Apps can save lives. It might not be apparent while sitting in a public setting, surrounded by social media addicts. However, you may have a parent or grandparent that enjoys their independence and still lives at home. You can’t be there all of the time. They might be able to take care of themselves but it is perfectly understandable if specific concerns start to enter your thoughts. Did he or she forget to take her pills? Will they forget to use the cane or turn on the light? The fear of the elderly falling and incurring a life-threatening injury is omnipresent for a reason.
Those fears mount up. You and your loved one may not be ready to discuss assisted living or nursing homes. In the meantime, there are smart products emerging on a regular basis that address these and a whole host of other concerns facing caregivers. You can Google the specific products on your own but here is a list of ways to care for the elderly using smart technology.
The pillbox is a challenge that sneaks up on all of us. It may not even have anything to do with age. Keeping track of medication regimens is difficult. The stricter they are, the more important the method of keeping track becomes. You may worry that your loved one will forget to take their pills, or accidentally take the wrong ones. Smart pillboxes send medication notifications to your smartphone.
It makes sense to monitor a small child while you are not present. Call it the circle of life but it is perfectly reasonable to worry about your loved one climbing the stairs or falling in the living room. Equipped with night vision, indoor cameras allow you to observe dangerous areas in your home at all hours from your smartphone.
Here is another one that can be confusing regardless of age. Seniors with poor eyesight will especially struggle with adjusting the settings. The problem is solved with a smart thermostat that can be programmed and adjusted with your smart phone. Voice-sensitive technology such as Alexa or Siri makes things even easier.
Blood Pressure Monitor
If your loved one eventually does move into long-term care, blood pressure is strictly monitored along with the rest of their vitals. While they are still under your care, a smart blood pressure monitor allows you to keep track of family members who have suffered from heart attacks and strokes. You will automatically receive updates when it is used.
Anything that involves a senior getting up, especially if it is not necessary, should at least set off metaphorical alarms for a caregiver. Missing a doorbell may not be the end of the world and might be inevitable with seniors who have hearing problems. However, they won’t want to miss packages or visitors, especially if the visitor is you. Smart doorbells send alerts to their smartphone when someone is outside. They can even see video of who it is before opening the door. You may not be at the controls on this one but knowing they have it is just another secret to peace of mind.
Dementia care and Alzheimer’s treatment has improved greatly and so, thankfully, the occurrence of elderly people wandering away from their homes is not a frequent as it once was. This is also typically the perfect time to consider assisted living options. Meanwhile, geo-fencing technology still exists. This is a device, such as a watch, that your elder will wear. It will alert you via text messages or e-mail if he or she moves out of an established “safe zone.” Many also include a panic button that allows the senior to call for help if they fall.
It’s not a competition but diabetes does tend to give high blood pressure a run for its money in our old age. Both must be carefully monitored. Gluco-monitoring systems allow seniors to send you or doctors their blood sugar readings.
Set up a hub that connects to motion sensors and lights turn on when someone enters the room. Just like that, the elderly no longer have to fumble around in the dark. If there is motion at an unusual time, like late at night, you can opt to receive notifications. Other products can be attached to medication bottles, doors and appliance. Activity is recorded and the data is sent to your smartphone. You will be able to know whether your loved one has eaten or taken their medication yet.
As care managers, we are able to assist you with procuring and setting up services, such as these, for your loved ones. If you are not close by, we can even help by having the alerts go to our care manager so that you feel secure that your family member has someone nearby to intervene as necessary. Although we are writing this from an elder care perspective, many of these apps and other smart technology can also be used for the disabled, brain injured, or chronically ill. Contact us to see how we can advocate for you or your loved one.