Elderly care services get smarter in China

Employees of a smart elderly care service center in Lianyungang, east China's Jiangsu province receive applications for services from senior residents, Dec. 14, 2020. (Photo by Geng Yuhe/People's Daily Online)

Recently, senior resident Zhou Jufang living in Chongwen community, Laizhou, east China’s Shandong province was suddenly struck by hypoglycemic and felt dizzy.

At the critical moment, the empty nester, whose antianemic drugs had all been used up, pressed an emergency button in her room, and soon drugs were delivered to her by social workers who received her call at the community service hall.

The “one-button” emergency call system, based on the Internet+ strategy, is a service tailored by Chongwen community for senior parents whose children have moved away from home in case of emergency situations. Once the seniors need help after emergency happens, they can press the button on a pager to inform the social workers at the community service hall.

“Immediately after they press the button, relevant information will show up on a big screen of the community service hall and pushed to the phones of social workers, including the callers’ names and addresses,” said Zhang Songchun, deputy director of Chongwen community. The service is one-step, and social workers are also standing by 24 hours a day, so that they can help the seniors solve emergencies and difficulties at any time, Zhang added.

Apart from the emergency call system, a smart watch that automatically calls for help when emergency happens is also very popular recently. It has a nanosensor that monitors the heart rate, blood pressure and blood oxygen level of the wearer. When a wearer feels uncomfortable or emergency happens, the watch will inform the wearer’s families at the earliest time, and service staff will also contact the wearer and his or her families immediately, so as to ensure the wearer receives timely help and avoid unfavorable situations.

Many seniors are facing various obstacles living at home, for instance, the lack of attendance and mobility difficulties. On a recent expo of senior care services held in east China’s Jiangsu province, barrier-free prototype rooms designed for senior residents were exhibited, offering technical solutions for the seniors who want to enjoy quality care at home.

In the prototype rooms are cupboards with lift system whose height can be adjusted by remote controllers, as well as rotating closets equipped with remote-control hangers and special grabber tools which enable seniors to tidy up and fetch their clothes even on a wheel chair.

Apart from barrier-free home decor ideas, multiple new home care technologies were also exhibited in the prototype rooms at the expo, including single-operator electric patient lifts, rehabilitation beds, and rehabilitation systems that turn rehabilitation training into leisure games. All of these can help with the daily life of the seniors with partial disabilities and groups in need of special care, and meet their demands of rehabilitation.

The smart elderly care services couldn’t have been meticulous without the strong support and guarantee from big data platforms. As a pioneer of smart elderly care, Changning district of Shanghai has launched a smart big data platform to better its elderly care services, incorporating seniors’ identities, relevant policies and consultants. It is also connected with the municipality’s data base of elderly care services. The platform covers all senior residents who live alone in the district.

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