New product QuietCare helps elderly avoid nursing homes

There is a new product called QuietCare which is a home monitoring system that tracks a resident’s health, and alerts designated neighbors by e-mail or phone when something is wrong.

The QuietCare monitoring system can keep up with meals and medications, and to alert others if he has had a fall or other emergency.

In an industry that is becoming proactive, QuietCare focuses on keeping aging or disabled people at home longer. Everything from computerized medication dispensers to concierge health-care managers aim to give the elderly and disabled the assistance they need to stay independent and safe.

With the cost of nursing home care skyrocketing and baby boomers reaching retirement, the country is facing an expensive health-care bill. Nursing homes are already crowded, and at a cost of $6,000 to $6,500 per month in Central Florida, providing round- the-clock nursing home care to an increasing number of seniors could be back-breaking for the nation’s health-care system.

There certainly is no shortage of products designed to help seniors and caregivers.

AT&T offers home video monitoring, or so-called nanny cams, that some people are using to keep a watch on elderly relatives.

LifeAlert — known for its marketing slogan “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” — markets emergency-button systems. Other companies offer similar personal emergency-response systems as well, with prices ranging from $200 to more than $1,500, plus monthly monitoring fees.

If taking medication is an issue, Guardian Medical offers a pill dispenser that can be programmed to dispense medication at certain times, and provide alerts by phone if pills are missed.