Implement new technologies now for today’s seniors but also prepare a plan for future assistive smart device solutions for a more tech-savvy cohort in five years’ time, an aged care IT conference has heard this week.

Feros Care LifeLink operations manager Anthony Bacon told aged care professionals about solutions they could implement today and the near future at the Driving Performance in Aged Care IT conference in Sydney on Wednesday.

LifeLink is the aged care provider’s technology arm and responsible for selecting and testing the assistive technology used by its aged care clients.

Based on surveys with Feros Care’s aged care clients and national averages, Mr Bacon said only 4 per cent of Feros Care’s clients over the age of 75 own a smart phone.

However, uptake among younger seniors is much higher at 49 per cent for clients over 70 years of age and 59 per cent of those aged over the age of 65, he said.

A key technology strategy that Feros Care employs is to provide aged care clients with a single point of contact for information and support, Mr Bacon said.

“It’s about giving our clients the option to be able to find all the information we’ve got to support them, and we call our version a single pane of glass,” Mr Bacon told the audience.

Mr Bacon suggested aged care providers evolve their assistive technology with simple Internet of Things services including Google Home, Samsung Smart Home and Apple HomePod.

These devices are among the latest home assistant systems allowing user interaction through voice commands or smart phones to control functions in the house such as kitchen appliances, lights and TVs.

LifeLink works with developers to create new assistive technologies based on staff and client experiences at the Feros Care Experience Centre on the Gold Coast, its innovation hub that launched in January 2017.

“We need to be broad, we need to be open to change and we need to be accepting of the things that are going to go in and out of fashion very quickly,” Mr Bacon said.

“It’s about giving our clients the options to suit them at the time.”

Latest assistive technology

Mr Bacon highlighted assistive technology available now and coming soon, such as wearable devices that allow seniors to maintain freedom and independence, while offering the support they need.

Among those was the Samsung’s Jupl smartwatch, which is fitted with medication reminders, home sensor-based activity tracking and a personal emergency response system.

LUMO Lift is a lightweight posture coach that LifeLink has repurposed to help prevent falls.

For integrated service management, Mr Bacon said the tablet-based Breezie allowed providers to deliver care and services through a personalised platform that fit the organisation’s strategies and goals and remotely monitor clients.

Mr Bacon also outlined clinical solutions the provider is looking to implement in the future including beds sensors that can monitor sleeping patterns and movement, such as the number of coughs and amount of times aged care residents go to the bathroom at night.

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  1. Nice report.

    Assistive technology is a platform waiting to achieve. There is always a sluggish response to new technologies such as MimoCare and others. Sluggish in the sense that the normal works so why make waves by changing it. “What we have today will do for tomorrow”

    Adoption of new technology is sometimes perceived as a disturbing influence and the first to go for it is going to be a pioneer. Therefore the new ideas must be solid and technically sound.

    As a pioneering technology provider we are already promoting the integration of Amazon Alexa as a soft contact between resident carers and family.

    Not in the sense of the Smart Home option “turn on the blue lights in the garage” but where Alexa can be informed by MimoCare that a fall has taken place.

    Alexa will converse with resident calling out to see if help is needed. If reply is “Help” or nothing at all, Alexa calls nurse straight away.
    if “OK” then Alexa can relax back on watch

    Other routines exist for detected Cooker left on, Fridge open. door open etc

    That is good flexible creative assistive technology. The keywords here are are “flexible and creative”

    John Williams

  2. I agree with the general thrust of this piece, but am disconcerted that only 4% i my age group (75+) have smart phones. ALL my acquaintences of a similar age have them…and more. It would be interesting to hear how many in my 75+ age group have the following (Im just looking around y study for this subset)

    1. A decent computer
    2. an NAS (network storage device)
    3. a Zigbee 2 device (monitoring smart meters for example)
    4. at least one security camera or doorbell that can be monitored and responded to over the web form anywhere
    5. A smart watch monitoring heart rate etc

    I hope someone (or some people) can provide this data…and post it here

    No wonder I cant find potential age care homes that I might soon need that have decent (>25mb sec) internet..[I use 100mb.sec at present for my smart TV compters etc etc etc)

    However at the same time a large fraction of my contemporaries take one (or many) looks at aged care homes and determine that NOTHING will make them go in there…not only for all the usual reasons but the stoneage technonloagy access and use is just another negative factor

  3. Technology is growing rapidly and randomly on the regular basis. so, if you aren’t able to connect with the latest technology, you will start lagging. So I advise you to check out and get the latest technologies and adopt those to get the better productivity.

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