promoting the health and well-being of the elderly

An article by Laura Camps, Head of Integration Grupo Colosseum

Technology is currently one more element of our day to day. The last few years have been characterized by a significant increase in the development of technological projects that have affected different areas of life, such as industrial, commercial and social, among many others.

In this context, a fundamental objective that has been raised with technological development is that it reaches all sectors of the population. For this reason, numerous projects are being developed by various organizations and private companies to bring technology to all older people, emphasizing those that directly influence your well-being and health.

New technologies help to promote and prevent the physical and mental health of the elderly

The main objectives of this type of technology are:

  • Promote active aging
  • Promote autonomy
  • Promote integration in the social environment
  • Provide better and faster care for the elderly.

In short, it is about using new technologies to make a good promotion and prevention of physical and mental health of the elderly.

New technologies favor an increase in the quality of life, offering a wide range of tools to promote physical and mental health. Therefore, it is our duty to move towards the future integrating new technologies in our life and in those sectors that can take advantage of the benefits they bring us, such as social health sector and residences for the elderly. In this sense, we can highlight the following types of technologies:

  1. Independent Living Assist Technology:

In this section we find services such as telecare, which allows the person to have a tool with various services: from direct care in the event of a clinical incident to having a guide in case of disorientation outside the home. All this just by pressing a button that can be placed in the form of a pendant, bracelet or even through a mobile phone device. In short, it allows older people can live with more autonomy both at home and in residences.

On the other hand, it is worth highlighting the development of the home automation, whose objective is the application of automation technology to home control. It allows to improve the quality of life, increasing safety, convenience and comfort, both in homes and in health centers. Here we also include a wide range of sensors and devices that support the basic activities of daily life and that help the environmental control and incident detection like falls and fires, among others.

Nor should we forget something that has been very present in our lives this last year: the telemedicine, every day is more widespread among our population. A service that in social health centers allows us to have 24-hour medical attention, as is the case in our centers throughout Spain with the service “Call Center”. In this way, any type of incident has an immediate medical response and allows us to carry out the necessary actions more quickly.

Includes all those systems used to improve functional abilities and that they contemplate covering needs both in the area cognitive (language disorder, dementias, etc.), such as functional (limitation of mobility, sensory deficits, etc.).

An example of assistive technology is the NeuronUp program, a support program for cognitive stimulation and neurorehabilitation therapies. NeuronUp favors the maintenance of basic cognitive functions, as well as those more complex, and allows training activities of daily life, critical for maintaining the autonomy of the elderly. In the Colisée residences, NeuronUp is employed by the figure of the psychologist to carry out therapeutic interventions.

With regard to residential and social health centers, the implementation of new technologies has significantly increased the quality of care, with new additions such as motion or pressure sensors that warn of falls or unwanted movements, or that allow you to request professional assistance immediately. Some examples are sensor mats, wandering control, open door detectors, resident-nurse warning system, among others.

We also find other systems that help us favor the promotion and prevention of health, such as hip fracture prevention systems and activity wristbands, which can alert you to an alteration in vital signs.

  • Technologies to facilitate communication:

Here we contemplate all those devices that facilitate communication with the environment and with other people without having to make any kind of movement: mobile phones, tables, computer programs that allow videoconferencing, and a myriad of applications. During this last year, these devices have been of great importance during confinement, since they have allowed residences for the elderly maintain the bond between residents and their loved ones. In this way, these technologies have had a notable positive impact on the mental health of the elderly who reside in residential and social health centers, allowing social interaction.

In turn, this technology has allowed us to only communicate with other people regardless of distance, but it has allowed us to perform a large number of activities in those moments where it was not possible to access the centers. An example of these activities are those carried out in the Colisée centers as a singing group “Choir”, concerts, activities, live music therapy workshop, etc.

About the author

Laura Camps is Head of Integration at Grupo Colisée. She has 15 years of experience in the nursing home sector, performing functions in nursing, health area coordination and center management. She is a registered nurse and has a specialization in Management of Social and Health Centers and a master’s degree in School Nursing.

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