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As our parents become older, role reversal is increasingly becoming the norm. And while the caregiving experience can be rewarding, it can also be stressful. Limited time, money and resources can derail caregiving and turn it into a chore.
Fortunately, there are plenty of tech options that offer quality care and help reduce the stress and time required. Here are five to consider for your family.
Using Skype or FaceTime can help you stay visually connected, but a more robust system can help with the caregiving experience.
For example, the GrandCare System is intuitive and user-friendly, even for seniors with limited technological knowledge. Caregivers can log on and send communications, place a call or send an email and text message. Send reminders of doctors’ appointments and share videos of the family to keep seniors part of your everyday life.
Help Senior Citizens Get Fit
Help parents stay active with a fitness tracker for seniors. Wearable technology like Lively Wearable tracks step count and provides mind challenges to stay alert. It can access urgent response when immediate help is needed. There’s also a non-emergency option in case an elderly parent accidentally locks their keys in the car or encounters an issue they need help with.
For added peace of mind, families can stay connected with the Lively Wearable app on their smartphones. Check-in on your parent’s fitness stats and get alerts when the urgent response button is pressed.
Use GPS Trackers
Senior citizens prone to confusion and episodes of dementia and Alzheimer’s are especially at risk for getting lost. Protect your most vulnerable family members with a GPS tracker like Project Lifesaver. If your loved one goes missing, the caregiver contacts their local Project Lifesaver agency to deploy a trained staff member to locate the person and assist.
Get Medication Reminders
Stop worrying about whether loved ones have taken their medication, or worse, have taken too much medication. A system like MedMinder reminds seniors to take medications with a series of optional visual and auditory alerts.
Caregivers can fill up the MedMinder compartments weeks in advance and rest assured knowing the compartments are locked until it’s time for their parents to take their medication. Users get repeated alerts from the pill dispenser before receiving a phone reminder. Caregivers are also notified by phone if the user hasn’t taken their medications.
Find A Virtual Companion
Rice University and IBM are developing a series of sensors to enhance companion robots to help senior citizens stay safe. The technology is designed to be completely intuitive to use on a regular basis to create a frictionless environment.
While the technology is being developed, seniors can try BUDDY from Blue Frog Robotics. The robot helps lonely seniors restore their well-being and social interactions, remind them of upcoming appointments and monitor their homes. Caregivers can check in on loved ones and get alerts when unusual activity and falls occur.
Leveraging technology to assist with caregiving can turn it into a stress-free and rewarding experience. Make the time you spend with your parents about helping them live their best, independent lives, instead of being consumed by the day-to-day that apps, robots and virtual reminders can help manage.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.