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Senior Citizen's Guide to Philadelphia

“Aging In Place”… A Solution for Safe,
At-Home, Independent Living

It’s not the aging…it’s the independence.

We plan, perhaps incessantly, for our financial independence.  But when it comes to planning for our functional independence, we often yield our rights to self-determination—and with it, the likelihood for being institutionalized in a nursing home becomes greater.  That’s because our ability to perform essential tasks, commonly known as the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), becomes limited due to a cumulative reduction and/or loss of motion.

The key to functional independence—that is, to be as healthy as possible and in one’s homefor as long as possible—is to continue a lifestyle of perpetual motion.  (Remember Isaac Newton’s first law of thermodynamics: “an object in motion stays in motion and an object at rest stays at rest”?)

While “aging in place,” is the answer to the wishes of most seniors, their ability to safely motion in place” may pose concerns, especially for those who are deemed to be “at-risk” due to cognitive and/or physical impairments.

Fortunately, a network that affords safety-conscious, in-home health-based services to this demographic already exists.  Through a combination of innovative technology and specialized care management, seniors who would typically be relocated to a skilled nursing facility can now safely enjoy life in their own homes, whether alone or with family. 

Here’s how…
Through a healthcare provider, including PACE (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly) for Medicare/Medicaid-eligible seniors, non-invasive sensor monitoring is installed within the participant’s home.  The active monitoring generates an alert to a centralized help desk whenever there is a deviation from an established behavior—such as whenever a normal routine does not occur within a scheduled interval. 
Clearly, monitoring alleviates concerns over situations such as falling or night-wandering and it takes the total responsibility away from the family member/caregiver, who may have previously called 911 for non-life threatening issues (the intervention of 911 and its subsequent follow through may accelerate the prevailing winds toward long-term institutional care). 

But that’s only part of the solution. Through regular vitals-monitoring, health statistics are recorded and archived such that a participant’s historical record of key indicators is established.  When assessed, this fundamental data offers a predictive means for prognostic care, prompting the escalation/coordination of as-needed services, often before episodic events occur

There are also a significant number of seniors who live alone in the community (both urban and rural) and rely solely on the assessment by, and connection with, occasional personal care or social work visits.  It is often the case that an adverse event or change in routine occurs in between these visits and it is not promptly identified, potentially resulting in hospitalization and exacerbating the need for nursing home placement. 

The bottom line…
The combination of non-invasive, low-cost monitoring with a predictive means for prognostic care and a pro-active (vs. reactive) preventive, early intervention care model has been proven to delay and, in many cases, eliminate the immediate and/or eventual need for long term, direct medical facility-based service delivery.

What this means to health providers…
Meaningful cost containment through a lower-touch, technology-integrated care model vs. the current trend of service elimination and/or staff reduction in order to offset the spiraling costs of providing needed services to an ever-growing aging population.

What this means to seniors, their families and their caregivers…
A measurable and meaningful quality of life enhancement, along with the honoring of a senior’s wish to remain in his/her home for as long and healthy as possible!

Learn more…
Visit Courtland Healthcare Technologies (HT) at CourtlandHT.com or call 215-951-4300.

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