Living far apart from your ageing parents can make you feel helpless. However, advances in technology makes supporting them as simple as a mouse click.
Here is how to use technology to assist your parents from afar:
Socialising and communicating. Using technology, your parents can easily stay connected with family and friends.
- Simple computers. Touchscreen devices keep things simple for mum and dad. Perhaps a device that is strictly for email, such as the “Presto Email Machine,” will be the best choice.
- Mobile phone. A contract-free phone like allows your seniors to call or text in the event of emergencies.
- If your mum or dad is pretty technologically savvy, using Skype or FaceTime can be a great way to stay in touch.
Health monitoring. Maintaining health care and mobility are two huge factors in keeping mum and dad at home. Fortunately there are numerous products available to help.
- Pill dispensers. These automated gadgets remind mum and dad to take pills on time and how much to take. Some options include “MedMinder,” “e-pill,” or “Philips Medication Dispensing Service.” Broader services such as “TabSafe” also notify you if your parent missed a dose.
- Health management. These systems check vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, blood sugar levels and heart rate. “Philips Telehealth Solutions” is one example. According to some professionals, a product like “Reemo” monitors steps, sleep patterns, heart rate, and other movement in real time.
Tracking systems. These options keep track of your parents’ whereabouts and can alert you if mum or dad has wandered off or fallen.
- Sensor-based systems. These systems integrate wireless sensors in your parents’ home. They attach to almost anything, such as doorways, furniture, or toilets. They follow lifestyle patterns and alert you if something is amiss. Some examples are “BeClose,” “GrandCareSystems,” or “Quiet Care.”
- Personal Emergency Response Systems come in traditional and mobile options. These devices have buttons your loved one can press to summon help. “Lifeline” or “LifeStation” are traditional versions that work within the home. “Mobile Help” or “GreatCall 5Star Responder Service” can go with mum or dad.
Providing helpers. Your parents may need someone to physically assist with part or all of everyday life. According to experts at The Guardian, you can make arrangements via the web. Service providing agencies help you match your parents with trained assistants. Examples include “HomeHero,” “Honor,” “CarePro,” and “Hometeam.”
Downsizing. Your parents may benefit from downsizing. Doing some organising and decluttering can help your aging mum and dad stay in their home longer.
Safety. A cluttered home that is hard to navigate can lead to devastating falls. Opening up space and keeping commonly used items in easy to reach areas helps prevent accidents.
Inheritance. Decluttering helps lighten the burden of those who will inherit items.
Smaller space. Many older people decide to move to a smaller home once their children are grown. A smaller home means less cost and less to maintain. Less space also means less storage, so it may be necessary to reduce possessions before making the change.
Decluttering. In order to downsize, your parents may need to do some decluttering first. According to some experts, decluttering can help your parents in several ways:
- Easier access to what is wanted and needed.
- Savor mementos, letters, photos and other treasured items by arranging them closeby.
- Arrange the home to be more accessible should mobility be compromised.
Tips for decluttering. The professionals at Apartment Therapy offer this great advice:
- Organise first and then evaluate what storage containers are needed.
- Do your decluttering in steps and don’t try to do it all at once.
- Organise into sections, such as trash, donations, recyclables, and storage, then take those items to their designated places as soon as you finish.
- Keep the new system up with regular attention.
Long-distance care is getting easier. Use technology to help your loved ones stay connected and take care of health concerns. You can even arrange for in-home care if needed. Keep in mind that downsizing may help your parents remain home longer. Follow this great advice to keep your parents safe and sound, even from afar.