I am responding to the May 13) article, “Input Wanted to Plan to Serve Seniors in New Mexico Better” by the Aging Long-Term Service Department. The department is seeking comments on a proposal addressing safety, health, nutrition, and other topics.
As we saw in 2020, but before the pandemic, the sense of isolation among the elderly has added another dimension. This is also experienced by those who look after these people. Despite the easing of pandemic-related restrictions, there are still people with disabilities or the elderly who are still geographically distant or living away from their loved ones, which also affects their professional carers.
Many home care organizations and agencies also suffer from a lack of reliable, caring, and smart caregivers, which exacerbates the nursing problem. There are just not enough of these coveted personalities. I believe this is the time when technology can advance and fill the gaps between the patient, their caregivers, and the senior’s family.
I am relieved to just read the department’s mission, which is to provide accessible, integrated services to older adults, adults with disabilities and carers to help them achieve their independence, dignity, autonomy, health, safety and economic Maintaining welfare enables them to live as productively as possible in their own communities on their own terms.
Technology can make this easier with seamless solutions that enable those affected to lead meaningful, connected, and fulfilling lives in the safety and comfort of their own home and their caregivers. In this way, the family can be kept up to date on the status of their loved ones when needed and on the go.
Currently, in several agencies, patient reviews and everyday experiences are documented in a three-ring folder or various three-ring folders, which results in the communication between what is on paper and those who could offer an actionable solution, collapses. This adds to the frustrations experienced by seniors, their professional caregivers, and their loved ones or family members.
Hopefully those in this situation can request or explore the technologies even offered through their devices’ app stores to help with this. I am very pleased that it is now being addressed.
Barbara Perez Deppman is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executive and lives in Santa Fe. She is also working on developing technologies that can help care for the elderly.