When an elderly person lives alone or in a care facility, family worry about the safety of their loved one, especially overnight when falls leading to injury frequently occur. Although efforts to fall-proof the home by removing trip hazards, improving hallway lighting, and adding grab bars are helpful, a device that monitors heart and breathing rates can offer an added measure of safety.
For seniors who may be resistant to wearing a tracking device, a Vancouver based startup may have the answer for caregivers worried about their older family member’s well being overnight. According to a recent AGE-WELL report, Tochtech Technologies has developed a non-wearable sleep tracker that has won the last of three competitions in the 2020 AGE-WELL National Impact Challenge.
The Sleepsense device can be placed under the leg or frame of the bed and used by assisted living and long-term care providers to monitor the heart and respiration rates of residents without disturbing their sleep. Any significant changes will trigger a notification or alarm that is received by a mobile device carried by staff. Sleepsense also monitors the quality of sleep, sleep patterns, and notifies caregivers if a resident is getting out of bed in order to provide assistance and help prevent falls or night wandering.
The technology is not meant to replace staff conducting in-person checks on residents, but when staff numbers are low at night, the non-invasive sleep monitor offers an additional level of protection. With the over-65 population expected to double in Canada over the next 15 years, technology to help seniors age-in-place at home will be increasingly in demand as the burden on caregivers continues to grow.
Tochtech will use its $20,000 prize to conduct a three-month pilot project with long-term care homes, enhance the product, and hopefully introduce Sleepsense to the market in 2021. Learn more about Tochtech products to help promote greater safety and well-being for older adults by following this link to the company website.