Onkol’s Home Health Monitor has been in the works for a little over a year and a half. It’s the first debut occurred at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, and the company continues to make improvements in the technology used to create one of the first hubs to help monitor seniors who desire to age in place – remaining in their own homes where they can be comfortable and independent.
Taking Advantage of the Internet
All too often, we think of the Internet as something that the younger generations use, when in fact, it has many advantages for our elderly population. Onkol plans to use that technology to monitor a variety of different aspects of a senior’s life.
Imagine being able to know things like:
- Blood pressure
- Glucose levels
- Oxygen levels
- Emergency conditions including the presence of smoke or carbon monoxide
- The location of a loved one
These are just a few of the goals for the Home Health Monitor, which is in production right now. Onkol has a lot of work to do since there are numerous companies and organizations to work issues out with, but the preliminary work has begun.
The Need for Monitors
According to the Administration on Aging, more than 5 million people over the age of 65 have some form of dementia. This does not mean that every person needs around-the-clock care, however; many elderly people are perfectly fine in their own homes, but they need the help of the community to stay safe. This is where a hub, such as Onkol is creating, comes into play. This monitor is meant to help family members keep track of elderly loved ones while letting them age in place.
The most common behavior that requires a monitor on the location of a loved one is dementia-related exit-seeking. This aimless wandering can lead to serious disasters. Elderly people who wander often have to vacate their homes and enter institutions unwillingly or at the very least, have a caregiver live with them 24 hours a day. Sometimes, however, the wandering has a purpose. That purpose could be to socialize with others or to solve a problem, such as hunger or thirst. If the reasons are addressed, the wandering may cease. Yet regardless of the reason for wandering, loved ones need to know the whereabouts of their elderly relatives.
Staying on Top of the Elderly One’s Health
It can get downright exhausting to constantly ask a loved one if he or she has monitored respiratory distress, diabetes, heart rate, or high blood pressure. Constantly worrying and wondering if an elderly loved one is safe can be debilitating for everyone involved.
Among the issues that elderly people have, high blood pressure is an ongoing concern. According to the Harvard Medical School, blood pressure changes hundreds of times per day. Every time your elderly loved one does something else – such as moving from the chair to the bed, walking from one room to the other, and even eating, their blood pressure changes. This means that the blood pressure reading is taken at the last doctor’s visit might or might not be accurate. With consistent monitoring of an elderly person’s blood pressure, caregiver family members can get an accurate idea of his or her risk for heart disease and get appropriate help.
The same is true for pulmonary oxide monitoring and glucose levels – the more informed family members are, the safer a loved one is at home, aging in place.
Prevention Rather than Emergency
The overall goal of Onkol’s Home Health Monitor is to prevent issues from occurring rather than responding to emergencies that already have occurred, as is the case with most alarms available on the market today. Imagine being able to prevent rather than having to react; this could potentially save lives and definitely help to increase the number of elderly people who are able to age in place, a common goal for many people.
If a loved one wants to age in place, consider looking into monitors that will help caregiving family members know what is going on at any given moment. The monitors not only help loved ones age in place, but they also help family members be at peace with the decision to do so. Oftentimes, when elderly people want to stay at home, it is more stressful on the relatives than on anyone else, because schedules have to be made and care has to be determined in order to ensure the loved one’s safety. If family members are tired of losing sleep and feeling anxious every time they are away from an elderly loved one, monitoring could keep loving caregivers in the loop so that they can rest assured that they know the state of well-being their elderly loved one is in.
To Learn More about Onkol’s Home Health Monitor Visit them online at http://www.onkol.net/1414
Harvard Medical School. (September 2008; Updated January 2012). Checking Blood Pressure: Do try This at Home. The Harvard Health Blog. Harvard Heart Letter. Available athttp://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/checking-blood-pressure-at-home33. Accessed on June 26. 2016.
Thomas, Arthur. (May 30, 2016). Production Underway for Onkol’s Home Health Monitor. BizTimes, Milwaukee Business News. Available athttps://www.biztimes.com/2016/05/30/production-underway-for-onkols-home-health-monitor/22. Accessed on June 26, 2016.
Tilly, Jane. (May 2015). Responding to the Wandering and Exit-Seeking Behaviors of People with Dementia. Office of Supportive and Caregiver Services. Administration on Aging. Administration for Community Living. Available athttp://www.aoa.acl.gov/AoA_Programs/HPW/Alz_Grants/docs/BH-Brief-WanderingExit-Seeking.pdf44. Accessed on June 26, 2016.
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