Whether you’re a healthcare worker or a family member, caring for a senior can be very rewarding. But the job does not come without its challenges. Fortunately, you have access to numerous online resources, such as the one you're on right now, where you can find information, guidance, and support. There are also many tech tools that you can use to simplify your caregiving duties and help seniors stay healthy and happy as they age in place.
Smart home technology has numerous beneficial applications for seniors. Automated and voice-activated smart devices can help the elderly enjoy greater comfort, control, and safety in their own homes.
For example, smart locks and video doorbells allow for greater security and peace of mind. Smart lighting and automated thermostats enable convenient control over the living environment, which is especially useful for seniors with mobility limitations. You can even get smart ovens, cleaning devices, and leak detection tools! Smart devices like these can help make it possible to age in place despite any physical or mental challenges they may be facing.
Medical alert systems are another great form of tech that can keep seniors safe at home. These wearable systems give seniors greater independence and can provide peace of mind to loved ones.
As AARP explains, medical alert systems can perform a wide range of important tasks, from monitoring medical conditions to detecting falls and calling emergency services. Seniors can also use wearable tech to make and receive calls from anywhere, enabling family members to check in easily.
If your senior loved one is prone to wandering, you may want to consider a GPS tracker. This is another type of wearable technology that can help you locate seniors who have become lost. Often, these trackers can be worn as a bracelet, watch, or necklace, but you can also get tracking devices that fit into shoes or clip onto keychains.
Keep in mind that you may have to pay a service fee to access GPS capabilities. While some devices come with no monthly fees, they may have limited tracking capabilities. You have several options, so take your time to find a product that best meets your needs!
Seniors with smartphones can take advantage of a plethora of helpful apps to maintain their health, connect with loved ones, and boost their cognitive skills. Help your loved one get set up with all the apps that will enhance their life.
If your patient or loved one has a hard time navigating their mobile device, you can set them up with a special Android launcher, for example, to simplify their mobile interface. Simple launchers make it easy for seniors to use apps, make calls, and take pictures without combing through disorganized home screens and complicated phone settings.
Telehealth services can bring endless benefits to geriatric patients. Telemedicine, which are health-related services available through telecommunication technologies, allows seniors to consult their healthcare providers remotely.
With the help of telehealth apps, your senior can hop on a video or voice call with their doctor so they can discuss health concerns and renew prescriptions without leaving the house. This makes healthcare more convenient and affordable, especially for seniors in remote locations.
Certain tech tools can also help seniors access transportation and food delivery services. These can play a crucial role in a senior’s ability to remain independent and age in place when they live alone.
Apps like Uber and Lyft allow seniors to get around on their own, even if they can no longer drive.
Grocery delivery services like Shipt, Instacart, and Amazon Fresh will ensure your patient or loved one always has fresh, healthy ingredients available to use in the kitchen. If cooking has become a challenge, seniors can even have full meals delivered right to their door! Today, countless tech solutions can help homebound seniors live happy, healthy, and fulfilling lives.
Regular socialization is vital to our health and well-being. But when we reach our senior years, it becomes more difficult to maintain social connections and stay engaged in our local communities. This is where social media and video chat tools come in handy.
Help your senior get set up on social media so they can connect with loved ones, view pictures of their grandchildren, and play games with their friends online. Similarly, video-chat tools enable the elderly to talk face to face with friends and family and could be one of the best ways to combat depression in those who feel socially isolated.
If you’re a long-distance caregiver to a loved one, video-chat is a great way to check in on them and spot potential health problems that you wouldn’t be able to pick up on over a regular phone call.
If your patient or loved one is going to be adopting new tech tools and spending more time online, make sure they understand the importance of digital security. Seniors often fall victim to online scams. Before you move forward, help them establish a digital security plan to protect them from serious cyber threats like identity theft and cyber attacks.
The right tech tools can help the elderly enjoy a higher quality of life when living at home. Technology also makes life easier for everyone involved in their care, including family caregivers and healthcare workers, since tech can be used to stay in touch with seniors and monitor their health, even if you live far away. Once you implement these tech services into your care routine, you’ll find them an indispensable part of your caregiving strategy.
Thank you Mary Shannon for contributing this article.