According to the Alzheimer’s Association, over 5.3 million people over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. Alzheimer’s is a disease that not only inhibits the patient’s mental capacity, but also can be a severe burden on family and friends close to the Alzheimer’s patient. Having a loved one with Alzheimer’s is both emotionally draining and physically burdensome due to the constant physical care a patient requires. For patients with mild cognitive decline to moderate cognitive decline, a loss of independence may be the most frightening aspect of an Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Presently, there are multiple elder technology companies creating innovative products to delay the patients’ admission to a skilled nursing facility.
According to CNN technology the “elderly technology” business could be worth upwards of 20 billion dollars by 2020. CNN Technology states, “GrandCare offers connected blood pressure, weight and glucose monitoring devices. Wearable devices can also track health and behaviors, and built-in accelerometers can pick up on physical changes or tell when a wearer has fallen. Tempo is a wristband for seniors that pick up on lapses in routine or changes in gait that might indicate mental or physical deterioration.” These technological advancements will not only create a profit for businesses worldwide, but will give a sense of relief to family members of Alzheimer’s patients.
Loved ones close to Alzheimer’s patients live in constant fear that a severe injury may occur when their family member is living alone. A new alert system sends notifications to the caregivers cell phone if the Alzheimer’s patient has stepped out of the house, overslept, or has eaten too much or not enough. CNN Technology states, “SmartThings is a home automation system that connects sensors and smart devices with a wireless hub…the system can loop in smart thermostats, smart plugs, door locks and surveillance cameras.” This allows family members to be vigilant of their loved one without reducing their independence completely.
Many caregivers are resorting to these innovative advancements that have the potential to keep seniors out of nursing homes. In an interview with CNN Technology, Beth Kallmyer, vice president of constituent services for the Alzheimer’s Association explains that, “Often, decisions about care are made when safety becomes an issue…tools like these sensors can allow people to feel more comfortable and ease the transition.” Having an adult with Alzheimer’s live alone can be dangerous due to their memory loss and physical inabilities, but these alert systems could drastically decrease the chance of injury due to “leaving a stove on, wandering off or forgetting to take medication.”
Although these technological advancements are an excellent addition to elder care, nothing can replace the personal contact of a caregiver. Once an Alzheimer’s patient has severe cognitive decline, they become completely dependent and will most likely be moved to a nursing facility. Although the finest quality of care should be a guarantee at every facility in the healthcare industry, it is not always the case. At the Law Offices of Ben Yeroushalmi, we rigorously defend the rights and interests of elder abuse victims and their loved ones. Mr. Yeroushalmi and his staff are extremely knowledgeable and passionate about elder abuse and neglect litigation. If you or a loved one is a victim of elder abuse or neglect, please contact us immediately for a free, no obligation consultation. We will zealously stand up and advocate to protect the rights to which you and your loved one are entitled. We service cities through northern and southern California.