When mobility is a challenge, tasks that were once simple such as getting into the bath or shower, become not only more difficult, but also more dangerous, as balance wanes. There are a number of useful assistive technology devices that make getting into the bath or shower a safer experience.
Today’s Transitions talked with Katherine Autin, CEO of Parkinson Partners and Visionary Caregivers, two organizations devoted to helping the aging and disabled as they transition into the later stages of life. Katherine shared some of the technology that is helping people remain safe and comfortable in their homes for longer.
- A Watch That Knows You Had a Fall
It is important for falls to be detected quickly so that medical teams can respond without delay. This is the primary function of the The Kanega Watch by UnaliWear, a small device that is worn on the wrist and looks like an ordinary smartwatch. The Kanega Watch senses if the wearer falls, and immediately sends emergency services to help. The device is completely waterproof, allowing it to be worn around the clock. It connects to a live-response operator 24/7/365 and has a one-time set-up fee of $149, plus $59.99 monthly subscription fee.
- A Lift Out of the Bathtub
If you need additional help getting into the tub, the Bathmaster Sonaris2 Bath Lift
may be a solution. The seat stays in the bathtub, and raises and lowers the user into the water with the press of a button, much like a lift chair. The sturdy, plastic construction has a 375 lb. weight capacity and is easy to set up and use. It is priced at around $900 for both the lift and the attached reclining chair.
- Unfreezing for Neurological Disorders
For those with Parkinson’s, or other neurological disorders, the risk of falls becomes even greater, due to the way that the brain causes the body to spontaneously freeze and be unable to move for extended periods of time. Cue1 by Charco Neurotech
is a device from Charco Neurotech that has shown success in helping the wearer to “restart”, or regain movement after freezing. It is a small button that attaches to the user’s sternum with medical adhesive and utilizes pulses and focused vibration to interrupt brain patterns and reduce symptoms of slowness or freezing, resulting in improved movement. It also offers smartphone connectivity to track symptoms, as well as medication alerts, and has been called a “game changer” in increasing the mobility and safety of Parkinson’s patients. This product is currently on a waitlist, and no pricing information is available, but Charco Neurotech hopes to release the Cue1 in Europe and the US by the end of the year.
By Vanessa Hutchison
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