Aging Well With Smart Technology
As baby-boomers age, the need for long-term nursing care services increases. In the future, there will simply not be enough long-term care facilities to accommodate all of these patients. In addition, many people prefer to grow old at home, a concept known as aging-in-place. Smart home technology facilities aging-in-place by assisting patients with emergency assistance, fall prevention/detection, reminder systems, medication administration and assistance for those with hearing, visual or cognitive impairments. Benefits include making aging-in-place a reality, continuous monitoring, and improved psychosocial effects. Concerns of this technology include cost, availability of technology, retrofitting complications, and potential inappropriate use of the technology. Overall, the concept of smart homes is gaining in popularity and will expand the role of the nurse in the future. It is important for all nurses to understand how their practices will be transformed as smart homes become a reality for the aging population.