Did you know that, when used appropriately, the right technology can make it easier for seniors to be able to engage with others and remain healthy and safe in their independent living situation? The technologies discussed below might help your loved one. Discuss the options with your loved one, and consult with your loved one’s primary care practitioner to identify areas where technology may help now and in the future.
Technology can help support and promote health and wellness for your aging loved one. Telehealth seems to be more common and can make it easier to manage illnesses and connect with health care professionals while at home. Assisting during the first few video visits can help give your senior the confidence to connect with health care professionals independently.
Furthermore, medication management systems can issue reminders, dispense medications, monitor medication usage, and notify caregivers when doses are missed. Products like TabSafe, epill, and MedMinder are some of the products available to consumers for purchase or for rent.
Technology can also help fight social isolation. A simple cell phone can also increase your loved one’s opportunity to connect. Look for phones with large buttons and clear screens. The Lively Flip phone was designed for seniors, with a special one-click button to connect with a member of the Lively Response Team, who can summon help or connect the caller with a board-certified doctor or nurse. If your loved one has a hearing loss, a captioning app like Clear Captions can allow them to read phone conversations in near real-time. You should also consider utilizing video conferencing technology like Zoom and FaceTime. Face-to-face conversations can be easier for seniors, and allow for inclusion even when there are social distancing restrictions. Technology can offer seniors opportunities to connect with friends and family, which is necessary as many seniors suffer from isolation and depression. Look for easy-to-use computers and touch-screen capabilities, like the GrandPad or iPad.
There is also technology that can work to keep your aging loved one safe at home. As bodies and minds age, and the risk of falling or wandering off increases, there are technologies that can help seniors stay safe while living at home. Home monitoring systems, like Lively Home or Alarm.com Wellness, use strategically-placed sensors to allow you to monitor your loved one’s daily activities and will notify you when there is a disruption. Personal emergency response systems (or PERS) are typically worn on a necklace or belt clip, and will send an alarm if it perceives a fall, wandering, or if the individual wearing it presses the button. Many will send help immediately. An example of this type of product is MobileHelp. If wandering is a concern, GPS tracking devices, like GPS SmartSole or Theora Connect Wearable, can alert the authorities and help locate a missing person quickly.
For assistance navigating related legal issues or directing you to other resources to help your aging loved ones, please reach out to our office today to schedule a meeting time.