- Top ten gift ideas for Senior Citizens, CIEPS (Canadian Institute for Elder Planning Studies)
- RIBM Software Aids Research Aimed at Extending Seniors' Independent Living
- Health spending reaches record high, but growth slows
The following is a list of Christmas gift ideas for the Senior Citizen on your list, but they are also good suggestions for any time. As we age, living independently becomes more challenging. These suggested gift ideas are all geared toward making impendent living easier. I would also recommend checking with your elderly loved one's Medicaid provider, and inquire about special coverage for items such as electronic lift chairs, electric scooters, wheelchair ramps, and special in-home medical equipment such as walkers, canes, and shower grips and chairs. In some cases your local Area On Aging office or Social Services Agency can also help you with getting independent living items for your elderly loved one. You can find these agencies listed in most telephone directories under the Government heading.
- For an elderly loved one who lives alone or in an isolated location, a Medical Emergency Notification System such as Life Alert, MedScope, or LifeLine Services is not only a wonderful gift - it could save a life! These devices are designed to be worn by the individual at all times, in either the pendant style or wrist bracelet. In the event the wearer has a medical emergency, such as falling, and is unable to reach the telephone, they can press the big button on the device and emergency medical services will be automatically summoned. These systems cost as low as $14.95 per month, and in some cases the cost may be completely covered by Medicare.
- Large Button Cell Phone - such as the Jitterbug Cell, and the Jitterbug One Touch. These large button cells make calling easier for the senior citizen, with a lighted display, large buttons, speed dialing, caller ID on a large visual display, and all the functions of a standard cell phone. Price: around $147.00
- If your elderly loved one has a pet companion, a truly appreciated gift would be pre-paid pet exercising services. Check your local telephone yellow pages for pet exercise services in your loved one's area. These services are especially appreciated during winter months and the heat of the summer when walking a pet may be dangerous for senior citizens.
- Check with your local Barbers and Hair Dressers, many will do in-home hair grooming for the elderly. You can pre-pay for the service and arrange the in-home appointment for a convenient time and date for your loved one.
- Call the local landscapers and lawn care professionals in your loved one's area and pre-pay for a season of lawn mowing and general lawn care. This is also a service that is greatly appreciated in extremely hot summer months!
- Large faced electric wall clock. As we age, our eye sight sometimes diminishes. Digital clocks can be confusing and hard to set. A great gift idea for an elderly loved one would be a large faced electric wall clock. No battery to replace, and easy to see from some distance. Price: around $29.00
- Designed primarily for the hearing impaired, a flashing light doorbell and flashing light telephone can also benefit an elderly loved one who may not always hear the doorbell or the telephone ring. These devices do require installation, and some knowledge of electrical wiring. Price: around $49.95
- Large Button Universal TV Remote, as electronics strive to become smaller and smaller, they get increasingly harder for the elderly to use. A large button universal TV remote control can make seeing the numbers and pressing the right buttons so much easier! Price: Around $14.95
- Lap Tables, such as the ones designed for using a lap top computer. These inexpensive tables can be very handy for the elderly to eat meals on, keep track of things such as the cordless telephone, TV remote, and eye glasses. They have literally thousands of uses, and weigh less than 3 pounds so your loved one will have no trouble pushing and pulling them to and from their chair. Price: around $19.00
- Zippered clothing with large zipper pulls. As we age, buttons and snaps may become increasingly harder to open and close. You can find large zipper pulls in the craft section of most large department stores. A zipper with a large pull tab makes getting dressed a zip! Price: about $2.99 per large pull
EDMONTON, Alberta and MARKHAM, Ontario, Nov. 8, 2011 /CNW/ -- [CASCON] -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced its software is being used to correlate data from sensors capturing patient activity and replicate that in a virtual world with avatars that represent the elderly subjects in a unique pilot aimed at providing health researchers and students with insights on how to care for Canada's aging population.
Since June, 2011, University of Alberta researchers in collaboration with Edmonton's Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital have been using IBM software to study elderly clients who volunteer to stay in a model, self-contained "independent living suite" at the facility. The suite is instrumented with sensors and equipped with smart devices collecting information about their daily activities.
The data will be used to understand how to make better use of healthcare resources, enable remote collaboration among providers, and contribute to early intervention and long-term management of chronic diseases. Researchers will also learn how to prepare older people for independent living, and extend the length of time seniors are able to live in their homes.
The number of Canadian seniors will increase from 4.2 million from 2005 to 9.8 million by 2036, and seniors' share of the population is expected to almost double, increasing from 13.2 percent to 24.5 percent, according to most recent information available from Statistics Canada. The number of Americans over the age of 65 is expected to rise to 88.5 million in 2050 making up 20 percent of the population, according to the US Census Bureau. The healthcare needs of this growing demographic are significant and expensive.
IBM WebSphere® Sensor Events software collects and processes a stream of data from sensors capturing a range of medical and physical inputs, from heart-rate and body weight to electricity consumption and the use of doors, furniture, light switches and appliances. The data stream is analyzed to assess the occupant's ability to take medication as prescribed and other aspects of independent living. The analysis results are also used to animate an avatar of the occupant that mirrors their activities in a virtual version of the apartment.
"We are using an avatar and the visualization to represent the people in the suite as this is far less intrusive than having a video or live monitoring system on them all the time," says Dr. Lili Liu, a professor of occupational therapy at the University of Alberta, and research affiliate at Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.
This virtual-world view can be monitored in real time, and replayed recordings can be used for simulation training for health-sciences students. Ultimately, researchers hope to understand how the integration of sensor networks with virtual worlds can impact the future of at-home health monitoring and care delivery.
While the pilot is still ongoing, researchers have identified a need to track two new activities - use of wheel chairs or walkers, and food intake. Additionally, by monitoring subjects' use of a medication reminder device, they have determined how to improve its usability.
"We know data is being generated all the time, but harnessing, aggregating, analyzing and gaining insights from it have been challenges. When you view data as diverse as heart rate monitor and electrical consumption independently, out of context, it means very little. The IBM software has enabled us to put it together in a visualization and actually see a patient's ability to function independently, so clinicians can intervene when necessary and students can learn how best to care for them. It has provided visibility to the physical world in a way we've never been able to see it before," says Eleni Stroulia, NSERC/AITF Industrial Research Chair on Service Systems Management at University of Alberta.
The research was released today at CASCON, an annual conference showcasing Canadian research IBM's Centres for Advanced Studies undertake in partnership with academic and government research organizations.
The pilot comprises the first 'real-world' trial, where the concept moved out of a university simulation environment to the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital, and is part of the "Smart Condo(TM)" initiative, a multi-year, research collaboration with the IBM Alberta Centre for Advanced Studies, professors and students from six faculties at the University of Alberta, as well as NSERC, OLSONET, AITF, Health Sciences Education and Research Commons and the Government of Alberta.
"Innovation isn't just about new technologies and inventions, it is about taking what we have and getting the very most out of it," said the Honourable Greg Weadick, Minister of Advanced Education and Technology. "The Smart Condo is an outstanding example of how we can use innovative technology to help Albertans be safer, healthier and more connected, best of all, right in their own homes."
A permanent "Smart Condo" installation is currently being completed inside the University of Alberta's new Edmonton Clinic Health Academy.
By Carmen Chai, Postmedia News November 3, 2011
Health-care costs could hit $200 billion by the end of 2011, according to a report that counts operating hospitals, escalating physician fees and a leap in use of medicine as large components of the country's health spending bills.
Canadians could spend $7.6 billion more than they did in 2010, but the increase since last year is only four per cent — the lowest annual growth rate in the past 15 years, a Canadian Institute for Health Information annual expenditure trends report, released Thursday, showed.
According to its findings, roughly $5,800 — $157 more than last year — was spent on health care per person. Of the country's expected $200.5 billion bill, 70 per cent will have been spent on the public health-care system, while 30 per cent will have gone to the private sector, the report noted.
Canadians are going to the doctor's office more often, relying further on medications and having more operations performed, according to Chris Kuchciak, CIHI's manager of health expenditures.
Hospital costs made up 29 per cent — or $58.4 billion — of the country's total health expenses, drugs represented 16 per cent of costs, while physicians' fees cost taxpayers 14 per cent of the total.
"Compensation was the main driver for hospital spending. It accounts for roughly 60 per cent of the hospital budget and what we've seen is the average wages of hospital workers grew faster than the average worker in the economy. We've also seen an increase in the number of employees," Kuchciak said.
To meet demands from a growing population, between 1999 and 2008, the number of hospital staff increased by 21 per cent and close to 6,500 new doctors joined the workforce between 2005 and 2009.
The hourly wage for health-care staff increased by an average of 3.3 per cent per year, compared to the general economy's 2.7 per cent annual raise, Statistics Canada data showed.
Hospital costs didn't include physicians' wages and service fees, where spending has outpaced hospital expenses and drugs for the fifth year in a row, Kuchciak noted.
CIHI president John Wright said that a host of reasons could explain why health-care workers' wages are climbing so quickly.
"Increased competition between provinces to recruit and retain health providers, tighter credentialing of health professionals and stronger bargaining positions due to increased government revenues may have all played a role," he said.
In the past 10 years, Canadians have also had more surgical and diagnostic procedures, such as knee and hip replacements, MRIs, CT scans and cataract surgeries, the report said.
Spending on medications grew by a significant 10.1 per cent between 1998 and 2007, it added, naming cholesterol-lowering and gastrointestinal drugs as the popular medications Canadians were using.
While recent studies show that baby boomers, the country's largest demographic group, have little confidence in the health-care system and the demands it could face, Kuchciak said the aging group wouldn't drastically shake up current projections for the future.
By 2015, there will be more people in Canada over 65 than under 15, according to Statistics Canada. By 2025, one in four Canadians will be 65 or older as the number of seniors is expected to double during the next 25 years.
An aging population contributed less than one per cent of average annual growth over the last decade, however, Kuchciak said. Annual spending on seniors by provinces and territories has sat at around 44 per cent of health spending. When the largest group of baby boomers retire, the annual increase should be a modest 1.2 to 1.3 per cent increase in health costs, Kuchciak projected.
"It's really a slow process. It's a predictable process and it's something that health-care system policy-makers . . . do have time to make decisions (on) and allow the system to meet the needs of the aging population in the future," Kuchciak said.
He conceded that Quebec and the Atlantic provinces could face more trouble in meeting baby boomer demands compared to Ontario and Western Canada.
In 2011, Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta will spend more per person on health care than other provinces, at $6,884 and $6,570, respectively, the report projected.
Quebec and British Columbia, on the other hand, will have the lowest health expenditures per capita, at $5,261 and $5,450, respectively.
In 2009, national health-related expenses reached $182.1 billion and is forecast to have reached $192.9 billion in 2010.
Canada placed sixth in spending on health per capita compared to 29 other countries that had similar accounting systems in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
The United States, where health-care spending per capita is $7,960, ranked first.