Samaritas, partners deliver tech-based eldercare solution

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Glass is a small, lightweight nonmedical wearable device with a glanceable display for hands-free work. Courtesy 1Minuut

Samaritas announced a partnership with Netherlands-based 1Minuut to introduce assisted reality to care for older adults with dementia.

The Samaritas Caregiver Accessible Resources Education Services (CARES) Program is delivered for the first time using Glass Enterprise Edition 2 together with 1Minuut’s Genzõ app to securely connect caregivers at home with specially trained professionals and increase dementia care skills for elder care providers.

Glass is a small, lightweight nonmedical wearable device with a glanceable display for hands-free work. Genzõ will run on Google Cloud.

Samaritas and its tech partners believe these platforms will help extend the time older adults with dementia can live at home with loved ones by allowing family caregivers to communicate in real-time, with real view, so an off-site professional can see and hear what the caregiver sees and hears, providing instant support and advice on everything from behavioral challenges to home safety.

The Samaritas CARES Program addresses the global lack of innovative caregiver training, for both professional and family caregivers, by taking a new step toward leadership in a certified, patient-focused, dementia-capable care program.

“To fulfill our mission and our commitment to seniors, Samaritas has reached across the globe for the benefit of Michigan families,” said Sam Beals, CEO of Samaritas. “We established the Samaritas CARES Program to meet the needs of older adults living with dementia now and in the future by training loved ones and elder care providers. We focus on what they can do and enjoy, not what they’ve lost, which also helps reduce stress and burnout.”

Genzõ is an all-in-one health care communication app that is double encrypted to securely enable chat and video calling through Glass Enterprise Edition 2. CARES-trained and -certified Samaritas specialists coach professional and family caregivers of older adults with dementia directly from the caregivers’ perspective with the built-in camera on the wearable Glass device, facilitated by the Genzõ app.

“In the Netherlands, we have seen and proven how innovative technical solutions, like the pairing of Genzõ with Glass, has transformed the quality of elder care in complex medical situations,” said Martijn de Groot, co-owner of 1Minuut.

The Michigan Health Endowment Fund provided a grant of nearly $500,000 to support training, program operation and purchase of technology to offer professional and family caregivers access to the CARES Program at no cost during the pilot phase, which is scheduled to begin in the fall in Grand Rapids before expanding to other cities throughout the state.

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