Posts Tagged ‘FSU Claude Pepper Center’

Robots and More: Technology and the Future of Elder Care

June 5, 2013

By , Sarasota Herald-Tribune

If you are 55 years old, you could wake up 30 years from now to the warm, affectionate voice of your personal care robot, asking what you would like for breakfast and why you slept for only 5.8 hours last night instead of your usual 7.3.

After your mattress takes your morning temperature, pulse and blood pressure readings, you might want to reach for the tablet on your bedside table and tap the touchscreen to turn up your home’s heat by a few notches before you throw back the covers. The robot can fetch your slippers.

As you rise and walk into your day, floor sensors might trigger an infrared scan of your gait and balance, relaying the information to a nearby nursing center. If anything seems amiss, a car could be on its way to your home.

If not, your environment will continue to gather data for a morning summary sent — with your permission — to the smartphones of your sons or daughters, relaying what you had for your morning meal and whether you took all your medications.

Such barely visible technology, many aging specialists believe, is what will allow members of the baby boom generation to navigate old age independently in the privacy of their homes. This will be important, they say, in an era of stretched health care resources and at a time when more older Americans are single than ever before. (more…)

Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Finding Skilled Elder Home Care Workers Not Easy

May 30, 2013

Many families plunge into the mysterious universe of elder home care after a hospital stay — often an unexpected one.

Shortly before it’s time to go home, the patient or a relative typically receives a brochure for the hospital’s recommended home health agency, with a brief discussion of the limited rehabilitation services Medicare will cover.

But the family often does not realize that visiting nurses who replace catheters or therapists who monitor exercises are not much help when it comes to what recently hospitalized elders need most: assistance in bathing, dressing or just moving from bed to chair to bathroom.

And they don’t know that their search for these services could involve crippling costs, expose them to the potential for elder fraud, and immerse them in a fast-growing industry where many workers lack the training and skills needed for safe and reliable caregiving.

While most Americans — 89 percent in one survey — say they would prefer to age in place in their own homes, few understand the implications of opening those homes to strangers who can provide the help they need. And surveys show that very few Americans consider the price tag in advance. (more…)

Sarasota Herald Tribune: Nation at Crossroads in Home Care for Elders

May 28, 2013

By , Sarasota Herald Tribune

Chuck and Rosalie Schockweiler need no words as they execute a smoothly choreographed routine in their Englewood home.

He rinses her feeding tube and hands it to her; she shakes it dry and attaches it to a port on her abdomen as he dissolves three pills in water. Chuck fetches her liquid lunch as Rosalie places a plastic receptacle in an ingenious homemade stand that Chuck fashioned from PVC pipe and an old battery charger, weighted “with imported stones from the front yard.”

He pours in the solution, and as she feels it flow into her belly, she smiles — the same glorious, sunny smile he first noticed back when they worked at Venice Regional Medical Center. He chases the meds with a can of liquid nutrition Rosalie must have five times daily, filling the tube and responding to her prompt when it’s time for another pour.

Usually, as Rosalie finishes her meal, Chuck gets himself something to eat and they sit together at the dining table. Then they stand, every single time, for a long, satisfying hug.

It’s a process they repeat about every two and a half hours, with two more feeding sessions for medication alone.

Early in the day, it looks easy. But, Chuck admits, evenings are tougher because his energy flags. (more…)