For many seniors, in-house sensors and motion detectors provide a valuable health-related safety net. With a slew of new technological innovations, seniors can feel as if they are being cared for while living independently.
A wireless system called eNeighbor registers any sort of abnormal behavior and will relay a call to a central monitoring system if it believes that your health and well-being are in danger. A recent New York Times article tells the story of 78-year-old Bertha Branch, who was under the watch of eNeighbor.
A wireless sensor under Ms. Branch's bed detected that she had gotten up. Motion detectors in her bedroom and bathroom registered that she had not left the area in her usual pattern and relayed that information to a central monitoring system, prompting a call to her telephone to ask if she was all right. When she did not answer, that incited more calls -- to a neighbor, to the building manager, and finally to 911, which dispatched firefighters to break through her door. She had been on the floor less than an hour when they arrived.
eNeighbor also monitors pill compliance, as well as blood pressure, weight, glucose and oxygen levels. In Branch's case, eNeighbor cost $100.00 a month because it is set up through her health care provider; indeed a good deal for virtual 24-hours, 7-days a week care. Without the sensors, as Ms. Branch explains, "I would probably be dead."
It should be noted though that in-house sensors and monitors should not take the place of proper face-to-face appointments with doctors. While these sort of health-related gadgets never fail to impress, there is no substitute for the traditional doctor-patient relationship.
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[The New York Times]