Oct 9th, 2013
Citizens of the 21st century United States have born witness to some of the most rapid technological advancements in history, especially in the medical field, many of which have helped Americans live longer, healthier lives.
Improvements and Innovations
Researchers and inventors all over the country are doing their best to tap into the senior care market, which is growing at an astronomical rate, thanks in large part to the aging and retirement of Baby Boomers. Some of these technologies provide indispensable help to those who are receiving long term care.
Studies and tests for various conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia have helped increase the chances that we will live longer than generations before us. Other new technologies like robots and interactive devices put power in the hands of seniors who might otherwise be helpless without a caregiver.
Japan, who is also experiencing a huge surge in the number of elderly across the nation, has resorted to robots for nursing homes. Because so many nursing homes are understaffed, these robots present an opportunity to solve that dilemma and provide care to more citizens whose names are currently on the waiting list for facility care. The United States may do well to follow suit, in light of the fact that more than $450 billion in unpaid care is provided every year across the nation.
A wireless fall detection system is yet another innovation scientists presented to the senior care market at a recent tech convention in London. The system works via wall sensors that detect motion and are able to recognize whether or not someone has fallen down. It does not require the individual to wear any sort of device, which is why this system stands out among the rest and has the potential to gain so much popularity among seniors who either dislike wearing arm bands or forget to put them on all the time.
All the new progress in technology has brought along a lot of good, but it also means we must plan for those extra years we will be alive. Ironically, as technological progress augments our life expectancies, it also increases the chance that we need long term care.
Technology and Long Term Care
The longer you live, the greater the chance is that you will become frail and need some sort of care, whether it is due to a bad fall, dementia, or another medical problem. Once Americans reach the age of 65, the chance they will need care jumps from 50% to 70%. Planning for this kind of situation will help you substantially when retirement rolls around and you are on a fixed income.
Long term care is extremely costly, and most people just aren't prepared to pay when the medical bills come. Long term care insurance provides people with help covering their costs and some policies even offer home modifications. This benefit allows patients receiving in-home care to install technological updates in their house that enhance the safety and quality of care, such as wheelchair lifts and emergency response systems.
The exciting breakthroughs in technology give us the opportunity to live a longer life than earlier generations, and it is up to us to adequately plan for that part of our life, whether we want to think about it or not. Find out more about the cost of care or read more about technology in long term care.