LifeWise Renovations

Just ran across this great blog recommendation on GrandCare that we thought we would share.

Two Technologies For Aging In Place

By Katy Dodd

See the whole post by LifeWise Renovations

A team of my constituents and I were recently asked to look at the emerging technologies in aging in place and assess their feasibility for long-term use in the home.  There were two technologies that caught our eye: GrandCare Systems and the Care-O-Bot.

GrandCare Systems is a company based out of Wisconsin that has integrated all the different telehealth technologies into one system. The system connects to any internet connection and communicates with “wireless” sensors throughout the residence. Caregivers can log into the GrandCare website to send communications to a loved one, view activity and tele-wellness sensor information (blood pressure, heart, weight) and customize the automatic caregiver alerts. You can also use GrandCare for socialization, entertainment and communication purposes. Family can send pictures, emails, calendar appointments, voice messages, family videos and more right to the GrandCare System.  You can also play brain bender games, watch the news, listen to the weather, etc. See video.

As with most things, this technology is not for everyone. It does come with a higher price tag than most other systems on the market.  GrandCare does, however, come with more options than any other we have come across thus far.  It is also user friendly and does not require computer experience to operate.

The other technology that caught our eye is the Care-O-Bot.  I think it will be a few more years before we see service robots in the home, but they do offer a solution to the growing problem of not having enough workers to meet the need as well helping to alleviate some of the many issues faced by long term caregivers. The Care-O-Bot can help with dish washing, the lifting of objects, walking, getting up from a chair or bed, the fetching of items, and other basic tasks. See video.  

In a perfect world, I would like to see the two technologies come together and integrate themselves into one easy to use, affordable system (I will speak more on this later).  The reason I mention affordable is because both are relatively high priced. The likelihood that people will be able to afford these luxuries outright is relatively slim.  My suggestion would be to set up a leasing office where customers could apply a monthly payment (similar to a car leasing structure).  If you ask me, this beats paying the monthly cost of assisted living.  People go from owning a home outright to essentially having a mortgage again. This would be much less than a mortgage payment and would allow for one to maintain their independence longer.  It will be interesting to see how this market changes and grows over time, given it is still in its infancy.