Smart apartments improve the well-being and independence of seniors



A recent study conducted by the National Institutes of Health confirms that the level of independence of the elderly has a positive impact on physical and mental health. A smart living environment that facilitates independent living helps the physical, cognitive and psychological activities of older adults.

These smart assistive technologies are not new, but the way they are combined to provide well-being care for the elderly is new. “Technology is constantly evolving and we are exploring new ways to use devices that enhance the experience of our residents,” says Diane Umayam, director of health services at Leisure Care, who manages Residence for seniors in Murano in Seattle.

Technology supports personalized care

All nursing staff at Murano Senior Living currently use an iPad loaded with Eldermark, a comprehensive program used for everything from assessment and communication to care plans. All plans are tailored to the needs of the resident. Caregivers use the software to track patient requests and changes in their condition in real time, allowing RNs to respond quickly to changes.

“The goal is to use technology to support personalized care, not to replace it,” Umayam explains. Before even moving in, new residents meet with the director of health and wellness to discuss their needs and preferences for everything from exercise and nutrition to the little details of daily living. like when they like to shower and eat their meals. The Eldermark program is time-based, so whether the resident would like a caregiver to help him prepare breakfast at 8 a.m. or just be on call to feel safer during their evening bath at 7 am, the caregiver has this information on his iPad. and knows their responsibility and can adapt quickly to changing needs or preferences of residents.

What does a smart apartment look like

Murano Senior Living and other establishments are exploring technology to provide safe, healthy and engaged living experiences. The technology would offer well-being and safety monitoring without the use of wearable devices. The wellness activity can be tracked for residents to work towards their wellness goals. Updates vital to the peace of mind of families are provided with the use of this technology while protecting the privacy of individuals.

“We want to monitor daily habits and identify possible changes in conditions early on, while respecting privacy settings,” Umayam explains. Cameras and recording devices will not be used in Murano, although they are in place in some assisted living facilities to monitor patients who need high-level care.

Smart sensors are energy efficient and can be placed anywhere in your home. These tiny devices run in the background, discreetly monitoring movement and other activities. Plus, sensors can make your home respond to you. For example, motion detectors activate lights when you enter a room, eliminating the need to search for switches and reducing the risk of tripping over something in the dark. Automated sensors can lock the doors and lower the thermostat when you go to bed. A medicine cabinet can be fitted with a touch sensor that allows a caregiver to know when and how often they have been consulted.

“Everything we do has the independence of the resident in mind,” says Umayam. “We are looking at how technology can improve physical and psychosocial needs. Allowing residents to worry less about their well-being and their daily safety frees up more energy to continue to be active in the community.

Transitioning to a senior community may well improve your ability to stay active and healthy as you age. Learn more about active aging at located at 620 Terry Ave., Seattle.

4 smart technologies for seniors

Here are some smart home technologies that you can install in your home or a loved one’s home to facilitate safety, well-being, and convenience:

  • The Walabot house: Designed to be placed on a bathroom wall and constantly scans for movement. If it detects a fall, it immediately calls a contact you have on file.
  • The Abode door sensor: Alerts to trusted caregiver when a door is opened.
  • June: This combo toaster, convection oven, air fryer and slow cooker has a built-in camera, so you can check your food from another room. It sends an alert to your phone when your food is almost ready.
  • MedMinder: A seven-day digital pill organizer that is locked until it’s time to take medication.


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