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Assertive Technologies In Reducing Caregiver Burden

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Assertive Technologies In Reducing Caregiver Burden

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Assertive Technologies In Reducing Caregiver Burden

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Aged care providers strive to achieve quality health care .Technology has been adopted to improve provision of healthcare to the aged. However, technology can never replace the role played by humans in providing healthcare. Human interaction between the aged and the healthcare provider is fundamental in aged care. Furthermore, it cannot replace kindness, understanding, compassion and empathy that exist between care providers and clients (Sorenson,  Drummond  & Khan, 2018).
Nevertheless, technology empowers aged care providers with means of improving efficiencies in operation, increasing the ability to effectively manage the limited resources, reduce risks and errors. Furthermore, it gives aged care staff space and time to deliver support and personalized care (Sorenson, Drummond  & Khan, 2018).
A literature review discusses information that has been published in a particular subject. Furthermore, the information is within a particular time. A literature review is a summary of the sources. However, it has an organisation pattern that combines both summary and synthesis. A summary is a review of important information from the sources while a synthesis is a reorganization of that particular information (Khosravi & Ghapanci, 2016).
It can provide new insights to old information, or combine old information with new information. Furthermore, it can trace the major debates in the field. Furthermore, the literature review advices the reader on the most important information. This literature review discusses information from peer reviewed articles within the last five years, for the sake of this literature review, sixteen articles have been selected (Khosravi & Ghapanci, 2016).
Technology affects the delivery of services to the aged. A wide range of innovations have been developed for the exclusive use in aged care. These technologies include home care specific applications and residential applications. The applications improve quality of aged care and service delivery (Feather, 2017).
Elsi Smart Floor
This is an alarm system made up of several pads. It is placed on floors and used in monitoring floors in residential facilities or homes for aged people. Elsi Smart Floor tool monitors movements of staff members and clients within buildings. Therefore, it collects data used in providing quality care for clients. The pads use the principle of pressure; pressure applied on the pads sends information to a monitoring platform thus giving sufficient information on movement of clients (Novita Healthcare, 2018).
The system allows care providers to monitor the aged at any given time. Therefore, it reduces time for reaction during an emergency. Moreover, the technology gives care providers an opportunity to formulate individual care strategies because of comprehensive data collected. Furthermore, the system has an alarm system that detects and sends a signal in case someone falls down. The signal alerts care providers who provide needed help to the aged (Novita Healthcare, 2018).
Map Data Services.
The company produces interactive mobile apps for various industries, which helps the user in navigation within residential care facilities. Map Data Services use existing mapping products with accurate maps of the place. This produces an interface that is easy to use and gives its users direction to various points within the residential care facility such as toilets and reception desks (Chung & Wen, 2017).  
The apps benefit many people such as visitors, staff members, and the resident. New residents use them to navigate within new facilities and they speed up the process of orientation within the facilities. It can give new visitors direction to important areas such as toilets, rooms and recreational places (Chung & Wen, 2017).  
Stroke Rehabilitation Occupational Kinect Experiment (S.T.R.O.K.E).
The technology explores innovations in aged care. The S.T.R.O.K.E idea came from two brothers; Joshua Dye, Kaiden and their father, Donovan after their grandfather who had stroke refused to do routine exercises. The family was able to develop a way to improve compliance with rehabilitation and physical therapy by incorporating some exercises into video games for a Kinect platform. Kinect platform is a virtual reality platform developed by Microsoft. However, the technology is still in its development stage; therefore, it is not presently available to users. However, it customizes games and exercises to meet the interests and needs of the aged (Novita Healthcare, 2018).
Paro Therapeutic Robot.
This is a robotic seal used in socialization and stress related issues for the aged. Studies have shown that animals have positive effects on factors within the elderly. The factors include promoting socialization between care providers and clients. This field of thought led to innovation of the Paro Robot, which provides clients and elderly residents with no access to actual animals a chance to interact with something that can provide benefits similar to animals (Feather, 2017).
The Paro Robot copies the behaviour of animals using its five sensors (light, tactile, audio, posture and temperature). The sensors recognize touch and cause it to react to things via positive reinforcement. For instance, if someone likes the greeting noise it produces, the person gently strokes it to learn the behaviour. It is a real indicator and a great innovation that shows the potential of technology in aged care sector (Feather, 2017).
Sci-fi (science fiction) inspired.
A Scanadu Scout device is inspired by a Star Trek Tricoder (Star Trek is a sci-fi movie series).It is designed with a sleek form factor that takes reading of body temperature, heart rate, blood oxygenation, respiratory data and blood pressure. The Scout is held to the temple of a patient for 30 seconds; Bluetooth relay the readings to a smart phone app. The device has reduced the incidences of waking up elderly patients in few hours to get their health readings (Natasha, 2015).
Technology in residential aged care.
Simplified electronic collection of information enables nursing staff and aged care providers to deliver effective and efficient care to the aged. The bedside collection of health information improves accuracy of resident records. Furthermore, the fast access to information from these records enhances speed and efficiency of the nursing staff and aged care providers (Flinders University, 2017).
Electronic care plans replace the illegible documentations and assist the facilities to demonstrate and ensure compliance to standards. Furthermore, electronic administration of medication enables care providers to effectively coordinate, administer, and monitor medications, which improves the safety of the resident (Optus Business, 2017). 
Comprehensive electronic records have replaced paper-based records, which have facilitated flow of information within the wider healthcare community such as the medical practitioners, pharmacies, hospitals and specialists. Electronic records play a main role in communicating important and relevant information to the resident during an emergency, during an appointment with a specialist (McKell Institute, 2015).
Moreover, residential aged care facilities are extending connectivity of broadband internet that builds connection and support. Communication applications have facilitated connection with close friends, relatives and the community, which improves the quality of life for the aged people (Bowles, Dykes & Demiris, 2014).
Improving aged care at home using technology.
Technology enhances quality of care in elderly people who choose to live at home. The aged people to have a self-sufficient life for a longer period. Therefore, extending time spent in maintaining independence in their homes (Khosravi, & Ghapanci, 2016).
Care providers use mobile phones that have access to important information during home visit or while moving between destinations. Furthermore, technology enables connection between the aged care provider and the recipient of care (Reeder, Meyer & Lazar, 2013).
Assertive technologies used by aged home care organizations help care workers to remain responsive to the needs of their recipients. Intelligent sensors and alerts help in maintenance of independence of the recipient in their homes while alerting the care provider on unusual activity detected. Therefore, implementing these technologies improves standard of care for the aged in their homes (Suchada, 2017).
Technology tips recommended for the aged care providers.
Digital inclusion for happy care recipients.
Digital inclusion involves equipping disadvantaged groups of the aged people with access to tolls that allows them to participate in Information and Communication Technologies. Residential aged care facilities offer free access to Wi-Fi. Home based care providers provide residents with free access to the internet via their linked centres (Sophia, 2016).
Internet access has enabled online connection of care recipients with their families through email and video services. Furthermore, they can get access to news and stimulate their minds with online games. In addition to that, internet access promotes the needs and lifestyles of the aged (Sophia, 2016).
Social media
Tech savvy aged care providers use social media to engage care recipients and their families. Aged care providers can access social media to promote unique aspects of their care such as posting information, photos from recent activities and upcoming activities. This marketing tool enables care recipients and their families to choose the right organization that provides aged care. Social media updates from families of current care recipients can provide comfort to families on the whereabouts of their loved one (Sophia, 2016).
Active social media presence highlights the availability of staff resources that can invest in digital communication. Therefore, this differentiates a business from other competitors (Feather, 2017).
Assertive technologies
Assertive technologies enable people to perform difficult tasks that they would not be able to do with ease. Furthermore, the technologies increase safety of doing tasks.Door sensors alert care staff when someone aged is exiting a building and the person is prone to wandering. GPS tracking devices securely monitor the exact location of the person. Assertive technologies positively affect confidence, wellbeing and health in a care recipient (Pellegrini, Steglitz & Hoffman, 2014).
Software designed for better engagement of staff
Technology needs to engage staff and be navigable. In the absence of these factors, technology is underutilized and unused. Therefore, enhanced practices and potential efficiencies are lost. Software vendors should provide a simple layout and navigation in software. Furthermore, the vendors should outline important information on the surface. Easy navigation allows workers to focus on high quality care (Livingstone, 2014).
Technology improves staff engagement and therefore boosts the morale of the company. Implementation of technology gives the staff an opportunity to work together, share together, debate, overcome challenges and learn together. Engaging staff in the implementation of technology improves their morale, reduces their frustrations and make them understand that their opinions also matter in the organization (Roupa, et al., 2015).
The disadvantages in adoption of ICT are caused by errors that may occur while meeting the high demand of the aged care sector. Most providers of ICT, should enact strategies to reduce the effect of technological errors within the aged people. A higher cost of implementation of technology can keep many users further away from technologies. Furthermore, the technologies reduce human contact with the aged, which might lead to a depression amongst the old people. Most aged people are less tech savvy. Therefore, they are prone to online scams that get information from the old people (Marasinghe, 2016).
Technology offers many benefits in terms of productivity, efficiency and the quality of care. Technology helps aged care providers to streamline their processes, improve their efficiencies, smarten members of the workforce, maximize funding, increase productivity, reduce safety risks and enhance the quality of healthcare. Furthermore, it improves the experiences of aged care staff by delivering care in considerate and compassionate ways. Technology offers automated and simplified processes. Therefore, the staff spends less time on complex paperwork hence they have more time to deliver care.
Moreover, technology enhances communication between residents, staff clients and their families. Technology offers an opportunity for the care staff to conduct interactions with families of the aged clients. It bridges the gap in communication and provides reassurance to the families regarding care offered to their loved ones. Therefore, technology has brought many positive changes in aged care. Nevertheless, ICT usage in old care has its own share of short-comings such as high cost, low literacy among the aged and errors within technology. However, more technological companies should innovate and come up with technologies that can assist the aged care sector, which is critical in the society. The review has illustrated importance of technology in the sector; therefore, the sector needs more innovation.
Bowles, K.,Dykes, P. & Demiris, G. (2014). The use of health information technology to improve care and outcomes for older adults. Research in Gerontological Nursing, 8( 1): 5-10.
Chung, J. & Wen, L. (2017). Understanding Older Adult’s Technology Adoption and Withdrawal for Elderly Care and Education. Mixed Method analysis from National Survey. Journal of Medical Internet Research 19(11) 34-154.
Feather, A. (2017). Technology needs to support delivery of aged care services. Retrieved from,
Flinders University. (2017). A technology roadmap for the Australian aged care sector. Retrieved from, p1 -52
Khosravi, P. & Ghapanci, A. (2016) Investigating the effects of technologies applied to assist seniors. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 85(1), 17-26.
Livingstone, A. (2014). Technology and Aged Care, Presentation to the Aged Care Workforce Innovation Workshop. Retrieved from, _Resourcing_WIN_Adelaide_PDF_Version_20140411,pdf
Marasinghe, K. (2016). Assertive technologies in reducing caregiver burden among informal caregivers of older adults: a systematic review. Disability & Rehabilitation: Assertive Technology, 115(5), 353-360.
McKell Institute. (2015). Positive disruption: healthcare, ageing and participation in the Age of Technology. Retrieved from, -Institute_Positive_Disruption.pdf.
Natasha, E. (2015). Transforming aged care: new technologies you need to know about. Retrieved from,
Novita Healthcare. (2018). The four most exciting technologies and innovations in aged care: Part 1. Retrieved from,
Optus Business. (2017). How technology is transforming the aged care sector. Retrieved from, https://
Pellegrini, C., Steglitz, J. & Hoffman, S. (2014) e-Health intervention development: a synopsis and comment on “What Design Features are used in Effective e-health Intervention?” A review using techniques from critical interpretive synthesis. Translational Behavioural Medicine, 4: 342-345.
Reeder, B., Meyer, E. & Lazar, A. (2013). Framing the evidence for health smart homes and home-based consumer health technologies as a public health intervention. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 82(7) 565-579.
Roupa, Z., Nikas, M., Gerasimou, E., Zafeiri, V., Glasyrani, L. Kazitori , E. & Sotiropoulou, P. (2015). The Use of technology by the elderly. Health Science Journal, 4(2), pp. 118- 126.
Sophia, B. (2016). Top Four technology tips to help aged care providers get ahead. Retrieved from,
Sorenson, C., Drummond, M. & Khan, B (2018). Medical technology as a key driver of rising expenditure : disentangling the relationship. ClinicoEconomics and Outcomes Research, 10: 231-241.
Suchada,V. (2017). Assertive technologies for aged care: Comparative literature survey on the effectiveness of theories for supportive and empowering technologies. Sunshine Coast: Emerald Publishing Company.

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