Happy Thanksgiving .The holidays are officially here, and many families will be celebrating with elderly parents. Sometime during the festivities,they may come across piles of junk mail, consistently dirty clothes or a house and/or aging parent that looks like lumpy turkey gravy. At that point they may call an aging life or geriatric care manager
If you get that call, there is great new technology for a family at a distance. When they visit you might suggest one of these high tech items a part of an older family member’s life. These gero-technologies can help an older parent or relative age in place and improve communicating with loved ones.
Videoconferencing is a great way to keep elderly parents connected. It can also be a good tool for adult siblings who live apart to have chats or meeting about Mom or Dad. Free programs like Skype and the built-in webcams on many computers, make this easy on elders. Others include:
One item I love is Presto. You can load pictures of you and your family or write notes and letters and send them to your parents. They don’t have to do anything. The service just prints your message and photos out in their home. It’s a great gift for someone with memory loss, or just for Mom and Dad to have in general—with the wonders of technology they don’t have to have any computer savvy.
If your elderly Mom or Dad would like to use e-mail but need a simple technological tool, PawPawMail takes the complexity out of the process. For $5 a month, users transmit and receive mail through PawPawMail’s Web site, which features simple graphics, large type and real names rather than potentially confusing e-mail addresses. The account manager, typically a younger family member, sets up the account, creating a list of approved e-mail senders; spammers and phishers cannot get through.
Also, if they need to have a virtual meeting with sisters and brothers about anxiety producing signs while visiting parents, there are virtual web meeting sites where family and friends can post messages to each other.
In these virtual meeting places family can keep track of all interactions in one place. Examples of this technology are Caring Bridge and Care Pages. If you want to choose an affordable teleconference link for you family to discuss Mom and Dad’s problems try Free Teleconference.
Technology moves in nano-seconds and changes almost as fast. Give clients and their families the updated information. For a totally overhauled technology chapter,” Technologies That Support Aging in Place “, by GCM Julie Menack and Berkeley’s head of the Center for Aging and Technology, David Lindeman PhD. Get the new Handbook of Geriatric Care Management 4th edition now–
Have a Happy Thanksgiving
The 4th edition of the Handbook of Geriatric Care Management is out today. This has been over a year in the making and remains the only textbook and number one source for practitioners of aging life or geriatric care management.
New to this edition are two key chapters. Care Managers Working with the VA by Dr. Len Kaye, Professor, University of Maine School of Social Work and Director, University of Maine Center on Aging and 6 VA representatives including Glenn Osborne, Dr. App. Sc. (Gerontology) Managing Director, Elder Veterans Legal Aid Group, Nashville, TM. The chapter is a how-to chapter lighting the very difficult path to VA benefits that all veterans deserve.
Seven million Americans over the age of 65 suffer from depression. A new Chapter on this crippling condition is now in the Handbook written by Dr. Anne Katz Anne Katz, PhD, and LCSW,
University Southern California.
Most chapters have new authors, rooted in academia, teaching aging Life and care management all over the US. This includes a completely updated technology and aging in place chapter by Dr. David Lindeman of the Center for Aging and Technology at UC Berkeley, a national figure in gerotechnology and Julie Menack an expert in care management technology.
It will be out in Kindle in November.
Dr. David Lindeman and Julie Menack, in their new chapter on Technology in the Handbook of Geriatric Care Management 4th edition offered 5 steps to choose the right technology fr aging clients.. Here are 4 and 5
4. Follow-up problem solving: Schedule follow-up visits and/or contacts to determine if the technology is being used appropriately.
·4. Evaluation: Determine whether the initial goal has been met, and if not, evaluate whether additional training is required or if the technology should be modified or removed.
Potential impediments to technology implementation should be kept in mind during this process. The care manager should anticipate that many clients are not familiar with specific technologies, have not used new technologies (including smart phones), and may not be comfortable with technology in general.
Even more fundamentally, clients may resist the use of technology because they are in denial that they need care or may resent the loss of independence that the technology signifies, and thus may try to sabotage or avoid using it.
A client’s limitations, such as physical impairment (e.g., vision, hearing loss), technical difficulty, and impaired cognitive ability may limit the use of some technologies, but support from a care provider can easily help overcome some of these limitations. Consideration should also be given to balancing a client’s need for privacy, autonomy, and dignity with the usefulness of certain aging in place technologies.
New PBS segment on tech start ups catering to baby boomers and seniors and how AARP tracks them down. Handbook of Geriatric Care Management 4th edition will feature a updated chapter on technology by Dr. David Lindeman, of UC Berkeley’s Center for Aging and Technology .Look for the new edition in the Fall and watch this so timely PBS segment on new gero-tech.