As technology becomes more advanced, it continues to impact our lives in more profound ways. Most of the population experiences this through their smartphones and social media accounts. These innovations have changed how we communicate, how we entertain ourselves, and how we access information. More specifically, though, is how technology has transformed the way we live.
While we all enjoy the convenience of technology, other industries, like the senior care sector, are utilizing technology for its life-saving benefits. These are the advantages Bent Philipson, CEO of Philosophy Care, is the most interested in. Bent founded Philosophy Care in 2019, and his consulting firm now provides care guidance for skilled nursing facilities throughout the New Jersey and New York areas. Among this guidance is a focus on specialized services such as cardiac rehabilitation, memory care, physical therapy, stroke recovery, and more.
But Bent Philipson believes that you can’t offer comprehensive care at a skilled nursing facility or long-term center without also prioritizing technology. We’re all pretty familiar with wearable technology at this point, but many of us only see its value in helping us track our daily steps, monitor our heart rates, or record our sleep patterns. However, its influence is far more impactful than that. For seniors especially, wearable technology helps them maintain their pride and independence while also keeping them safe and improving their quality of life.
There are a number of wearable technologies that can be used by caregivers or within SNFs and LTCFs, but these are the top wearables for 2023, according to Bent Philipson.
Fitbit devices have become known as the young athlete’s fitness tracker, but seniors can also benefit from their capabilities. A Fitbit Versa can help monitor an elderly resident’s physical activity, which is an important part of their overall care. It’s important that these residents are prioritizing movement if they’re able, but it’s critical they aren’t overexerting themselves.
Additionally, this device can also track their sleep habits and identify if they’re getting a good night’s rest every night. Sleep is an essential part of good health, so a wearable like this can alert nurses or caregivers to any disruptions that could be affecting their sleep patterns and help them prioritize a solution.
The Angel Watch was modeled after a wearable for children that includes features such as video calling and GPS tracking. This device, however, offers additional benefits that are specific to older adults. Seniors and nurse staff can use this wearable as a medication reminder and a preventative measure towards fall detection.
Just like most wearables, this device can also monitor things like heart rate and sleep quality, but it can track blood pressure as well. This is important since any changes in a person’s blood pressure could require a change to their care plan or medication dosage. A wearable device is also less intimidating and significantly less bulky than the alternative of using a traditional blood pressure cuff.
Footfalls & Heartbeats Compression Socks
Seniors are more prone to developing conditions such as hypertension and arthritis, and diabetes is another chronic disease that makes that list. Wearable technology has come so far that micro-mechanical structures can be knitted into fabric to create textile sensing technologies for seniors who have been diagnosed with diabetes. The company Footfalls & Heartbeats has manufactured compression smart socks that can track the gait of its wearer and use that information to predict their likelihood of developing foot ulcers. Knowing this information can help nurse staff and caregivers intervene early to enhance care.
The list of emerging wearable technologies hitting the general market is astounding, but Bent Philipson is the most excited about how wearable tech will continue to aid in the transformation of the senior care industry. He believes it’s critical to seniors’ wellbeing and quality of life, and more skilled nursing facilities and long-term care centers should evolve their operations to include these innovations.