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Devices to Help Seniors Age in Place

by Kimberly O'Loughlin, Aging Technology Expert
June 10, 2016

Question: My mother lives alone in a city far away from where I am. She wishes to age in place. I have heard of senior technology that can be helpful. Can you explain how that would work in my mother’s case?

Answer: It is great to hear that your loved one is open to having a conversation like this. And yes, you are absolutely correct, technology does exist to help keep your mother safer while at home even when loved ones are far away.  It seems like your mother would be a perfect candidate for using a Medical Alert Service. Whether she is at home, and even when she leaves home to take a walk or run errands, this technology can keep her safer. Some of these wearables can be discreetly tucked under a shirt and are waterproof, so it can be worn while in the shower where many accidents occur. Your mother would have access to trained professional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And some products have built in fall detection, so that help will be sent if your mother were to fall and was unable to push the button.  And if an emergency were to occur, you and other loved ones could also receive timely information regarding the situation.  This can give peace of mind to your mom and to you as well.

Companies such as Philips are driving innovations with these services to make them even better.  For example, Philips has locating technologies that can help locate a person if they are away from the home and need help, and also has leading predictive analytics capabilities that serve as an early warning system for physicians who want to know that mom is okay while she is at home. There are also solutions to help people who take a lot of medicine manage their medications by reminding them to dispense their medications at pre-programmed times. If your mother takes a lot of medicine during the day and needs help to remember, a medication management solution can be helpful.  And they are working on a variety of solutions to keep seniors safer, healthier and connected by addressing needs such as rehabilitation, cognition health and social and emotional needs.

These innovations allow your mother to live independently and continue to do the things she loves, while you receive the peace of mind that she has a way to access help and services that she needs.

Kimberly O’Loughlin is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Philips Home Monitoring. She leads the global business serving seniors and their caregivers with safety, health and connected solutions including Philips Lifeline emergency response services, medication management solutions and a cognitive health service. Kimberly has over 25 years of leadership experience at companies that include Vonage, AIG and AT&T.

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