Smart Homes, Safe Seniors

Almost 40-million Americans are over age 65. One of the most difficult things for older individuals is being forced out of their own home and into a nursing home. But now, new technology may help them maintain their independence longer. As we grow older, we also lose balance. One in three people over age 65 fall each year. 40-percent of nursing home admissions are because of a fall. But new technology is keeping a watchful eye on the elderly. This vibration detector can be placed on the surface of a floor to detect if a person has fallen and notify caregivers. These motion detectors track a person's movement. And a Piezo-electric material can be put underneath a mattress to read a person's heart rate and respiration. There are also devices to monitor a person's health like a special blood pressure cuff and scale that sends data by Bluetooth to an online system family members and caregivers can access. Doctor Krotish says the smart home technology could help ease the economic strain on the health care system as more of the population ages. She says the cost of the technology can run from a few hundred dollars up to $8,000. The average cost of a nursing home stay is about $50,000 dollars a year.

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