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The experts claim that the number of people with more than 65 years old is expected to increase 90 percent by 2050, in the United Kingdom and in the entire world. This means that, in less than four decades, the elderly will represent about a quarter of the British population.
Of course, this demographic evolution will carry a lot of necessary changes that will involve the improvement of facilities for the older people. Especially because the elderly with more than 85 years old will be the fastest growing group in the country: this group has currently twice the people that it had 25 years ago and is expected to double again in the next two decades.
This leads us to the need of future care homes ready to address new challenges. We are talking about structures with state of the art technology and always available health care centers, among other features and services. Just imagine being assisted by a robot-butler or not having to lose precious hours looking for your glasses just because you can easily print new ones in a 3D printing center, which will always be ready to help people in need of a denture or a prosthetic limb.
These are just some of the possibilities that will make life in a care home much more awesome in the future! And to find out more about these features you just need to take a look at this infographic. Surely not every care home in the United Kingdom will be like this, but all of them will experience a technological evolution, a mandatory transformation that will make the life of the future elderly much more easier and comfortable. From a virtual reality exercise area to an internet hub that will reduce the distance between some elderlies and their families, a lot will change in the next decades.
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The Care Home Of The Future
The number of care homes in England (Residential + Nursing)
The estimated increase in the over-65 population by the year 2050
The number of care home beds required in 2014
The estimated number of care home beds required in 2050
Scientific advances are granting us longer lives. While this creates a demand for more care for the elderly, these same advances are also providing technologies that will help us to create healthier and happier care homes.
These advances in care for the elderly can also be pretty exciting; after all, when you’re in your 70s, wouldn’t you want a robot butler?
(A Doctor in your Toilet)
Heated and paper-free toilets are already here, but in the future they will be able to analyse body waste before disposing it. This can be useful in detecting early signs of disease or infection.
VR Exercise Area
The use of virtual reality can help memory function, by exploring virtual words, based on themes and locations from a person’s past. Combined with gaming technology, it can also help to aid physical health.
(A Rug with a Brain)
This cheap and easy to install carpet carries tiny optical fibres. These can detect and record subtle changes in movements, and even observe the medical condition of a person over time.
(A Social Network)
Access and support to use the web, to reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. Also helps the elderly to feel part of the modern world.
(Teeny tiny surgeons)
Microscopic artificial organisms could be introduced into a person’s body where they could monitor that person’s health, make repairs to damaged tissue, or even destroy unwanted infections, all at the molecular level.
(Your Very Own Robo-Butler)
These helpful robots can save carers and staff time by carrying out jobs such as cleaning, and other general maintenance duties.
Capturing information from Care Home Systems and sending it to “The Cloud” would allow information to be viewed by the care industries regulator or by family members of a resident to make sure standards are being met and maintained at the home. Information from nurse call systems could tell families how long they have been waiting after requesting help.
(‘Build Anything’ Machines)
3D Printers allow objects such as spectacles, furniture, cutlery, clothing, prosthetic limbs, and even biological tissues to be ‘printed out’. Each object can be designed to match the end-user’s needs exactly.
Personal Emergency Response Systems
A necklace or wristband with a single large button on it, which when pressed sends an immediate alert to staff. Monitored via a computer system or the cloud it can show exactly where the emergency is enabling a quick response.
(No more need for paper)
Can be used to track all activities and interactions with a resident. This will help to intelligently create care plans which would create a schedule of tasks and monitor a resident’s well-being.
Also built-in cameras could visually record a patient’s progress and allow nurses to video-call with other health-care professionals or relatives. While ‘apps’ could give a variety of useful tools, such as calculators, conversion measurers, and symptom checkers.
Cloud-based apps could allow members of staff or residents to monitor care requirements and delivery thereof from anywhere.
Robot helpers, replication machines, and virtual reality may seem like something out of Star Trek, but they could all be coming to care homes in the very near future.
These technologies may even allow fewer carer to look after a great number of residents, helping to address the increase in the elderly population, as well as creating healthier, happier, and really cool care homes.
Developed by Courtney Thorne