Technology and Senior Care – Enhance Your Independence!

While technology won’t cure disease or prevent aging, there are a number of companies with devices and apps that are aimed at helping you care for your loved ones–even when you can’t be in their home with them. And anything that removes stress, helps maintain healthy routines, and alerts you to possible dangers can also contribute to better health. Combining technology and senior care can make a difference.

A system that lets you know that your senior loved one has not wondered from their home, a system that lets you know their doors are locked, that they have used the refrigerator or the pillbox all at the normal times, and that they have not fallen down does much more than just set your own mind at ease. It also allows you to provide your loved one with reminders, or even rush to their aid if they are in need of assistance. Technology and senior care has the added benefit of allowing your loved one to have more peace of mind. They won’t have to worry about you being “inconvenienced” by having to physically check in on them so often. You will also find that you will no longer have to repeatedly ask them about their activities. Everyone benefits when a senior is able to maintain an enhanced sense of independence by knowing you will be alerted should they ever truly need you to be there.

How To Combine Technology And Senior Care

If you install SmartThings in your senior’s home, you can look at your smartphone to see what’s going on. It will show you whether your loved one is inside the home or not, whether the lights are on or off, if doors locked or not and more! You can automatically or manually control things from your phone, like turning on the lights, speakers, or television to prompt your loved one to remember medications or meals. You can connect to cameras either inside or outside of the home as well as to other third-party devices. There is no monthly service fee.

Lively has a family of devices that easily install without any need for internet service in your senior’s home. Motion-sensing units attach to pillboxes, refrigerator doors, shower doors, and anything else you choose. All  sensors communicate to a single hub that simply plugs into an electrical outlet. The sensors allow you to monitor and to be alerted if any regular activities are missed. If your loved one wears the watch device, it can alert them to when they need to take medications; it can monitor their activity level with a built-in pedometer; and it features an emergency button that your loved one can use to call for help. The Lively expects to have a wearable device available soon that provides advanced fall detection, thus removing the need for your senior to even have to push the help button. Lively does charge a monthly fee, but includes a 24/7 live telephone assistance and emergency call service.

BeClose uses discreet wireless sensors placed in the home to track routines and activities to keep both family caregivers and health providers informed about your senior loved one’s activities and behavior.

In addition, many home centers and electronic stores now offer a variety of brands and styles of sensors and home monitoring systems.

How to shop for tech without being overwhelmed by options

Exploring technology and senior care can be overwhelming. With an ever growing array of options, it can be easy to get confused trying to choose what to buy. You may even end up purchasing more devices than you really need. To avoid this, make a list. What concerns do you have about your loved one when they are alone? What specifically do you want to monitor or be alerted to? Compare those needs with the products available in order to find the best match.

Staying home and staying safe can be the healthiest option for most seniors

Staying in one’s home is by far the preferred choice for the majority of seniors. Being able to do so has ripple effects not only in their own health, but with yours as well. Seniors with Alzheimer’s or dementia are especially sensitive to surroundings and can be negatively affected by moving to a care facility. Living alone (or with family) can also mean fewer infections, better nutrition, and better mental health than living in a healthcare facility. But it is also important for family caregivers to maintain their own jobs and social lives all the while keeping stress levels as low as possible. By using monitoring technology, everyone can stay connected, informed, and have additional peace of mind.

We are all of us fortunate to be living in an age in which technology can assist everyone to remain independent for much longer periods of time. Because of the aging demographic, innovation in this area is now occurring at a truly rapid pace. Home and Hearth Caregivers fully embraces this new way for older people to remain independent and healthy for as long as possible. We will continuously stay abreast of innovation in this area. In the weeks and months ahead, please check here for further insights on how technology and senior care can not only be a powerful tool for extending your loved one’s independence and health, but how in a very real sense it can be a blessing for yours as well.

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