living and health care settings, what role should technology play in not only securing safety but also preserving the ongoing privacy and dignity of older adults?
- How does a senior living organization balance the need for safety and still maintain each resident’s very human right for privacy and dignity?
Safety at all costs is not enough of a nuanced approach, especially if one of those costs is human dignity.
Who Is Your Technology Actually Serving?
Historically, older people have frequently been a lesser-prioritized group when it comes to the development, deployment, and tailoring of cutting-edge consumer technology. How many technology designs in the market today actually began by asking older adults themselves: What are you comfortable with? What would you prefer?
In many instances, product development choices within senior living technology have been almost solely driven by factors such as speed to market, development cost control, or adaptation of products intended for other end-users. While some of these decisions are understandable and necessary, it’s now time for more.
At Dele Health Tech, our engineering and design standards are based upon the wants and needs of older people. (Dele Health Tech is a Foresight partner.)
Fall detection remains one of the not yet fully realized opportunities to serve older people better. Wanting to preserve the dignity of residents, Dele Health Tech uses non-optic sensors rather than cameras, providing more privacy and more useful data that can detect falls and also help to prevent falls.
The Misconception of “Expensive Dignity”
Perhaps the single biggest barrier to technology adoption has been cost. It turns out that resident privacy and dignity technology does not have to be expensive.
The Dele Health Tech dignity-first fall technologies are cost-effective on their own. Then, when you consider how they reduce the burden on staff and increase resident longevity, the payoff is huge.
Data as the Game Changer
While we are just arriving at an appreciation of using insights from data, as we move forward, data will be the ultimate game-changer. When fully harnessed, data are pulled in from multiple sources to create an astonishingly accurate and useful profile of each resident as an individual.
Dele Health Tech uses “data fusion” to collect and analyze inputs from their sensors, the sensors of others, EHR tools, fitness trackers, pretty much anything you can imagine. Then, using AI, care staff have access to actionable insights that allow caregivers to rapidly respond to risks and threats. This illustrates Dele Health Tech’s ability to harness the power of data for insights into resident care.
The future of dignified gerontech has arrived. It’s time to embrace and harness dignified solutions and provide the most dignified form of protection and care for today’s older people. To learn more about the solutions Dele Health Tech provides, please visit their website.