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High-tech sensors help seniors live independently
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 Posted: Sunday Jan 25th, 2009 02:06 am
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After back-to-back hospital visits for congestive heart failure, Eva Olweean figured her health was back to normal. But the nurses at her retirement home knew better: Motion sensors in the 86-year-old's bed detected too many restless nights.
Tiny sensors hover unobtrusively over the toilet, shower and doorways to detect Olweean's movements inside her apartment. Pneumatic tubes tucked in the mattress and beneath her easy chair measure weight shifts. Caregivers and researchers at the University of Missouri-Columbia study the data, noting changes in behavior that could signal medical problems.
Recognizing the coming "silver tsunami" of graying baby boomers, tech companies are racing to help aging Americans spend more time living independently instead of in nursing homes. For the first time earlier this month, the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas featured a special section devoted to high-tech senior living.
Among the advances at the show were motion sensors, the kind that allowed Olweean's nurses to figure out what was keeping her up at night. She was experiencing excessive bloating, a common symptom of congestive heart failure. So Olweean's cardiologist prescribed diuretics and made other adjustments to her medication that helped the woman again sleep soundly.
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See full article at http://www.esearchnet.com/news/article/view/oc/1500/did/D95T7A8G1



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