Today’s post comes to us from Marie Villeza who developed ElderImpact.org to provide seniors and their caregivers with resources and advice.
Tech to Help You Take Care of A Senior Loved One from Anywhere
In the past, long-distance caretaking was at best difficult and ineffective and at worst completely impossible. These days, modern tech is making it easier and easier to provide care from afar – even if you live hundreds of miles away from your senior loved one. Here is some of the tech you should know about if you’re looking to manage a senior’s day-to-day life and can’t be there to help them every day.
Apps to hire help
Apps are making it easier to find qualified, reliable people to help your loved one with emergencies, health issues, housekeeping, and everyday tasks. Ridesharing apps like Uber and Lyft allow you to schedule rides for your loved one from far away, like when they need to get to the grocery, a doctor’s appointment, or a church function. An app like TaskRabbit allows you to hire local “taskers” who can perform a variety of things – from installing new appliances, to fixing a leak, to mowing the lawn or changing a hard-to-reach light bulb. For more specialized tasks like pet care, an app like Rover lets you match with dog walkers in your area, dog sitters, and even people willing to board your dog overnight.
Smart pill dispensers
One of the biggest worries a caregiver has about being far away is that they won’t have daily interaction with their loved one’s medications. This can be scary, especially if your loved one is beginning to suffer from any sort of cognitive decline. There now exists plenty of smart pill dispensers that can help you take the guesswork out of it. These machines dose pills automatically, so there’s no chance for your loved one to overdose themselves. You can monitor the pills dispensed from a mobile app. Some of the tops ones of the market include the HERO, Lumma, and Livi.
Fall detection devices
Emergency alert devices have come a long way from the “Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” days of Life Alert. Modern devices come with automatic fall detection, so if your loved one happens to fall in their home and are alone, they don’t even have to press a help button. Help will be called automatically. Many of these devices also allow you to monitor your loved one’s whereabouts through GPS. Here are some of the top-rated models.
Even the most technologically-averse senior can learn how to operate a modern day video chat app. There are so many to choose from and most of them are free – including Google Hangouts, Apple FaceTime, Skype, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. With video chat, you can interact with your senior loved one anytime you want – all you need is a phone and an internet connection. For some long-distance caretakers, there is some guilt about not being able to be there with your loved one as much as you want to. Video chatting multiple times a day may not rid you of this, but it will certainly help.
Many life events prevent us from being able to live close by our senior loved ones. We all have jobs, other family obligations, financial concerns, etc. Though you aren’t able to be there with your loved one in person every day, you can use apps, safety technology, and the help of “freelancers” to provide round-the-clock care – no matter where you are. Make sure that when you do visit, you make those visits count. Get big tasks and appointments taken care of when you’re around, and caring from afar gets much easier.
Photo Credit: Pixabay.com
Thank you, Marie, for sharing your well-written and informative post!
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