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