2021 census data shows increased pressure on Canada’s healthcare and long term care systems – what can we do?

By | Sleepsense, Smarturns, Vericare, Voice Technology

The latest Canadian census data from 2021 shows seniors over the age of 85 are among the fastest growing age groups in the country. The number of people over 85 more than doubled since the 2001 census, and is expected to triple by 2046. This will put increased pressure on Canada’s healthcare and long term care systems, and the already shrinking pool of caregivers.

What alternatives are there available?

The following blog was written by Barbara Kirby, (CPCA) Certified Professional Consultant on Aging, Coach and Navigator of SeniorAdvocate.ca on successfully using an alternative support system for seniors aging in their own homes

Alternative Support System for Seniors Aging in their own Homes
By Barbara Kirby

At the beginning of the Corona Virus pandemic in early 2020, I started receiving calls from seniors and their families asking how they could stay home safely rather than moving into assisted living or long-term care?

What immediately came to mind is one of my favorite tools to support the elderly living at home independently, a motion censored monitoring system app. This is an app that gives adult children the opportunity to check if their parents are ok at any time of the day, or night giving them immediate peace of mind. At the same time, it provides a sense of autonomy for seniors who might be somewhat vulnerable to the risks of living alone.

The company, Tochtech Technologies, is a Vancouver-based digital health company using combinations of motion sensor technology, voice integration, and AI. They provide solutions to enable seniors to maintain independence at home while offering families, caregivers, or executive managers like me peace of mind. Every morning I check to ensure my client is following their usual routine. Please note that this does not take the place of caregiver/companion support but may enhance how support is coordinated.

Tochtech’s Vericare platform uses motion sensors and AI to track a broad range of my client’s Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), showering, meal preparation, activities around the home, and social interactions. This helps develop an activity and behavior profile unique to my client. Notifications and alerts sent to my cell phone allow me to check for potential falls, the front door being left open, or unusual amounts of time showing no movement in one place, such as the kitchen, living room, bedroom, or bathroom.

Toch Sleepsense can alert us to movements in and out of bed, unusual or undetected heartbeats, or changes in breathing and sleep quality.

Toch Smarturns™ – intelligent knobs for the stove are another tool used. This eliminates the worry of the stove being left unattended for longer than usual, as you will receive an alert. You can make a quick call to mom or dad to ask them to check that the stove is turned off if they are finished using it. This ensures safe cooking. Or you can leave your voice message on the TochTech voice activated system. “Hi Mom, make sure the stove is turned off.”

Reports can show changes in daily or weekly routines as leading indicators when keeping an eye out for an elder’s wellbeing. The charting will indicate more sedentary behaviour over a week or month , alerting you to consider hiring a walking companion. Food is still in the fridge from a week ago; you can see this was not just lack of interest in a particular food, but they are not opening the fridge. Is it time to call in a companion to help with meals?

Vericare has been extremely helpful for me as I witnessed one client’s nighttime habits change suddenly, getting out of bed multiple times at night, moving in and out of the bathroom and wandering in her home. This helped confirm what we suspected as her demeanor started to change as well, becoming uncharacteristically confrontational. She was showing signs of a possible urinary tract infection, now we could get her tested and on to medication if needed.

I had another situation where the system indicated a client had gone into her living room, an unusual place for her to be at that time of the day. There was no movement for over an hour, and I received an alert. I had the neighbour run over and she found my client on the floor, not hurt but unable to get up. We called the paramedics for a lift assist. She wears a fall alert fob around her neck but doesn’t like to push the button as she would rather try to get herself up. This was a soft fall, having sat on a low foot stool to light the fire. She had not been successful at getting up, and the fall was not picked up by the fob to alert paramedics. This happened about 2pm and as I was arriving at 6pm she would have remained on the floor the entire time and she may have been hurt.

Vericare has helped in unusual ways a well. The humidity monitor would indicate when the client was having a shower, this was coming on more often than the twice a week my client was showering. We discovered that every time the laundry was done there would be and excessive amount of humidity in the bathroom as if someone were showering. We had to replace the vent and fan and remind the caregivers to turn on the additional fan in the laundry room to prevent further moisture collection and damage to the fan in the bathroom.

My clients say they appreciate the security of the Vericare System, which in turn enables them to remain in their homes longer and gives families and managers such as myself peace of mind. There are no cameras or microphones; all you need is a good Wi-Fi connection. I was surprised at the reasonable costs for the Tochtech system. Go to SeniorsAdvocate.CA for a unique discount code on any Tochtech Products.

….with care, integrity, and heart in mind for you.

Barbara J. Kirby, (CPCA) Certified Professional Consultant on Aging, Coach and Navigator 604-767-4994

Disclosure: SeniorAdvocate.CA may receive payment from time to time when these products are purchased through this website. Any proceeds go to cover the costs of providing free consults for low-income seniors and their families.

Toch Sleepsense enabling Langley Lodge to maximize quality of care and quality improvements

By | Sleepsense

Tochtech Technologies is delighted to announce an agreement with LangleyLodge to equip every bed at the BC-based seniors’ residence with Toch Sleepsense, Tochtech’s award winning bed-alarmsensor. “We are delighted by the decision of Langley Lodge to invest in the technology, and are pleased to have been able to prove the value of Sleepsense to the leadership team and the care staff during the two-month pilot” said Jessica Yang, CEO of Tochtech.

Installation of Sleepsense at the 139-bed long term care residence which will commence in mid-April. The system will enable care staff to be automatically notified when a senior gets out of bed, has not returned to bed or in the event of a medical emergency while in bed. Additionally sleep quality data of each resident captured will enable care givers to adjust care plans and add interventions to address sleep issues. “Current practices try to accomplish this through conventional methods – a lot of guesswork, relying on the assessment of many people, and this often falls short of the mark. With the data gathered through Sleepsense, I believe we are far betterplaced in ensuring safety and enhanced care in a more timely manner” said Susan Madlung, Resident Care Manager, Langley Lodge.

Langley Lodge is firstand foremost focused on the quality and safety of its residents, andlike many seniors’ home providers is looking to technology to address industry challenges – the availability of competent staff and the ability to offer improved, customized care to residents, cost effectively. “Technologies like Sleepsense offer data that can be used to make better evidence based decisions, and allow us to predict the future needs of our residents. We also believe in leveraging technology so our care staff can be focused on being ‘present’ with our seniors and not busying themselves with tasks that need to be done to the resident” explains Lisa Samms-Maxwell, Director of Care at Langley Lodge. “With the information we now have, we are far better placed to ensure safety and enhanced care in a more timely manner” added Madlung. Senior living providers interested in participating in the Sleepsense pilot program can contact Tochtech at 1-800-360-1286 or info@tochtech.com

For more information on Sleepsense please watch our video and visit www.tochsleepsense.com

Tochie, enabling creative ways for caregivers to offer seniors emotional support

By | Voice Technology

For the last two years, while seniors have been isolated with the aim of protecting them from the corona virus, a crisis of loneliness, has been building.  While senior isolation was identified as a social issue before the pandemic, recent studies have identified over 50% of seniors report to feeling lonely.

The health effects of loneliness are nearly equivalent to smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Loneliness has even been estimated to shorten a person’s life span by as much as 15 years. Loneliness may also increase the risks of serious health conditions such as dementia (by 50%), stroke (by 32%) heart disease (by 29%), mental health disorders (by 26%) and premature mortality (by 26%).

With loneliness amongst seniors at crisis levels researchers are constantly studying ways to help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness.One of these research studies is based in BC, Canada, and being led by Dr. Lillian Hung, RN, PhD, Assistant Professor of the UBC School of Nursing. This study focused on the role technology may play in reducing senior isolation and loneliness.

Dr. Hung and her research team distributed Tochtech’s Tochie, smart speaker devices, to seniors residing at Amica Seniors Residences in White Rock, and their families.  Seniors and family members participating in the study were educated on how to use Tochie and were encouraged to use the device to communicate. Focused groups and interviews were then conducted to  solicit their feedback on their experience using Tochie. Researchers were surprised and encouraged that family members viewed Tochie not just as an enabler for remote care for task and medication reminders, but more so as a means of providing enhanced emotional support for and connection with their loved ones. “Through this study we have found that families used Tochie in creative, personalized ways, from sending reminders to recording special messages and music for their loved ones. It is exciting to see how technologies like Tochie have the capacity to provide not just remote care but also the emotional connection aspect which is vital for our seniors” said Dr. Hung. 

Langley Lodge experiences the benefits of Toch Sleepsense bed sensor technology

By | Sleepsense

Langley Lodge, located in Langley, BC and a cornerstone of the Langley community since 1974, is one of the increasing number of seniors’ homes looking to innovative technologies like Toch Sleepsense to enhance the safety and wellbeing of their residents.

Langley Lodge is running a pilot program to trial Tochtech’s award-winning Sleepsense bed sensor technology.  Offering publicly funded as well as private long-term care services to 139 residents, Langley Lodge management is thrilled to be piloting the Sleepsense bed sensor.  “We are always looking for innovative technologies to enhance the safety and health and wellness of our residents. The sleep data and information Sleepsense is able to provide on our residents’ sleep patterns is so valuable and information we have never previously had. This information helps us better understand some of the health and sleep challenges our residents are experiencing and will offer new insights in how we can better serve and care for them” said Lisa Samms-Maxwell, Director of Care at Langley Lodge.

Placed under the frame of the bed, Sleepsense is able to detect body movement, in and out of bed status and vital signs (heart and breathing rate). Real time alerts are then sent directly to caregivers’ smartphones or a nurse call system when a health or safety risk is identified. Sleepsense ensures care staff are constantly updated on the status of residents without having to physically check on them, and alerted on residents most in need of assistance. This new technology offers residents increased safety, especially high risk residents in Assisted Living and Long Term Care. Toch Sleepsense was the recent winner the 2020 AGE-WELL National Impact Challenge Competition. The Toch Sleepsense trial program were also launched at Fleetwood Place, Elim Village, Laurel Place and Chalmers Lodge seniors residences in BC.

Senior living providers interested in participating in the Sleepsense pilot program can contact Tochtech at 1-800-360-1286 or info@tochtech.com

For more information on Sleepsense please watch our video and read the following article.

2021 Wrap Up

By | Sleepsense, Smarturns, Vericare, Voice Technology

As wrap up to a productive 2021 the team at Tochtech Technologies would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you for your support and business.

2021 has been an exceedingly busy year for us as we built on a number of the initiatives and plans from 2020. The one word that defines 2021 at Tochtech has been expansion: reach, product, and geography.

Our Toch Sleepsense bed sensor continues to gain much attention and further validation with pilot projects in Canada, Australia, China and more recently the UK. This product also gained much recognition during our winning Village MD product pitch that was delivered in Las Vegas recently. 2021 has also seen Tochtech as the technology partner with two significant research projects being carried out by researches from UBC, Carleton University, Breyere and University of Ottawa. Tochie and Toch Sleepsense are the two solutions powering these research projects that are focus on improving senior care.

From a product expansion perspective, the technical teams at Tochtech have been busy enhancing our award-winning Toch Sleepsense bed sensor ensuring it remains ahead of its competitors. Earlier this month we also launched our new Sleepsense Night Safety Package which integrates Sleepsense with smart lights offering a unique night safety feature for seniors. And just this week Tochtech in conjunction with Dr. Colleen Carney and her doze team launched the new doze mobile app for teens. Yes, we have been busy!

2021 has seen our business growth with our partners in Australia, New Zealand and China but also expand through new partnerships in the UK, Newfoundland and Thailand. We have also expanded our retail presence through partnerships with senior care consultants and providers as well as retailers Best Buy and Amazon.

As we look to 2022 and building on the solid foundation of this year, the team at Tochtech wish you a very Happy Holiday Season

The Tochtech Team