Long-Distance Family Stocking Brimming with Coal
Christmas and Hanukkah are upon us, and many long-distance families will be celebrating remotely with elderly parents due to the nationwide COVID onslaught. Long Distance adult children will make the dangerous journey anyway. Those that do travel may call an Aging Life Care Manager after coming across piles of junk mail, consistently dirty clothes, or a house and/or aging parent that looks like lumpy turkey gravy. Those adult children who stay safely home in the pandemic will need their aging parents to have some technology to communicate with them. Both groups should consider technology as a gift to seniors
Technology Pushes Coal Out of Stocking
Before you get that call, you should read Laurie Orlov’s blog, a fellow Geriatric Care Manager now very well known in the field of aging for her expertise in aging technology. This is what Orlov has to say about long-distance technology in the pandemic. When they call you you might suggest one of the high-tech items Orlov suggests a part of an older family member’s life. Especially during the pandemic. These gero-technologies can help an older parent or relative shelter safely in place, avoid loneliness and isolation through connecting with others, age in place, and improve communicating with loved ones.
Videoconferencing is a great way to keep elderly parents connected and less lonely and isolated. It can also be a good tool for adult siblings who live apart to have chats or meetings about Mom or Dad. Free programs like Skype or another parent-friendly plus easy choice Facetime and the built-in webcams on many computers, make this easy on elders. Zoom has become the number one way that families communicate, during the pandemic. . For the holidays, birthdays or even a crisis, it is how we virtually gather now and has a free version.
Amazon Echo Show uses Alexa, by activating Amazon’s voice and can make calls to adult children or anyone, making it easy for seniors to talk to anyone including family. An older standard telephone conference service is still highly rated and still free, as well. Freeconferencecall.com
A device that is very appropriate for elders who have medication abuse problems is Hero Electronic Pill Dispenser
A more modest choice is Electronic Pill Box with Flasing Reminders
Caregiver Video Cameras
Cameras like Google Nest can monitor an individual’s activities of daily living and provide caregivers with direct video feed on a smartphone, tablet app, or the Web to check on the status of a family member.
Wireless systems. Cameras can be viewed remotely from a smartphone or computer. You may be able to get video motion alerts and the ability to pan and zoom
Canary Care. lets you place wireless sensors around the house to monitor the activity of an elderly parent who is declining, while the family is long distance. The information is sent to your Canary Care portal. The sensors are battery powered and the hub uses mobile data to send the information, so no need for a landline or broadband.
TruSense – can alert long distance or even local adult children if a probable fall occurs. An alert is triggered when TruSense detects that your loved one has not moved from high-risk fall areas (such as a stairwell or restroom) in an unusually long time. Other alerts include doors where the older person could wander.
Other Sensor Products
Sensor products can check a number of items within a house: motion patterns, stove on/off status, carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide levels, air quality, and presence of smoke or fire. They can also lock doors and control other items in the home remotely.
Daily activity monitoring. Activity sensors can be placed on the refrigerator, stove, door, and other objects around the home. Your relative may also wear a watch that monitors activity. You can allow caregivers and physicians to access the data. Set up notifications to be delivered by e-mail, text, or mobile app.: Live!y is a good choice
GCM Technology Guide
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 Ph.D. Get the new Handbook of Geriatric Care Management 4th edition
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