For those currently caring for elderly patients who have elected to age in place, there is an ever-increasing number of high-tech tools designed to make things easier.

Some are designed with health and wellness in mind, such as the prescription-bottle cap that places a call to the caregiver if medications aren’t taken. Others help with safety issues, such as shoes containing GPS units that will alert caregivers if the wearer wanders off and T-shirts that can administer CPR if the wearer’s heart stops.

Andrew Carle, director of George Mason University’s Assisted Living/Senior Housing Administration Program, has dubbed these science-fiction sounding, microchip-based innovations “nanatechnology.” Such innovations will likely play a greater and greater role in caring for Nana as the population ages. According to Carle, there simply is not enough human labor to care for the large number of seniors who will be requiring care in the coming years.