Digital Tablet Curbs Social Isolation for Seniors Who Are Skeptical of Technology
Jun 12, 2013 - 2:23:23 PM
"We're living in an age when most families use some form of digital technology to communicate, whether it's email, text, video chat or social media," said Geof Auchinleck, co-founder and CEO of Claris Healthcare. "Unfortunately many seniors are left out of the conversations because they're not comfortable with or unable to use technology. This can lead to social isolation."
Auchinleck created the Companion keeping in mind his 92-year-old mother who struggles with her television remote control. He designed it so family members or caregivers could control how the device works through a secure, easy-to-use website. Features and alerts can be set remotely by selecting from a few simple options. Once personalized, the Companion automatically displays new family photos, email and texts, as well as medication reminders, wellness surveys and exercise videos. Family members can also receive check-in and "call me" notifications - keeping them apprised of their loved one's daily activity and wellbeing.
Unlike other computers, tablets or devices, Claris Companion was designed specifically for seniors who may not be comfortable with technology by combining the familiar aesthetics of both a 1950's TV and bamboo picture frame. Functionally, seniors find it easy to use because of the large buttons and text, amplified speakers, and hassle-free charging dock. The Companion comes pre-programed so there is no need for the user to do any configuration or setup upon receiving the device.
"For older adults, failing to adhere to medication and treatment protocols is one of the leading causes of avoidable visits to the emergency room," said Paul Sharman, co-founder and COO of Claris Healthcare. "We believe the Companion has the ability to not only engage seniors socially but provide them with a healthcare platform that helps improve medication compliance, prolonging their independence and allowing them to age in place."
Studies have shown social isolation among seniors is associated with increased rates of depression and can lead to a shorter lifespan. In fact, those over the age of 65 consistently rank relationships with family and friends second only to health as the most important area of life. Claris Companion aims to address both of these issues by connecting generations and improving the wellbeing of seniors by promoting self-managed care. For more information visit: www.clariscompanion.com.
About Claris Healthcare: Claris Healthcare was founded with the goal of enabling seniors to increase connectivity with loved ones while limiting unnecessary hospital admissions. In order to achieve this goal, Claris Healthcare designs technology that shifts the typical care pathway for seniors living on their own from an ambulance ride destined for an emergency room to a preventative and interactive healthcare approach centered on overall patient wellbeing. After extensive consultation with health care workers, home care providers, retirement home operators, hospital physicians, community physicians, seniors and family members to discover what could be done to ensure seniors are able to live independently, we developed Claris CompanionTM, an innovative communication appliance that helps promote self-managed care for seniors in their homes and enable a more appropriate escalation of care including visual consultations via video conferencing to ensure they are not unnecessarily admitted to hospital.
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