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Helping Older Adults Stay Independent in Their Homes Longer

February 27, 2018

LearningLab.jpegWith Americans living a longer and more robust lifestyle, staying independent as they age is important to them. While most older adults say they plan to live in their homes for the rest of their lives, they have concerns about falls, medication management, social isolation and memory challenges. There have been many new home health and safety technologies developed to meet these mentioned concerns and help aging individuals maintain their independence. However, for many older adults these new technologies can be hard to grasp and they may not understand how beneficial they can be.

Understanding the challenges our aging loved ones are facing, Augustana Care created the Learning Lab for Eldercare Technologies to help these individuals stay in their homes as they grow older and ensuring the caregivers feel more at ease as well. The Learning Lab’s welcome environment includes classrooms and a home demonstration area where visitors can experience a wide variety of safety technologies in a real-life setting. User-friendly educational materials and 1:1 coaching ratio help increase ease and understanding with useful tools.

VideoDoorBellImage.pngWith a mission to connect older Minnesotans and their caregivers with home health and safety technologies to help them live independently within their chosen community, the Learning Lab is right on track. Learning Lab for Eldercare Technologies’ relaxed learning environment includes a home demonstration area where visitors can experience these devices and technologies in a hands-on setting. Expert staff are available to teach participants how to use these tools as well as provide educational materials. Examples of hardware and software tools demonstrated in the Lab include:

• Video doorbells, security cameras, and motion sensors that can monitor a home setting from a remote location
• Safety shut-off systems for stoves
• Heart and sleep apnea monitors
• Medication reminder and dispenser
• Smart home technologies to manage lights, thermostats, security and more powered by voice commands

“Having this exciting space allows us to work with people toward solutions that help them live on their own in the community. Technology needs to work for the users,” says Learning Lab Coordinator Kate Ingalls-Maloney.

Augustana Care offers a variety of housing and services options within the communities we serve. Knowing that older individuals prefer to age in place as long as possible, Augustana Care and the Learning Lab for Eldercare Technologies provide training and support to older adults and care partners so they can continue living at home. By the year 2020, the number of people who may need care will reach approximately 117 million, while it’s estimated there will be only 45 million people who can provide care. Also, while seventy-one percent of care partners are interested in technology, only seven percent currently use it for providing care.

By working together Augustana Care and the Learning Lab for Eldercare Technologies are able to reduce anxiety toward using something unfamiliar as well as break down barriers to acquiring technology and provide training and support they need to feel comfortable using new devices and systems to help our aging loved ones stay independent in their homes longer. To learn more about the Learning Lab for Eldercare Technologies and the services offered, visit their website.

Augustana Care is a non-profit organization that provides senior housing, health care and community-based services to older generations and others in need. In doing this we are helping residents live the lives that most inspire them, when and where they need care. Augustana Care offers a variety of services to help meet the changing needs of those we serve, care community options to help residents live their life to its fullest, and increasing the ability to live independently through day services and home modifications including assisting with current technologies. To learn how Augustana Care can help you and your aging loved one, contact us today.