Aging in place

Gadgets to monitor Grandma

New electronic-monitoring tools are gaining popularity around the country in response to an effort to find ways to help senior citizens “age in place” in their own homes, rather than move to long-term-care facilities, according to the Los Angeles Times.

In Oregon, for example, 480 people are participating in a group of pilot programs in which the Oregon Center for Aging & Technology is equipping homes with technology that can detect when elderly residents are ill or infirm. The programs, funded by Santa Clara-based Intel Corp., include such innovations as installing bed sensors that assess breathing patterns, monitors that detect when individuals leave their houses, and pill boxes that record when medications are taken.

The center operates through Oregon Health & Science University, and is also developing robotic pets that seniors can interact with, as well as software to help dementia patients find their way home.