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Quebec researchers launch digital project to improve care for seniors at home

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Quebec researchers launch digital project to improve care for seniors at home
WATCH: In a city where 30 per cent of the population is over 65, researchers believe Montreal's Cote-St-Luc is the right place to launch a project to improve support for seniors. Global's Felicia Parrillo has more. – May 3, 2022

In a city where 30 per cent of the population is over 65, researchers believe Cote-St-Luc is the right place to launch a project to improve support for seniors.

“A lot of them are alone. A lot of them need help and it’s difficult in these times to get it to them,” said David Gandell, president of the Cote-St-Luc senior men’s club.

In collaboration with the regional health agency, Université de Montréal and the city of Cote-St-Luch has launched Living Lab. The project that will use digital technology to more clearly understand the needs of older people and more effectively use community resources to help them.

READ MORE: Will Quebec’s ‘massive shift’ toward home care actually work?

“We’re going to use the technology to better understand the living habits of older adults,” said Melanie Couture, Institutional Researcher with the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal. “In order to know what’s going on regarding sleep, preparing meals and outings.”

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The technology involves the use of sensors — movement, contact, humidity and electrical sensors — that can make it possible to understand a person’s routine.

“What we are monitoring are three things: the physical part; if the person is moving normally throughout the house; the cognitive part and the social part of the person,” said Sylvain Giroux, University of Sherbrooke Professor.

The data will be analyzed in real time and if help is needed, a caregiver, neighbour, doctor or the authorities can be notified.

READ MORE: Quebec vows to overhaul its beleaguered health-care system by 2025

Health-care professionals say the ultimate goal of the project is to help seniors live at home longer, while making them feel safe and secure, and with the appropriate care.

“I think we’ve all come to the realization that care can probably be given…at home, as it can be in an institutionalized setting,” said Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, President and CEO of the CIUSSS West-Central Montreal.

Researchers are inviting Cote St Luc residents who are over 65 years old who would like to participate in the project to fill out a survey, available through the city’s website.

They hope to have 20 participants selected by next year, and depending on results, expand the project in the years to come.

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