Hong Kong ranks number one in the world for average life expectancy at just under 85 years old. Though this is undoubtedly something to be proud of, it does pose challenges as to how to care for the increasing number of elderly persons. Of course, there are care homes but the number of places is limited which is why much of the government’s focus is to create more community-based care. This type of care allows elderly people to stay with their family as long as possible as opposed to a care home. Not only is this approach favoured by most elderly people, it is also cheaper and reduces the burden on care homes. But keeping our elderly safe in whatever environment they are in, whether it is with their family or in a care home, is of paramount importance.
Thankfully, innovations in elderly monitoring systems, such as bed exit alarms, fall detection alarms and anti-wandering solutions, are boosting safety in both community-based care and care homes, while robotics, VR and smart devices are being utilized for the general wellbeing of our elderly.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how these advances in technology are transforming elderly care in Hong Kong to ensure sustainable and effective care in the midst of rising life expectancy.
Many elderly people struggle getting up from bed and this coupled with darkness creates a potentially dangerous situation. A wireless bed exit system uses radar to detect movement and sounds an alert when the person being monitored leaves his or her bed. This allows caregivers to respond immediately to prevent falls or wandering.
Falls present one of the greatest risks to the elderly given the more frail state of their bodies. As with a bed exit alarm, a fall detection alarm also uses radar technology to help with fall risk management. It ensures that if a monitored person falls, caregivers are alerted and can assist promptly.
Anti-wandering solutions monitor exits and alerts caregivers if an elderly person leaves a designated area unattended. The technology can either be in the form of a wearable tracking bracelet or, as Guardforce Hong Kong has developed, a facial recognition system combined with CCTV. By using a facial recognition solution, there is no need to wear and maintain cumbersome bracelets and is overall a more cost-effective system. And unlike bracelets, a facial recognition-based anti-wandering solution can also be used to track staff attendance and collect other data for assessment and report generation.
See the Guardforce anti-wandering solution in action here:
Robotics and VR are now being employed to enhance and maintain the wellbeing of the elderly. Interactive robots can help reduce loneliness and isolation by stimulating conversation, while VR experiences can encourage elderly persons to perform some light exercises – especially useful for those with muscular degeneration, neurological diseases and those undergoing physical therapy following a stroke, brain or spinal cord injury.
Wearable smart technology is becoming more popular and these devices are also being used to improve the health and wellness of the elderly. Smart watches have been developed to provide connected care for the elderly through cloud-based platforms. They can detect falls, track vital signs and physical activity, monitor sleep quality and give medication reminders.
With the ageing population, the need for reliable and innovative elderly care solutions is ever growing and Guardforce Hong Kong is taking a leading role in ensuring our elderly stay safe and well. To learn more about Guardforce’s advanced yet cost-effective elderly monitoring systems, visit here.