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Combination of technology and people helps seniors stay in their homes longer

Nov 30, 2012

Many healthcare organizations, including the Good Samaritan Society, are doing all they can to cater to the desire of seniors who want to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. Some people look forward to downsizing or moving to a new place, but many don’t.

There’s all kinds of technology in existence designed to make life at home easier and safer for seniors. But organizations like the Good Samaritan Society have found what’s most important is to have the right combination of healthcare technology and people who not only manage and maintain technology but also feel called to care for others.

The Society launched a program called LivingWell@Home in 2010 to study the benefits of a new combination of tech and people: sensors, personal emergency response systems, telehealth services and a team of experts to read, interpret and be proactive, based on the data that is gathered.

One of the elements in this combination that is getting the most attention is the non-obtrusive sensors. It’s not the big-brother surveillance systems that often come to mind. It’s small, barely-noticeable devices placed throughout homes that monitor trends in activity. They don’t capture video or audio, they just register movements and activity. That’s all that’s needed.

The trending data is analyzed by staff at the Society’s LivingWell Center in Sioux Falls, S.D.
Sleep patterns, activity changes and other information is monitored, and that data provides a robust picture of how clients are doing.

Earlier this year, Carol Tipton, an 83-year-old LivingWell@Home client in Lennox, S.D., avoided a hospital stay, thanks to LivingWell@Home.

Staff members at the LivingWell Center noticed that Carol was experiencing an increase in the number of visits to the bathroom. They called her to talk about it. Afterward, Carol went to a local hospital where doctors diagnosed an early-stage bladder infection. Carol says she’s thankful to have the LivingWell@Home staff looking after her in her rural home where she’s lived since 1954.

Click here to watch a video in which Carol talks about her experience with LivingWell@Home.
Technology and data collection is making a difference for seniors who want to stay in their homes as long as possible. But more than that, it’s about how that technology and data is used by the people who are taking care of you.

LivingWell@Home is available in a variety of living environments. Click here to contact the Good Samaritan Society for more information about LivingWell@Home and technology and services that are helping seniors stay in their homes longer.

By Darren Matthes
Web Content Manager
Click here to contact Darren


Related stories:
LivingWell@Home helps South Dakota woman stay in the place she calls home

LivingWell@Home in the news

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