Posted by: Ann Treacy | March 23, 2012

Broadband keeping seniors healthy and home

I’m delighted to see another story of a senior staying in their home longer thanks to broadband technology. Todays’ story comes from Cold Spring Minnesota via KARE 11 and features GrandCare, a system developed to help keep an eye and ear to seniors remotely via an online system.

First I wanted to mention that I was delighted that this was featured as a Health segment, not a Technology segment. It indicates that broadband technology is integrating into various sectors and segment of everyday life. It’s fun to see what a different it has made for Ed Thelen in Cold Springs. Ed has Parkinson’s, Diabetes and depression; unfortunately what he doesn’t have is family nearby. The GrandCare systems helps the family keep an eye on his health…

GrandCare helps families remotely monitor daily activities with sensors that send notifications when pills are taken or when a door is opened. Thelen said, “I can take my blood pressure and that automatically goes onto the system. I can take my glucose.”

But even more valuable, GrandCare is helping them keep in touch…

In his apartment in Cold Spring, Ed Thelen now has this magic window to a healthier world. As he touched a picture of a camera on his GrandCare touch screen he said, “My favorite things is merely touching this little thing and having all these beautiful people available to me.”

He’s talking about being able to talk to his three kids and six grandkids through a simple touch screen version of Skype. He said it has been beneficial to his emotional health.

The story is available on video – and worth a couple of minutes if you have time.

To learn more about the GrandCare system you can check out the complete description from their website…

The GrandCare System is connected to any dedicated Internet Connection and communicates with “wireless” sensors throughout the residence. Designated caregivers can log into the GrandCare Website to send communications to the Loved One, view Activity & Tele-wellness sensor information, and customize the automatic caregiver alerts. A caregiver may choose to receive a call, email or text message if specified conditions occur (medication noncompliance, unusual activity, door opens at unusual time, etc).

The Loved One may enjoy the socialization, entertainment and communication portion of the GrandCare System. Family can virtually send pictures, messages, emails, reminders, calendar appts, voice messages, family videos, music and more right to the GrandCare System (Interactive Touch & Non-interactive TV models available). The Loved One may also choose to play games, engage in brain benders, listen to favorite music, watch old film clips, view news & weather reports and more, right from their own GrandCare System.

(GrandCare is also working with Benton County as part of the Minnesota Intelligent Rural Communities – MIRC – initiative.)

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