To the Editor,
“Sensors Help Keep the Elderly Safe, and at Home” (front page, Feb. 13) sheds light on the frustration of caring for our aging population at home and the promise of enhanced technology to monitor safety and health management.
The new technologies for the home may empower older people who are cognitively functional and can partner with the devices and the medical staff monitoring the system. But these advances, effective in assisting with long-distance care-giving for some, should not be viewed as a panacea to resolve the many problems and issues that require direct patient contact.
Geriatric care managers are an excellent resource for the elderly at home to provide essential human contact, along with the professional skills to identify behavior changes and unsafe environments and to communicate information to the medical team and family. It is a disservice to the ones we care about the most to rely solely on cybercare.
New York, Feb. 13, 2009