“Smart” devices may help dementia sufferers remember to shut off stove, live at home longer

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From the country that brought the world George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four comes a new, friendlier kind of Big Brother. This one is here to help people with memory loss live on their own longer. Engineers at the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering (BIME), at Bath University in England have designed and tested an integrated system that not only monitors people’s actions, but can speak to them, contact help, turn off appliances and faucets, and even e-mail family and caretakers.

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Sensors monitor older people at home – CNN.com

Sensors monitor older people at home – CNN.com.

Columbia, South Carolina (CNN) — The sensors know when Charlton Hall Jr. wakes up to go to the bathroom. They know how much time he spends in bed. They watch him do jigsaw puzzles in the den. They tattle when he opens the refrigerator.

Sound like a Big Brother nightmare?

Not for Hall. The 74-year-old finds comfort in monitored living.

“It’s a wonderful system for helping older people to stay independent as long as possible,” he said, sitting in the living room of his 7,500-square-foot house, a sensor watching him from an elaborate bookshelf. “They know where I am — all the time.”

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There’s No Place Like Home

Nov. 9, 2010, 8:00 a.m. EST
Majority of Americans Agree ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ for Care of Elderly Family Members
New Amedisys poll shows that 3 out of 4 Americans would choose home health care for their loved ones’ medical needs over nursing homes and other care facilities

BATON ROUGE, La., Nov. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — When faced with managing the care of an aging or ill family member, a new survey shows that Americans want to keep their loved ones close to home. According to a national telephone poll conducted by Harris Interactive for Amedisys, a leading provider of home care and hospice services (AMED 27.90, +0.22, +0.79%) , 74 percent of Americans would prefer having a terminally ill family member taken care of at home with the care of a trained health aide, rather than in a traditional nursing home or other care facility. In comparison, only 10 percent would prefer a nursing home and six percent would choose an outpatient center. The poll also found that when considering care for an elderly family member recuperating from surgery, half (51 percent) would prefer home health care over any other facility.

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