A Review of Notifications Systems in Elder Care Environments: Challenges and Opportunities

A Review of Notifications Systems in Elder Care Environments: Challenges and Opportunities

Sandra Nava-Muñoz (UABC, Mexico & UASLP, Mexico) and Alberto L. Morán (UABC, México)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3986-7.ch022
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Abstract

For more than a decade, notification systems to support the care of older adults in settings such as hospitals, nursing homes, and homes have been developed. These systems aim to assist in the care process, trying to ensure the safety and wellness of the elderly, and thus to maintain or increase their quality of life. This chapter identifies challenges and areas of opportunity for the implementation of notification systems in these environments, considering a technological perspective. In this work, the authors firstly present a literature review of notification systems in the elderly care environments mentioned above. Subsequently, they propose a taxonomy to classify the reviewed works, and discuss a set of challenges and areas of opportunity that technology can offer in this environment. These areas of opportunity are projected as specific features in each of the identified healthcare environments.
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2. Elder’S Care Process

Caring for an older adult may be complex, depending on factors such as his/her state of physical and mental health, the degree of independence in the execution of his/her activities, etc. (Feinberg, 2002).

According to the latest estimates of the United Nations, the worldwide elderly population (65 years and over) is expected to grow (United Nations, 2001). This increase in population affects the number of older adults with disabilities. Data from the World Health Organization indicate that 7.05% of the world population are older adults with moderate or severe disability (WHO, 2010).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Activities of Daily Living: The set of activities that humans perform to meet their daily basic needs.

Awareness: The knowledge that a person has about a situation or condition.

Nursing Home: An institution dedicated to the long-term care of elders who suffer from any kind of illness or disability.

Cognitive Impairment: The loss or alteration of any of the cognitive functions. It could be related to advanced age, illness, or injury.

Elder Care Environment: The place where an elder lives and where s/he receives primary care, either permanently or part-time.

Notification: A message sent to a recipient with the specific purpose of informing him/her about a particular situation.

Caregiver: A person who provides any kind of care to another person, usually because the latter suffers from some kind of disease or disability.

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