Many of us enjoy time with extended family during the holidays. For those with elderly parents, saying goodbye is often the toughest part of the holidays. As their physical abilities diminish, it is hard to balance their safety with their desire for independent living. Worries about potential car accidents and harmful falls in the home can be a nagging concern.
A recent article from the Washington Post’s Innovations editor caught my eye. In it, Matt McFarland describes a new technology partnership that can help loved ones and caregivers keep an eye out from afar for signs of trouble. A leading health and safety products company, GreatCall, is partnering with a big-data analysis company, Automated Insights, to help analyze a senior’s movements and detect signs of trouble. They can provide loved ones with reports on micro decreases in movement patterns and on macro movements around town, something impossible just a few years ago.
Along the same lines, we’ll soon have carpets, which some call “magic carpets” that can predict imminent falls by monitoring walking patterns and sensing the minute changes that precede accidents.
At Burnett & Williams, we know that the increasing collection of personal data raises many privacy issues, but we also know how unintended accidents can change lives. We hope that innovations like these will extend the years of independent living for our seniors, with the ultimate goal of providing more freedom and safety for them, and more peace of mind for their loved ones.