New communication technology for seniors tested in Sarasota

New communication technology for seniors tested in Sarasota

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SARASOTA COUNTY, FL -

Many adults have to balance caring for two generations- their own children and their aging parents.

But a new system is being tested in Sarasota that could improve communication with the elderly without invading their privacy.

It's called the ‘Lively' system.

As Jean Lohr got older, her children asked her to get up and move.

So she left her home in California and settled into an independent living facility in Venice.

And even though she's alone, her daughter is able to check in on her from afar.

Lohr said, "I think it's a new innovation, I have not heard of something like this before."

The ‘Lively system' is a new tool designed to improve communication between the elderly and their adult children.

Sensors are placed on commonly used items, like medicine boxes or refrigerator doors.

These sensors wirelessly connect with the adult child on an easy to read interface -showing whether the parent is healthy and behaving normally.

‘Lively' teamed up with Sarasota-based 'Institute for the Ages' to do a five-week study of the system.

Stacy Prouty with ‘Institute for the Ages' said, "How do we keep tabs on everybody? How do we make sure that we know that we're taking care of our elders who don't want to move in with us."

"It gives you a comfort level that the activity level is normal," said daughter Diana Geiss.

Geiss says it improved their conversations. And photos and messages would be sent to Jean on a ‘Lively gram'- think of it as a Facebook page in paper form.

Geiss said, "It was particularly nice for my sister who lives in another state to be able to watch the activity and feel like she was part of the project with us."

It's a new system to keep in better touch, without being too intrusive.

The lively system is in final production and it will be ready to nationwide release later this summer.

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