In the ever-evolving landscape of technology (I remember when personal computers made their debut and now, I have a phone the looks like a star track communicator), caregivers are finding new and innovative ways to enhance the quality of care they provide. As we step into 2024, a wave of groundbreaking technologies is transforming the caregiving industry, making it more efficient, accessible, and compassionate.
Let’s explore some of the exciting tech ideas that caregivers can embrace to redefine their roles and improve the overall caregiving experience and useful links on each topic.
- Telehealth and Virtual Care: The rise of telehealth was accelerated with COVID. In 2024, caregivers can leverage telehealth by using remote monitoring, virtual consultations, and real-time health assessments. This tech helps bring care to the home and improves a personal quality of care by providing timely interventions.
AARP – Using telehealth to improve home-based care for older adults and family caregivers – This PDF white paper outlines the critical issues involved in supporting caregivers of older adults in telemedicine implementation.
- Wearable Tech: Watches that can track vital signs, detect falls, and monitor medication adherence have become pretty common. Fitbit and Apple Watch are some of those available. They can be a lifesaver for families who are taking care of someone who wanders.
SafeWise has a great list compared wearable technology.
- Smart Home Automation: Smart home technology is increasingly being integrated into newer homes and can be used to create safer and more comfortable environments. Automated lighting, thermostats, and security systems can be controlled by cell phones. I use my own cameras to monitor my home and family and I know of several families who use them to monitor the care provided by caregiving staff.
ForbesHealth has a great blog on home automation improvements.
- AI-Powered Assistance: Artificial intelligence is playing a crucial role in revolutionizing caregiving. It can analyze a ton of data, predict potential problems, and offer care recommendations. They can also offer companionship of a sort.
- Robotics: Robots for caregiving have come along way. They can be equipped with cameras and sensors to help with daily caregiving tasks. They can be big or small. The larger ones can help with transfers and in-bed care. The smaller ones can fetch stuff and provide companionship.
- Augmented Reality (AR) for Training: AR can be employed for training, allowing caregivers to simulate various caregiving scenarios in a virtual environment. This approach enhances practical skills and prepares caregivers for a wide range of caregiving roles.
Article from Wharton University of Pennsylvania on how health care professionals can use AR for training. This article will give you a sense of what AR can do for you as a caregiver.
- Emotional Well-being Apps: Caregivers often face stress and burnout. Emotional well-being apps and platforms equipped with mindfulness exercises and stress management tools and support can provide caregivers with the mental and emotional support needed to keep going.
University of California Weill institute for Neurosciences has a list of wellness and mental health apps.
The intersection of caregiving and technology in 2024 opens up a world of possibilities. By embracing cutting edge tech, caregivers can provide more efficient and compassionate care.