Tag Archive for: Elderly

elderly care monitoring system

GrandCare benefits all areas of elderly care

Caring for a loved one who is facing end of life is a difficult situation for all parties involved. Time or geographic constraints can sometimes prevent family members from being physically present, but modern technology is changing the way the nation looks at quality health care.

Knute Nelson, a nonprofit, Christian-based organization that specializes in senior care, has teamed up with local telecommunications providers such as Gardonville Cooperative Telephone Association (Brandon, Minn.) to offer an in-home technology solution that connects seniors and Hospice patients with their loved ones, caregivers and medical team.

Through the use of the GrandCare System, a simple touch platform enables in-home residents to view pictures, receive incoming messages, watch videos, listen to music and video chat with family. The system uses a variety of wireless activity and telehealth devices that also can alert designated caregivers by phone, email or text message if anything seems amiss.

Daphne Karpan, Knute Nelson palliative care manager, said the system has been particularly helpful and beneficial to the health-care organization’s Hospice clients, who generally have a one- to nine-month life expectancy. Being able to connect them with their loved ones at such a critical time has been a rewarding experience for all parties involved, she said.

Testing Out Telehealth Services

The GrandCare System requires an Internet connection to work. Because most of the affected patients are not existing customers, Dave Wolf, chief executive officer/general manager of Gardonville Cooperative Telephone, said that his team makes it a top priority to install the low-cost broadband connection “without a bunch of red tape.”

Karpan noted that Knute Nelson is only able to offer this service through the support of a Blandin Foundation grant. The private foundation is the state’s largest rural-based, rural-focused foundation that seeks to strengthen communities in rural Minnesota.

Karpan said hospice nurses are able to work with clients to set up Skype sessions and to upload pictures for families to share. In addition, the device can be programmed to monitor vital signs and activity. There are also sensors to alert caregivers if someone falls or needs to take their medicine.

“We have been proactively redefining the health-care paradigm over the last decade and have found great value in how technology helps to enrich the lives of our patients. With GrandCare, patients are able to become more involved in their own health care, stay living in their homes, and be connected to families and friends in meaningful ways,” said Mark Anderson, president/chief executive officer of Knute Nelson. “Partners and leaders in the field such as Dave Wolf … understand the value in delivering this technology. Making it available to their customers helps to spur economic development and vitality in our region—and, most importantly, adds significant value in the lives of our patients.”

Doing the Right Thing

Reflecting on the decision to partner with Knute Nelson on this initiative, Wolf said it was an easy decision to make despite the fact that it’s not a revenue generator. “These people are facing end-of-life,” he said. “It would require a one- to three-year triple-play package in order to break even at best. Everyone—the patient and their family members— is grateful and becomes loyal to the co-op for providing this service.

“There are 100 economic reasons not to get involved … but we have the means and the network already in place,” he said, explaining that Gardonville Cooperative Telephone is promoting the service as a low-speed data package that runs on 1 Mbps and doesn’t require those in home care or Hospice to sign a contract.

“Not everything has to be a slam-dunk,” Wolf said. “In this case, loyalty is a measurable outcome.”


By Tennille Shields, NTCA Senior Writer/Editor

GrandCare featured in Kare 11 News: “New technology keeping aging relatives in their homes longer”

The GrandCare System was featured on Kare 11 News of Minneapolis/St. Paul Minnesota.

The news story featured the GrandCare user, Ed Thelen, and how he uses the system as a comprehensive solution for his various health conditions and social connectivity.

Written by: Renee Tessman

Full story and video found HERE

Kare 11 News Station

Ed Thelen, GrandCare User

COLD SPRING, Minn. – New technology is making it easier for the elderly to live independently. It’s called GrandCare. Not only does the program monitor health and medication, it also allows the elderly to stay in communication with caregivers and loved ones.In his apartment in Cold Spring, Ed Thelen now has this magic window to a healthier world. As he touched a picture of a camera on his GrandCare touch screen he said, “My favorite things is merely touching this little thing and having all these beautiful people available to me.”

He’s talking about being able to talk to his three kids and six grandkids through a simple touch screen version of Skype. He said it has been beneficial to his emotional health.

He said, “This system has kind of re-birthed me, so to speak.”

Thelen, who battles Parkinson’s, Diabetes and depression, now sees family who live a minimum of an hour away almost every day.

His grandson, John Volkers, said, “It means a lot to me because I barely get to see my grandpa a lot in real life.”

His family can also see if he’s taking care of himself.

His daughter, Kerry Volkers, said it’s, “Nice to be able to make sure that he’s OK. And since we don’t get to go see him as often, it feels like he’s part of our life on a daily basis.”

GrandCare helps families remotely monitor daily activities with sensors that send notifications when pills are taken or when a door is opened. Thelen said, “I can take my blood pressure and that automatically goes onto the system. I can take my glucose.”

Brain waves can be monitored for those who have seizures. Motion sensors can detect movement for those who may wander at night. All of it can be monitored remotely by all caregivers, including family and health care professionals.

Deborah Delaney is with Sarah Care, a local home health care service that helped Thelen get the GrandCare system.

Delaney said GrandCare truly relieves the stress on caregivers who want to keep their loved one in their own home. She said, “Many people are working all the time and have to run home how do I know that dad’s ok during the day now they can communicate all day long and it’s just a peace of mind for people.”

And Tom Ardolf of Cybermation which installs GrandCare technology said GrandCare costs much less than the alternative.

Ardolf said, “Literally the cost of this system, in general, is less than one month of an assisted care facility.”

With the help of an iPad camera, GrandCare also allows Thelen to watch his grandson play basketball live this past weekend.

Thelen said, “When he came by the bench where my daughter was sitting he looked in the camera and he says, ‘Hi grandpa!'”

Thelen said he has a bad short term memory, so the GrandCare reminders to take his meds and to eat healthy for his diabetes are invaluable. He believes he is not only healthier physically, but emotionally too.

Story from: kare11.com

Images from: kare11.com

Full article: HERE