How to Use Technology to Care for our Beloved Seniors From Afar

Today we have another guest article from our good friends at elderaction.org. Enjoy.

Today’s fast paced global economy and competitive job market may mean that more people will uproot from their hometown and move to new places to take advantage of better job opportunities and career advancement. This could mean moving thousands of miles away from elderly parents who are dealing with the challenges of aging. If you have parents that are facing mobility issues, dementia, Alzheimer's, or other health issues, it can be tough to be so far away. Thankfully, modern technology can help you stay in touch and even provide limited services to them in ways like never before.

As more seniors opt for living in their own familiar home it is important that they remain safe and secure. For elders with mobility issues, they may not leave their home often and therefore have much less social interaction with others. This can lead to them feeling isolated and depressed. Fortunately, with today’s technology there are options to help with this. Phone calls are a great way to stay in touch. Smartphones have become very simple to use even for our less tech savvy parents. One touch speed dialing can make staying in touch as easy as the push of a button. Most phones include a front facing camera as well so you can video chat with each other and have a face to face conversation from anywhere. This can also gain better insight to how they are really doing instead of just hearing their voice on the phone. There are several video chat services out there but make sure you pick one that is very simple and easy to use. Staying connected can really brighten their day and also reduces their risk of depression.

Another advantage of smartphones is the ability to run apps that can make life a little bit easier for our senior parents. Over one third of people 65 or older are prescribed medication. Many of those take multiple daily prescriptions. It can be a lot to manage knowing when, how much, and other special instructions, like if the medicine needs to be taken with food or not. There are apps that can be downloaded onto a smartphone that have a list of all the required medications and also give reminders on when to take and even refill prescriptions. This can be especially important as the mind ages and loses cognitive ability as not taking or taking too much of a medication can cause serious health issues.

Since we are not physically there to look after our loved ones, it is important they have access to those that can help. Wearable personal alarms and GPS trackers can add peace of mind. A simple slip in the shower on the steps can be life threatening if seniors don’t get help. With a press of a button they can be in contact with an emergency service who can come and provide them help. Alzheimer’s patients have also been known to get confused and wander off. Being able to quickly locate them is vital. A GPS tracker is a great tool as it can quickly pinpoint their location and movement so you can get help to keep them safe.

Technology allows us to connect and in some cases reconnect with people like never before. Some seniors may still be battling addiction issues from the past. These issues may have driven you apart over the years. Although none of us can erase the past, there is always hope for those willing to work to improve the future. If you know someone close to you that is recovering from addiction it’s never too late to attempt to make amends. When we get old we all look back at the things we wish would have done differently, and almost always our biggest regret is not having better relationships with those whom we may have drifted apart from.

No matter how many miles separate us from our loved ones, it’s never been easier to stay in touch. Technology has made it simpler to stay connected and improve seniors lives. It also helps our parents stay more independent longer. Mobile video capability allows us to check in and share whenever we want. Apps can take the confusion out of taking multiple important daily prescriptions and personal alarms allows them access to emergency services in the event the unexpected happens. Most importantly though, is the ability to keep and in some cases rebuild important relationships no matter where we are.

Photo Credit: Pexels

We are very happy to be able to share this information with you. While we all may have differing thoughts about how pervasive technology has become in our modern society, its important to understand that we can use that same technology as a resource to help care for the members of the aging community. A word of thanks is due to ElderAction for providing some education on this subject.

Jim Vogel, along with his wife, Carolyn, are the founders of ElderAction. Through ElderAction, they work to promote senior health and safety; while sharing valuable information with seniors and their caregivers. Find out more about their good work by visiting them at elderaction.org.

Respectfully,

The Owners of Holistically Devoted Assisted Living Facility

Holistically Devoted Assisted Living Facility (HDAL) is the premier assisted living facility in Prince George's County, Maryland. At HDAL, we deliver holistic health care to our residents - by meeting all their personal needs while allowing them the dignity of being freethinking and independent adults; and we provide devoted service - by being ever-present as servants in the lives of our residents as we assist them with performing their activities of daily living.

#elderaction #hdalfacility #assistedliving #technology #care

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