Senior citizens are valuable part of society and important to the lives of many people. However, the care they are receiving does not reflect such a statement. In a world where technology has taken over many aspects of life, nursing homes are sadly not in a position to offer the same digital access and devices that are available to most of the world. It is a problem that must be addressed soon because by 2034, senior citizens are expected to outnumber children for the first time in United States history. 75 percent of these seniors will need dedicated, extended amounts of care on a daily basis. With an average of 4 hours per day receiving personalized care, residents of nursing homes are likely to experience self isolation and some level of loneliness.
These unfortunate results lead to increases in mortality, hospitalization, and dementia among various other mental and physical health risks. This has only been magnified by the very nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents and staff of nursing homes make up 25 percent of deaths related to COVID. However, the likelihood of an outbreak within a nursing home is directly correlated with the quality (on a 5 star scale) of nursing homes around the country.
The plan to improve elder care is through an increase in nursing home quality. The best nursing homes care just as much about mental support as they do physical. Nursing homes will do well to equip all facilities with technology now and in the future to help them care better for residents. The technology used today includes devices aimed at helping patients regain their independence while keeping their mind in harmony with their body. One such technology, Dialyze Direct, is an in-house dialysis treatment for residents that boasts a 94 percent reduction in vascular infections as well as a 65 percent reduction in hospitalizations related to dialysis.
VOCSN Ventilators are the only multifunctional ventilators available, combining ventilator, oxygen, suction, nebulizer, and cough functions. This permits for a seamless transition from hospital recovery to the nursing home. Finally, the Solo-Step harness is a method of rehabilitation that encourages independence and confidence among patients.
The technology of the future is just as important for the success of nursing homes. As nursing homes see an influx of people in the coming years, technology must be developed to keep pace with higher elderly populations. Technology such as Lifesprk: Electronic Life Record, is aimed at analyzing medical profiles for each patient and creating predictive models. These models also take into account social and economic factors to comprise a full picture of the individual’s lifestyle. This device along with others are also directly attempting to lower costs for nursing homes and patients. With an increase in patient accessibility and treatment results paired with a decrease in cost, this offers a sustainable plan that can be implemented quickly yet efficiently across the country. As society continues to become more technology dependent, it only makes sense that elder care does as well.
The future of nursing home innovative plan to combine technology with care in nursing homes is the ideal solution to improving the quality of elderly care in a technology-dependent society.