New technologies have improved how senior living administrators and staff can monitor residents and keep them safe, particularly in preventing falls. One new app lets caregivers improve resident safety by helping them detect potential falls and wandering behaviors.

BoundaryCare, an app for the Apple Watch, collects health and wellness data and shares it with caregivers. Through geo-fencing, the app can spot falls and report wandering events.  Additionally, it monitors health metrics such as heart rate, A-fib, oxygen saturation, cardio fitness and sleep tracking and has medication reminders.

To detect and prevent wandering, caregivers or nursing home staff can designate “safe zones” for each patient, so the app can send an alert to staff when the patient is outside of that zone. This feature is particularly helpful for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, the company says. Users also can customize which events should trigger alerts and monitor biometrics for health issues by entering personalized heart rate and oxygen level thresholds.

Falls cost the US health system $50 billion a year, and by 2030, there will be 72 million older adults experiencing a combined 52 million falls each year, according to SafelyYou’s 2022 State of Falls report. 

Elsewhere in the marketplace, more tools are being introduced that use technology to detect and prevent falls and wandering and monitor health. One device, Cherish Serenity, uses AI radar technology to detect biometrics, body movements, falls and other safety risks through sensors.

Another tool is Samsung’s new smartwatch, which uses sensors to monitor and improve sleep quality. The watch line helps users understand their sleeping patterns, build healthy sleeping habits, and develop more sleep-conducive environments. Additionally, HSC Technology, an Australian-based senior living provider, is testing new tools that use the internet of things in fall prevention. This technology could also be adopted for senior living communities and nursing homes in the US. Falls, which are preventable, are a leading cause of injuries and premature death in senior care settings.