MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — As our parents age, they worry about becoming frail and losing their independence. However, as we look ahead to the future, it turns out that technology might keep many baby boomers out of nursing homes altogether.

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Les Grant is director of the Long Term Care Center at the University of Minnesota. He says new technologies will replace nursing homes for many baby boomers.

“We can’t build enough nursing homes – it will bankrupt us,” said Grant.

Sensors and monitors will track physical conditions, alert authorities to falls and keep senior in their own homes.

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“This (new technology) is a smart house, but it’s a smart house on steroids,” said Grant.

It’s the wave of the future, but it’s already being tested in Sioux Falls.

The Good Samaritan Society is using technology to track seniors and keep them in their homes longer while Dr. Grant analyzes the costs and benefits. So far, he’s impressed.

“If you build a long term care system that older people actually want and desire, they won’t wait until they’re so frail and old that they have to be in nursing home,” added Grant.

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Research will run through 2015, but Grant believes they will discover legitimate cost saving by using technology to keep people in their homes longer.

Amelia Santaniello