How Technology Can Help Aging Loved Ones Stay At Home Longer

Do you have a loved one currently living alone in his or her own home? Do you often call or visit to make sure your loved one is okay? Do you feel like you are not checking up enough or need help? Believe it or not, did you know that when used appropriately, the right technology can make it easier for seniors to be able to engage with their family and friends and remain healthy and safe in their independent living situation? We would like to share the technologies discussed below that might help your loved one. We encourage you to discuss these technology options with your loved one. In addition, your loved one may want to consult with his or her primary care practitioner to identify areas where technology may help now and in the future.

Health and wellness is very important for your aging loved one. This is an area where technology can be of assistance. For example, telehealth is becoming more and more common. This technology makes it easier to manage illnesses and connect with health care professionals while at home. You should assist your loved one during the first few video visits and help give your loved one the confidence to connect with health care professionals independently. Another technology example is a medication management system. Medication management 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.

There is so much concern about our aging loved ones being isolated or lonely and this is an area where technology can help fight social isolation. Technology, like a simple cell phone, can increase your loved one’s ability to connect. You can now look for phones with large buttons and clear screens. The Lively Flip phone was designed for seniors, and comes 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. Does your loved one have hearing loss? Consider a captioning app like Clear Captions that can allow your loved one to read phone conversations in near real-time. You should 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, at its best, can offer seniors opportunities to connect with friends and family, which is necessary as many seniors suffer from isolation and depression. Also, look for easy-to-use computers and touch-screen capabilities, like the GrandPad or iPad.

Keeping your loved one safe at home is so important and there is technology that can help. As your loved one ages physically and mentally, and the risk of falling or wandering off increases, there are technologies that can help your loved one stay safe while living at home. Home monitoring systems, like 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.

Do not wait to contact our law practice to learn more today. We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting. To learn more about Meloro Law and how we can help you when you need legal representation for estate planning or elder law issues do not wait to call us today.