Using Technology to Help Aging Loved Ones Stay at Home Longer
Do you have aging loved ones in your family living independently? Are you concerned about their health, safety and isolation? Have you and your family thought about encouraging your loved ones to use the right technology to reach out to their doctors, family and friends? Everyone should discuss whether certain apps or devices might help your loved ones stay safe and healthy. Also, you should consult with the primary care practitioner of your loved ones to identify areas where technology may help now and in the future.
Were you aware that many seniors suffer from isolation and depression? Technology can offer seniors opportunities to connect with family and friends, which can offset any isolation and depression. You should look for easy-to-use computers and touch-screen capabilities, like the GrandPad or iPad. In addition, a simple cell phone will let all your aging loved ones connect with each other and the rest of the family, getting rid of any concern about isolation or depression. There are also phones with large buttons and clear screens. In fact, 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.
Do any of your loved ones have a hearing loss? If the answer is yes, they can use a captioning app like Clear Captions which will allow them to read phone conversations in near real-time. Most everyone will agree that Zoom and FaceTime are a valuable resource video conferencing technology. Face-to-face conversations can be easier for seniors and allow for inclusion, even when there are social distancing restrictions.
Technology can be used to promote health and wellness for your aging loved ones. Medication management and mobility may be two major factors in aging at home. Telehealth is becoming more common, making it easier to manage illnesses and connect with health care professionals while at home. There are also technologies that can help seniors to stay healthy while aging in place.
The use of medication management systems can help your aging loved ones manage their medicines. These systems can issue reminders, dispense medications, monitor medication usage, and notify caregivers when doses are missed. Products like epill and MedMinder are two of the products available to consumers for purchase or for rent.
For exercise, there are many products on the market that can support movement for seniors. While products like the FitBit and AppleWatch are popular, senior living communities across the country have the Wii Fit Plus which include, tournaments and competitions.
Want to make home safer for your loved ones aging in place? Technology can help. As bodies and minds age, there may be new mental and physical challenges. With the risk of falling or wandering off increasing, there are technologies that can help seniors stay safe while living at home. For instance, home monitoring systems, like Alarm.com Wellness, use strategically-placed sensors to allow you to monitor the daily activities of your loved ones and the system will notify you when there is a disruption. Personal emergency response systems (or PERS) can typically be 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.
When your family or financial health is on the line, trust attorney Paul Riffel to help you protect your interests and achieve your goals. Attorney Paul Riffel has been practicing law in Florida for over 39 years, focusing in the areas of Tampa estate planning and family law. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting with us.