Groundbreaking Stanford research for seniors begins at Hotel Oakland Village!

On Thursday, November 29th, Stanford researchers met with Village Members to procure volunteers for the groundbreaking “Smart Home” research they are developing using thermal technology to monitor seniors in their homes and promote healthy aging in place.

At the beginning of the meeting, Megan Jochimsen welcomed all residents and thanked them for their interest in participating in the study. She highlighted that the Hotel Oakland Village is thrilled to have been chosen to be a participant in the study. Megan noted that our Village Motto “Participation = Good Health,” is very relevant to the topic of the research, as the program has potential to allow seniors to remain living in their homes and improve the quality of their lives.

Dr. Lance Downing, who is a leading researcher with the study noted that “This groundbreaking research will improve the health and wellness for millions of people!”

Village residents were very excited to hear more and ask many questions. Phase 1 of the project will involve installing sensors in the residents’ home for 6-8 weeks, starting in early January. The sensors use body heat and motion detection to monitor daily activities of seniors including eating, sleeping, falls, slowed movements, unstable transfers, day-night reversals, fluid intake, immobility (bed or chair), urinary frequency, restlessness, fever, pill consumption, high salt diet, and food consumption. To protect privacy, the sensors produce an unfocused image, where the resident’s identity is protected and can only be accessed by the researchers.

The output of this project aims at improving current techniques for establishing treatment baselines, optimizing intervention planning, monitoring the progress of a treatment, and predicting high-risk situations (e.g. injury produced by falls). All daily activities are important and have an impact on the overall health condition of a senior. The motivation for the program is to allow seniors to live at home for longer periods of their lives, to improve their quality of life, and to avoid costly and unwanted institutional care. To achieve such a goal, a better understanding of real human activities is needed.

If successful, the technology has the potential to be widely used as a method of remote caregiving that can be very cost effective and allow seniors to remain living independently. The Hotel Oakland Village is thrilled to be a part of this exciting research! We will continue to keep you updated on the progress of this ongoing research.