University installs detectors to help monitor seniors

If having your home fitted with motion sensors and detectors would be the best way to identify health problems as early as possible, would you have them installed?

As reported in The Oregonian newspaper, researchers from the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) have introduced a system of detectors in the seniors’ homes to identify the residents’ daily movements, and identify whether there are any changes in schedules and activities.

But the seniors and detectors are not meant to intrude on a senior’s privacy; rather, they are meant to provide accurate information to doctors and other health professionals, who can then follow up with the seniors and identify any problems that may have caused slowdowns or changes in schedules.

Off-site, a team of volunteers keep an eye on the detectors and log the necessary information.

“I've got an interest in older people and how they're taken care of,” Trudy Rice, a 71 year-old retired nurse who volunteers in the lab with her husband Harvey, told the newspaper. “That's a good study to be involved with.”

With substantial potential for assisting seniors, the OHSU research could one day be offered to seniors in Oregon assisted living communities in addition to those living at home.