Post CES reflection on role of technology and Alzheimer's.
Boston, mid-May, 2016
Back from the Alzheimer's Association of the Northwest. Walking the aisles of the exhibit floor, one could get the impression that the key for family members and professionals is finding a good home care agency or assisted living placement. Which reminds me, that despite the best of intentions in the aging services worlds, I rarely see evidence that it is at the top of the priority lists of these organizations to ensure that those they serve know what technologies might be of some benefit to them. (The exception is LeadingAge (formerly AAHSA) which has sponsored CAST -- check out the link that LeadingAge CAST has just released an analysis of state payments for Aging Services Technologies (AST). But I digress, here are some technologies to mitigate various issues confronted by caregivers -- some mentioned previously in random posts. Please comment with other suggestions or any feedback about these vendors or suggest additional products:
1. CoroHealth (music therapy). From the vendor: "Music First™, an initiative of Coro Health, is designed to improve the quality of life of residents in long-term care facilities by assembling relevant content and by providing it in an easily accessible manner. Individualized content such as therapeutic music, spirituality, educational pieces, current events and audio books are delivered directly to the resident’s room upon request or according to a pre-existing schedule. Music First also serves as a tool for Board Certified Music Therapists, Recreational Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists and other care partners to incorporate into a resident’s medical plan of care.
2. SecuraTrac (GPS wander tracking). From the vendor: "Place the SecuraPAL on your child, elderly parent, or a pet that you want to protect. The SecuraPAL can be worn on an arm, ankle, belt, or just about anywhere. Then, view their current and previous locations and respond to alerts from your mobile phone or computer"
3. AFrame Digital (geofencing). From the vendor: "The MobileCare MonitorTM provides individuals and their loved ones with peace of mind in an attractive, personalized device they can wear 24/7. The system monitors an individual's activity, location, and physiological status in real time, indoors or outside. The watch contains sensors to detect impacts or falls and provide an alert without the push of a button. It also includes an emergency call button so users can call for help manually if needed. The most important benefit of the watch is that it can be personalized for each user. Alerts are based on the individual's baseline and special needs which allows a proactive approach to health and wellness."
4. CookStop (stove top fire prevention). From the vendor: "CookStop continuously checks for movement in the kitchen. If the resident leaves the room, or falls asleep, Cookstop shuts the stove off." Also iGuardFire provides a similar function.
5. No Start Car Battery Switch (Alzheimer's Store). According to the vendor: "The "No Start" Car Disconnect Switch attaches to your car battery. The car’s battery cable then attaches to it (very simple - I installed it myself on my car in only five minutes!). To disable your car, turn the green knob one quarter turn. To start the car again (and drive it), just turn it the other way to tighten it. Best of all -- the "No Start" Car Disconnect Switch is fused so you will not lose the clock, radio and computer settings."
6. Philips CareGlow (motion activated path lighting). According to Philips (which sold its inventory off to the linked reseller),"CareGlow utilizes a combination of motion and ambient light sensing technology to provide light only when needed. By sensing the light level in the room, it only operates if the room is dark. Upon detecting motion, CareGlow illuminates instantly, providing a guiding path of light. CareGlow will remain lit as long as it detects motion. If no motion is detected for 5 minutes, CareGlow will slowly turn itself off."
7. Hamilton Captel (captioned telephone, hearing impaired). From the vendor: "Using the latest in voice-recognition technology, a specially trained operator transcribes everything that is being said by the person you're calling. The words are then transferred seamlessly to the bright, easy-to-read screen on your CapTel 800i. The captions appear almost simultaneously, so you'll have complete confidence that you're receiving everything that's being said."
8. GreatCall (Check-in calls). For Jitterbug phone users. From the vendor: "This service will call to check in with you as often as you like. Questions relating to pain level, appetite, overall well-being and sleep quality can be asked on each call based on profile -- with notifications for help sent to friend or relative listed as a personal contact."
9. ConnectedLiving (web-friendly portal for Internet-connected seniors). From the vendor: "Connected Living® provides seniors, families and residential communities an easy way to stay in touch and enjoy the benefits of getting online. Connected Living® includes a simple interface, personalized training and support, engaging content and thought-provoking curriculum – everything you need to get connected."
10. MobileHelp (GPS/Cellular PERS device). Beyond 600 feet limitation from base station. From the vendor: "MobileHelp allows you to summon emergency help 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by simply pressing your own Personal Help Button. Unlike traditional medical alert systems that only work inside the home, MobileHelp™ also enables you to participate in activities that you enjoy outside of your home (such as gardening, taking walks, shopping and traveling) while having the peace-of-mind of having a medical alert system with you at all times."