As adult children taking care of elderly parents, we often consume most of our caregiving time addressing the medical problems and physical limitations of our elderly parents who need help with bathing, medication management, housekeeping, or errand-running. Stopping in after work or going over on the weekend to help out is about all
“Sue” was one of our dementia clients with a daughter who was ahead of the technology curve. Five years ago, when we were caring for her mom, she had a camera in her mother’s condo to check in on her and the at-home caregivers who came in to help her. Sue’s daughter was concerned about her mother’s ability to live safely at home. Having caregivers in place was one method to help her mom safely age in place, and technology was her other tool.
Today, there are many affordable technologies available to help seniors remain in their homes longer.
StrideLight Lighted Walking Cane
The StrideLight Cane is a lighted walking cane that illuminates walking paths with an easy-to-use button on the handle. We frequently receive calls from adult children taking care of elderly parents who are concerned about nighttime falls on the way to the bathroom. The StrideLight Cane is one way to help prevent nighttime and other falls that can happen because of hazards such as throw rugs, uneven pavement, or pets underfoot.
GreatCall Mobile Monitoring
GreatCall provides a variety of mobile monitoring devices that bring safety monitoring to a new level. The Jitterbug smartphone and Jitterbug flip phone allow families instant access to the location, habits, and daily activities of their loved one with the phone. Using GPS technology, Jitterbug provides families with current location at any given time, and it’s easy to monitor using the GreatCall Link app for your own smartphone. If you have concerns about a parent’s memory loss, this technology can help ensure he or she is safe.
GPS SmartSole is a shoe insert with an imbedded GPS tracking device. The SmartSole allows for customized alerts. Family members can identify circular perimeters around a home address and receive alerts when the sole leaves that area. Additional tracking options are available through an app for smartphones, tablets, and computers. This app grants access to recent locations and location history. The SmartSole operates on a battery that requires charging nightly.
Prime Medical Alert
Prime Medical Alert is one of many companies that offer a variety of wearable products and monitoring services designed to provide a senior access to emergency services in the case of a fall or other health emergency. Their NextAlert II is a waterproof wearable device that can also detect when a standing person has fallen to the ground.
Silver Mother Monitoring
There are a variety of monitoring systems available to help keep seniors safe in their own homes. Silver Mother utilizes small sensors that attach to everyday objects, such as pill bottles, refrigerators, and doors. These sensors collect data to establish routines and then sends out notifications and instant alerts. Silver Mother also has online monitoring available, so family members can see patterns over time and determine when there are behavior changes that might be a cause for concern. Most monitoring systems require a monthly subscription fee, but Silver Mother includes monitoring as part of the product cost.
There are many companies that provide video cameras for safety monitoring, from hidden “granny cams” to visible cameras. Nest sells indoor and outdoor security cams that can be used to monitor rooms in a home, either through recorded video or real-time footage that is accessible from your smartphone. With a subscription to Nest Aware, you can also receive alerts if the camera detects activity in certain areas of the home. This is an easy way to check in on an elderly family member without intruding on their independence.
Carol Hauser, MA
October 6, 2016
“Sue” was one of our dementia clients with a daughter who was ahead of the technology curve. Five years ago, when we were caring for her mom, she had a camera in her mother’s condo to check in on her and the at-home caregivers who came in to help her. Sue’s daughter was concerned about her mother’s ability to live safely at ho
As we get older, it seems, at least for many of us, that our trips to the doctor become more and more frequent. To make things worse, our trips are no longer one-stop shops. There’s a different doctor to see for every medical ailment affecting our bodies. This means, of course, that we go to the cardiologist on one day, the neur
1. Caregiving is a job and respite is your earned right. Reward yourself with respite breaks often. “Because caregiver burnout is a serious concern, it’s important for caregivers to create time for themselves and to focus on their own physical, mental, and spiritual health. When a caregiver ends up with a health crisis, more
It’s a quiet Friday in the office. The phones aren’t ringing. The door isn’t opening. No one is even searching through file drawers. And then, a screaming voice booms out, “Hello, Inez! How are you today?” as if she were leading a marching band instead of conversing on the phone. Despite the sudden break in peace,
It’s not unusual for seniors to exhibit a variety of unexpected changes in behaviors as they age. For example, seniors sometimes become difficult or demanding, a sign of their struggle to maintain independence in the face of physical disabilities. They may get snippy or lash out as they struggle to deal with chronic pain and illness.
There is much scientific and anecdotal evidence to support the health benefits of pet ownership. According to Lynette Hart, Ph.D., studies have demonstrated that Alzheimer’s patients have fewer anxious outbursts if there is an animal in the home. Additionally, WebMD reports of one study where people having either a cat or a dog had lo
There are situations that can further complicate our ability to mourn a loss. My heart goes out to all of you who are dealing with the pain of caring about a person who is alive, yet unavailable as a result of psychological or memory disorders, including Alzheimer’s. Perhaps you want to help keep someone you love safe and feel powerle
[caption id="attachment_2318" align="alignright" width="295"] Margo Rose and her friend Mildred[/caption] It can be very awkward knowing what to do during a visit with someone who is in frail condition. I know this from experience since once a week I have been going to see my 98 year old friend Mildred who is blind and recovering fro
In 2014, when I flew out to visit old family friends “Ginny and Lars,” I was sad to see Ginny meeting me at the airport in a scooter. Since her diagnosis with a rare auto-immune disorder, she had become reliant on a scooter when walking moderate distances. During my visit with them, walking was always a concern, and if she didn’t