Technology and Caregiving: Taking Care from a Distance

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Technology Solutions for the Long Distance Caregiver

Older Americans are living longer– in fact, ABC News reports “the number of Americans age 65 or older increased tenfold in the last century.” With those numbers going up, so are the numbers of people that are caregivers older relatives. An estimated 34 million Americans are legal caregivers to their older parents. Additionally, 15% of those caregivers live at least one hour away from their relative– so how do they do it?

Technology plays a large role in allowing people to take care of family when they are not nearby. Various applications, gadgets, and services made available through web communication make it easier than ever to ensure your parent or older family member’s safety and happiness.

Tools geared toward this situation can not only monitor the aging loved one and address emergency situations, but also contribute to peace of mind, a sense of security and enhanced communication.

Technology and Safety

In recent years, developers have established a plethora of tech tools that can help your parent feel more secure throughout the day. Emergency response devices that they can keep on their person allow them to contact a highly-trained agent or emergency number in case of a fall or other serious injury.

With the push of a button, the agent can locate your relative and dispatch emergency services in no time. You can also set these programs up to contact you as soon as possible so you can get to your loved one when they need you most.

As we get older, the list of medications we use to maintain quality of life increases. Even for young people, it can be confusing and difficult to remember your medication schedule.

An electronic medication management system keeps inventory of pills and can even alert them when it is time to take them. Some devices connect to the internet and provide additional information regarding a medication’s safety and side effects, so your relative can be a more educated consumer. Finally, electronic medication management systems can communicate with the pharmacy and automatically process refills so your parent never misses a dose.

Considering older people are often targets for crime, reinforcing their home security is a must. A digital security system deters burglars and criminals to give you peace of mind. Even if they do not attempt to break in, a security system can alert proper authorities of any suspicious activity around the property.

Technology and Services

One of the benefits of getting older is you are not expected to do everything for yourself for once. Your parents or older relatives have earned the right to sit back and relax while someone does the heavy lifting for them. With technology, it’s easier than ever to contact people who can help with day-to-day chores.

Some services you can find online nowadays include:

Technology and Communication

Loneliness can be hazardous for a person’s health. If your parent is far away, you can use technology to stay connected and reduce the perils of loneliness. Face to face communication can be established with just a push of a button. There are even special tablets created with seniors in mind to make it easier. Schedule a few times throughout the week to catch up with your parent to give them something to look forward to and to ensure you are checking in frequently enough. However, it’s important to surprise them with impromptu calls as well. Those little actions can make a big impact on his or her happiness.

With a growing, aging population, more and more Americans are becoming caregivers to parents and other older relatives. However, distance between homes can sometimes make this a bit more difficult. Fortunately, there are technological advances that allow us to help secure, service, and communicate with senior relatives despite the difference.

 

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