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Category: Healthcare Technology

Seniors are reaching new heights with higher education and lifelong learning


Many seniors are heading back to school to finish their college degrees, to get new ones or simply to engage in the joy of learning. Today, online learning has opened up a whole new world of education for many seniors.

Continuing your education is a great way to increase the chances of a satisfying retirement, notes U.S. News & World Report. Lifelong learning, whether online or in person, provides a number of benefits for seniors:

You can pick the subject

Unlike in your old school days, you’re not forced to listen to boring lectures on topics in which you have no interest. Unless you’re working on a specific degree, the sky’s the limit in what you can choose to study.

Keep your mind sharp

Lifelong learning offers multiple benefits to seniors, as About Relationships notes. Whether you’re learning a new dance step or a new language, keeping your mind sharp may provide you with the following perks:

  • Better memory
  • Improved self-confidence
  • A feeling of accomplishment
  • A sharper mind
  • A way to meet kindred spirits
  • A new interest you can share with loved ones

 

You’ll stay more socially engaged

Returning to school as an older adult will give you the chance to meet an array of interesting people. Some of the fellow students you meet are bound to be kindred spirits, since you’ve chosen the same subject of study. You may even make some new lifelong friends.

How can you get started?

If you prefer to attend classes in person, start with colleges, universities and community colleges in your area. Many provide discounted or even free classes for seniors, along with the opportunity to audit classes at no cost.

If you want to go the online route, you can also check the website of any brick-and-mortar educational establishment in which you have interest. But be sure to check into some of the many free learning resources online as well. For example, Khan Academy provides free, high-quality courses on everything from differential calculus to prehistoric European art.

Engagement is key for vibrant aging

Whether you choose a traditional college or an online program, continuing to learn will help keep you engaged and active. Another great way to stay engaged is with IndependaTV™, which connects you with loved ones through video chat and messaging. By staying connected and pursuing lifelong learning, you can help keep your mind sharp as you age.

 





Economic recovery: The perfect time to invest in senior living technology


A recent investment bank report notes that senior housing real estate is experiencing historically favorable investment rates, low cap rates and high valuations. With the senior living industry in growth mode, many communities are investing in technology that provides differentiation in the marketplace and helps keep occupancy high.

An improving real estate market

The recovering economy and improving real estate market are providing a boost to the senior living industry, according to the report, published by Brown Gibbons Lang & Company Investment Bankers. Occupancy rates held steady in the second quarter, with average independent living occupancy at 91 percent and assisted living at 88.4 percent.

At the same time, independent living and assisted living median valuations ranged from $200,000 to $250,000, reflecting the improved economy and real estate market.

Adding value through technology

Many communities are taking advantage of the favorable economic conditions in the senior living industry to add amenities that can keep occupancy high. With 60 percent of seniors going online and nearly half using a high-speed broadband connection in their homes, expectations around technology in senior living have increased significantly in recent years.

Many communities are adding Wi-Fi throughout their campuses as a benefit to residents, family members, staff and visitors. Marketing staff members who know details about the service — speed, uptime percentage and security measures, for instance — can answer questions and provide comparisons to other services.

Three-quarters of seniors who go online use the Internet to communicate with family and friends. IndependaTVe provides senior living residents with a simple way to stay in touch with loved ones using their familiar TV remote. The system’s simple software interface, known as Angela, guides residents in using video chat and messaging to stay connected.

Technology as a differentiating amenity

In the competitive marketplace of senior living, communities are seeking ways to stand out. Many are taking advantage of the current favorable economic conditions as an opportunity to add desirable technological amenities such as campuswide Wi-Fi and IndependaTVe.

 





Tech Designed for Seniors Can Extend Living At Home


A recent study found that approximately two-thirds of people age 65 and older need assistance from either a mobility device or another person to go about their daily activities. For adult children providing support to their aging parents, a technology solution like Independa™ provides a number of benefits.

A simple interface that seniors enjoy

Does your dad delight in watching his favorite programs? If so, he’ll love Independa™. Using only a familiar TV remote, your parent can access a full range of helpful functions.

The simple interface of Independa™ even has a friendly name: Angela. Many older adults have health issues that make using some technology difficult. Pressing small buttons and seeing tiny type on a small screen can be a real chore. Smartphones and other mobile devices also require tedious and difficult maintenance — including virus protection and software updates.

But with Independa™, every aging American can access technology that enhances their quality of life and independence.

Monitoring of health metrics

If your job takes you far away from your parents, you probably worry. Did Dad remember to take his new medications? How is Mom’s blood pressure today? With Independa™, there’s no need to worry or wonder.

Independa™ tracks a variety of health metrics, and you can check in anytime. Using your smartphone or desktop computer, simply access the convenient dashboard to check the status of medication reminders, appointments, health metrics and much more.

An easy way to stay connected

Loneliness and isolation are problems for many elderly adults. When your parents use Independa™, you won’t have to worry that they feel alone.

Using convenient features like video chat and messaging, your parents can easily stay in touch with you and other loved ones. Grandchildren can check in anytime to tell your mom and dad about school or just to say hello. And using Independa™, you can “transport” your parents to any number of family events, from a ball game to a wedding or graduation. Participating via video chat, your parents won’t miss one important moment.

User-friendly support from Independa™

If your parents need support to thrive in their preferred aging environment, consider a technology solution like Independa™. With its user-friendly interface, monitoring of health metrics and multiple ways to connect with loved ones, Independa™ is an indispensable tool for healthy aging.





How will the “Internet of Things” give seniors more aging options?


With the rise of the so-called “Internet of Things,” seniors will have more options for aging where they wish. From enhancing safety to monitoring health and communicating with caregivers and loved ones, this connected network of physical objects will benefit seniors in a number of ways.

What are some of the new connected technologies seniors can incorporate as part of a vibrant aging lifestyle?

Wearables and health monitoring

In the past few years, the use of health monitoring devices has surged. Experts have projected sales of 50 million wireless consumer devices for monitoring health by 2017. The growing demand reflects a desire by consumers to record and analyze their own health metrics and to manage their care in their choice of environments.

Meanwhile, more seniors are embracing wearable personal monitoring devices like Fitbit and Apple Watch. As the devices evolve, they have significant potential to provide functionality like security and fall monitoring for seniors. In addition, such devices already can monitor a variety of health and fitness markers, including sleep quality, heart rate and steps taken each day.

Smart home tech

Big-name technology companies are racing to capture the smart-home industry, and seniors constitute a major market for the resulting innovations. Smart doorbells, Internet-connected intercoms, smart smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, and smart lighting are among the many options that now can be controlled with a smartphone app or from a computer.

IndependaTV™

Few activities in life are more important to seniors than staying connected to loved ones. IndependaTV™ provides seniors with a high-technology solution that’s as easy to use as watching a favorite television program.

As the first and only TV that provides a range of services specifically for seniors, IndependaTV™ incorporates a user-friendly interface known as Angela to help seniors communicate with loved ones through video chat and messaging. Seniors also can easily access services like medication and appointment reminders. Family members, meanwhile, can check in on their senior relative through a convenient dashboard accessible via smartphone or desktop computer.

The Internet of Things: Providing options for seniors

By 2020, the network known as the Internet of Things is expected to comprise some 212 billion connected devices and contribute $8.9 trillion to the global economy. Seniors can expect increasing levels of security, convenience and comfort as they embrace these amazing new technologies.





The future of the senior care industry – Part #5


While the senior care industry may currently be in its infancy, it will be forced to grow and adapt quickly to meet the skyrocketing demand soon to come from the Baby Boomers. Already, the industry is providing a means for seniors to receive complex care at home rather than in a skilled nursing setting.

But the senior care industry is also experiencing some growing pains, such as finding and keeping high-quality caregivers, lost provider productivity due to the need to travel from home to home communicating effectively with medical providers, and overcoming confusion in the marketplace. What’s next for this growing industry?

Future Senior Care Technology

The senior care Industry is in the early stages of using technology effectively, experts note. Communication about a patient between medical providers is not always shared electronically. And even when it is, the exchange doesn’t always function as intended.

Many medical providers still communicate primarily via telephone, fax and e-mail rather than with modern telehealth technology. Few make use of beneficial video technologies to communicate with patients and their families. Experts anticipate that in coming years, a network dedicated to caring for senior patients will make information available across medical providers regardless of geographic boundaries.

In addition, the industry will make better use of existing technologies, including smart home computer systems and dedicated wireless networks that provide patients with mobile support. Headline-grabbing technologies like personal care robots are expected to revolutionize senior care in the future.

Meeting needs in the present

How can senior care providers solve the challenges they and their medical professionals face today? IndependaTVe™ is a forward-looking technology solution that can provide home health care professionals with valuable technology-based assistance now. With its consistent, user-friendly Angela interface, IndependaTVe™ has a minimal learning curve. Professionals are up and running with IndependaTVe™ immediately.

Medical providers can take advantage of the built-in video chat functionality to actually show patients how to take their medications, meaning fewer potentially dangerous errors. IndependaTVe™ also allows professionals to monitor many more patients in shorter periods of time, reducing workloads and the resulting stress. It allows them to provide health education videos in easy to understand graphic format. And the simplicity of communicating through IndependaTVe™ encourages patients to get in touch quickly with information that caregivers need to know.

Senior Care: The Coming Evolution

With the Baby Boomers vastly underprepared for the costs of long-term care, an increasing number of seniors may choose to age in place longer than their predecessors. To accommodate significant increases in demand, the senior care industry will need to quickly improve patient monitoring and education, communication between providers and the ability to retain exceptional caregivers. IndependaTVe™ provides solutions for many of the challenges confronting senior care providers.





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  • Our guests use the video chat and photo and message sharing features of Independa to stay connected with their families. In fact this week we admitted a guest who has a daughter in Georgia and another in Italy. I spoke with the daughter about how to share photos and messages and to make video calls from her Independa device, and later went to see the guest about how it was going. She said to me “Kelly this video chat is so cool! I don’t care how long I have to be in here now because I can see my daughters!” It’s just amazing to see one of our guests be able to connect with a loved one all the way from Italy!

    Kelly Miles, Director of Rec Therapy
  • You don’t need to keep calling me now to remind me, my TV just told me to take my medication!

    93 Year Old Independa User
  • I love that Dad can get digital photos now. He didn’t want a Facebook account so the only time he would see any photos was when we came over to visit and we’d show him on our iPhone. Now he gets them himself on the TV all the time, and when people come to visit him he proudly shows them his photo album on the TV.

    USA Properties
  • I’ve been using video chat and it has opened up my world – my family who live close by still visit once a week, but now I get to see them every day. I also get to see the rest of the family who live interstate and can’t come to visit. I also video chat with old friends who I haven’t seen for years. It has made such a big difference to my life, I don’t feel isolated anymore. I highly recommend this to other people; it really does change your life.

    USA Properties
  • I live in California, my 80 year-old dad lives in Texas and my 21 year-old daughter lives in Colorado. My daughter spends all her time on social media using her smart phone, whereas my dad spends all his time watching TV, he doesn’t understand social media and doesn’t have a smart phone. Independa is great because not only does it bring us closer despite the geographical distance between us, it bridges the gap between the generations because it uses the technology they are most comfortable with.

    USA Properties
  • We use the video chat feature in the resident’s TV to get the entire circle of care together at once; we will have the nurse and the physical therapist in the room with the resident, and we will then video call their family. That way everyone who is involved in their care gets the same message at the same time and can ask questions while we are present so there is no confusion. One time when we were working with a deaf resident, we were able to arrange for her daughter to sign via video chat and translate what we were saying and the questions her mother had; it made such a huge difference.

    Wellbridge at Brighton
  • My dad was on the Honor Flight to DC today. An amazing trip for a veteran. I was able to meet him at the Korean War Memorial. He is a Korean War veteran. I was able to send pictures of the entire experience to my mom at home throughout the day. Mom was thrilled, and when my dad gets home he has all the pictures from his trip on his TV and can even play a slideshow. Amazing!!! Thank you!

    Kendal At Home
  • Video chat on the TV is great! I was using FaceTime on my iPad to see the grandkids and I thought that was the greatest thing, but seeing them all on the big TV is truly incredible, it’s like they are in the room with me. I love it!

    USA Properties
  • When Lillian broke her hip a week before her Grandson’s wedding, she and the family were broken hearted because they thought she would have to miss this very special day. Thankfully, she had chosen Wellbridge of Brighton for her short-term rehab. “I’m going to my Grandson’s wedding” she proudly told the staff as she received the video call through her TV and was instantly ‘seated’ in the front row for the ceremony!

    Wellbridge of Brighton
  • I travel a lot for work. I used to worry myself sick about not being able to be there if Mom needed me. She says the smartphone I got her is too small, too complicated, and hard to see, but she loves using Independa. Now she can see all her shows and we can video chat so I can make sure she’s taking her medicine. It’s such a relief to check in anytime and know she’s OK.

    Laura P.