What do self driving cars have to do with senior care? At first glance, not very much. They address two very different needs in our communities, and one of them is still in the developmental stages. Add onto that the fact that a lot of areas have banned self driving cars until the technology is better developed and safe, and you would probably guess that self driving cars will be kept out of the lives of most seniors.
And for the most part, you would be correct.
That doesn’t mean that there is no overlap, though. The technology that helps self driving cars to stay safe and where they are supposed to be actually has a lot of potential when it comes to senior safety. The guidance system behind self driving cars relies on lidar laser sensors, which are designed to pick up on objects and movement. Essentially, this is how a self driving car can see. IBM, the tech company behind these sensors, and Cera Care, a British start up that focuses on senior health, are teaming up to see if this technology can do anything to help elderly individuals stay in their homes for longer periods of time safely and without any sort of invasion of privacy.
Rather than installing these sensors in an automobile, these sensors would observe a home. They have the ability to recognize faces, detect patterns of movement, and create a virtual map of an area. If something is out of the ordinary, the sensors have the ability to detect it early, and send out an alert to the appropriate authorities. There are still many kinks that need to be corrected before this technology can become widespread, but it is a big step forward in the battle to keep the elderly as independent as possible in a safe way.
One of the hardest things about senior care for an elderly individual is the loss of freedom and independence that comes along with it. In most cases, seniors have lived independently for decades. Suddenly relying on someone else to help get through the day is a big change, and it is not always a welcome one. One of the things that we do here at Paradise In-Home Care, and one of the things that IBM is currently working on, is helping to maintain the independence of seniors for as long as possible. Sometimes, only a small change is needed to accomplish this, such as having a person in the house that can keep an eye on things, or the installation of sensors that are designed to keep seniors safe. These are two different tools that are designed to accomplish the same thing.
The more choices that you have available to you when it comes to solving your family’s care needs, the better. If you have any questions about how to bridge the gap between where your family is and where they should be, we’re here to help. Give us a call and schedule a free consultation to get started. We might not have all the answers, but we can help you find them.