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Essential Health Apps Every Senior Should Have

 

Smart Home Automation

Aging Digitally

 

Seniors have found that, with the right repertoire of apps, smartphones and tablets can promote major lifestyle improvements. Smartphone and tablet apps allow seniors to:

  • Keep their minds active and engaged
  • Stay connected with friends and family
  • Keep abreast of news and world events
  • Set reminders for physician appointments and to take medicines
  • Pay bills online
  • Research and receive pertinent medical information
  • Listen to their favorite music
  • Stay well read
  • Easily take and save notes
  • Be entertained

Here are some essential medical information apps every senior should have:

  1. Lumosity: Evidence shows that seniors who keep their minds challenged and their brains active mitigate their risk for Alzheimer’s disease and related forms of dementia. Health claims aside, many puzzle-lovers enjoy Lumosityjust for the fun it provides. Lumosity is an ideal app for seniors, is continuously being updated with new puzzles and brain games, and is a great addition to any senior’s cell phone or tablet.
  2. Medisafe: Despite their best efforts, even seniors without memory problems can have a hard time keeping track of their medicines or fully complying with a treatment plan. Medisafe is a robust tool that seeks to help older adults manage their medications, set reminders, and create status reports about how well they have stuck to their medication regimen. At the same time, Medisafe takes privacy extremely seriously, and you can be confident that your personal medical information is safe and secure.
  3. WebMD: No app can replace a physician, but for medical information in the digital age, there is no name as trusted as WebMD. You can ask the app questions, which it responds to with highly relevant articles written by physicians who are specialists in the topic in question. It allows you to browse high-quality articles, and even get updated information about how current weather conditions may impact your health (for example, through reports on air quality and pollen levels).
  4. My Recovery app, designed by a surgeon, would help patients prepare for their operation, to understand what to expect during and after their hospital stay, and to guide them through any necessary rehabilitative physiotherapy exercises individually tailored to their needs.
  5. Blood Pressure Companion: If you want to obtain more comprehensive blood pressure data on your iPhone, try Blood Pressure Companion. This app not only lets you measure your blood pressure and heart rate, but it will also send you a test reminder. Over time, collected data will help you look for patterns in your readings. If you add your weight in the app, you may even see your blood pressure drop as you lose pounds. This is an ideal app for recording information between doctor’s visits — feel free to share your data with your doctor at your next appointment.
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How Analyzing Daily Events can Help in Healthy Aging

Aging in place is a key, heartfelt aspiration for everyone; if you need to go to a nursing home or institutional facility, current costs are up to $90,000 a year per individual. Being able to understand how we can facilitate better aging, aging in place, is a really important goal.

ORCATECH has long been invested in facilitating “Aging in place,” or promoting technologies that allow elders to live independently for as long as possible. ORCATECH’s complete sensor platform is installed in the home of our research participants, allowing new technologies to be tested with great data resolution for target outcomes.

Preempting healh challenges not only saves us a lot of money but helps us lead to lead a more fuller and better quality of life.

New Heart Device Saves Lives

Following recent government approval of the device that reduces stroke risk by closing a small hole in the heart, a Scripps Health patient has become the first on the West Coast to be implanted with the gadget.

On Nov. 11, Scripps Clinic interventional cardiologist Matthew Price, M.D., placed the device, called an Amplatzer PFO Occluder, in a female patient during a 45-minute procedure in a laboratory in the Scripps Clinic on the campus of Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.

The implant involves a relatively low-risk, minimally invasive procedure, during which the patient is awake the entire time. Using local anesthesia, the interventional cardiologist threads the device through a catheter introduced through a needle hole in a vein in the leg and up to the heart.

Once the tip of the catheter is positioned in the hole, a pair of mesh and polyester fabric discs are unfolded and clasped together, closing the opening.

The procedure came just two weeks after the Food and Drug Administration cleared the device for use in the United States.

As many as 30 percent of Americans have a patent foramen ovale (PFO), a small connection in the heart muscle separating the right atrium from the left atrium that in most people spontaneously closes after birth. In almost all cases, the defect is not a problem and does not require treatment.

But it appears this hole may play a role in certain types of strokes that have no other identifiable cause, like high blood pressure, atrial fibrillation or atherosclerosis. In such strokes, called “cryptogenic,” the PFO might provide a path for a blood clot to pass through the heart and travel to the brain where it causes a stroke.

“Patients who experience a cryptogenic stroke tend to be younger than patients who suffer other types of strokes, and recurrent stroke is something we want to avoid at all costs,” Dr. Price said. “For cryptogenic stroke patients with a PFO, we can now offer the Amplatzer PFO Occluder implant as a treatment to greatly reduce the chances of a follow-on stroke.”

The Amplatzer PFO Occluder is currently the only device approved in the United States for PFO closure.

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Want your home to be Lighting Smart

Smart Home Automation

Smart lighting control is not a new thing. It’s been around since the dawn of home automation. It may be one of the oldest options, but it’s still one of the most important—and the one that may be the most difficult to live without.

1. Type of system. If you want a wired system, which is deemed the most robust and reliable, you’re going to have to get a pro. However, wireless systems are often easy to install (although pros do them, too) and are typically scalable.

2. Scene options. Probably one of the main reasons you want a lighting control system is for convenience. Make sure your system can deliver “scenes,” which can trigger several fixtures, dimming levels, and/or colors, all at the touch of a button.

3. Colors abound! Do you want the option to change the room color based on your furniture, party theme, or mood? There are several color-changing smart bulbs that can be easily tied into your smart lighting system.

4. Integration features. There are several ways to integrate lighting control into a larger smart home system, so make sure your lighting products are compatible with other devices you have (or want) around the house. For instance, lighting control is often paired with motion or contact sensors, so lights turn on when an unexpected visitor approaches or when your car pulls into the driveway. One of the newest ways to control lights is by speaking your wishes to a voice assistant, like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa.

5. Types of control. If you don’t want keypads, don’t opt for a system that needs them. Many of today’s smart lighting systems offer different control options, including keypads and remotes. Most also work with smartphones and tablets, but make sure the system you choose isn’t an iOS or Android exclusive—or you may be out of luck.

6. Type of Bulbs. LED light bulbs are all the rage, so make sure the lighting system you select can not only control LEDs but can also dim them. If you’ll have a combination of different types of bulbs, like some incandescent and some LED, choose a system that can easily handle the control of both types.

7. Geo-fencing. By connecting your home lighting control system to your smartphone, you can set the home lights to automatically turn on when you are within a certain distance of the home. On the flip side, you can set the lights to turn off when your phone is more than one mile away.

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