The Best Technology for CaregiversCaregiving, Technology | April 14, 2015
Today more than ever, technology is available to help make our lives easier in many ways. From finding the most obscure information to ordering clothing or even groceries that will get delivered right to our front door, it’s undeniable that technology plays an important part in our lives.
According to Pew internet research, 33% of adults in the United States are caregivers who turn to technology for help with their caregiving needs. Caregivers are always looking for health information online and offline, as well as seeking support and advice at much higher levels than non-caregivers.
The research shows that technology plays a huge role in caregiving duties today, and the internet itself provides a vast array of resources for caregivers. But there are some other technological items that can give caregiver support as well as assist their aging loved ones, allowing them to live as independently as possible.
Technology that Offers Caregiver Support
Some of the best technology available to caregivers includes:
- Smartphone Apps: A wide variety of smartphone apps can help caregivers with such things like medication and doctor appointment reminders. There are more detailed applications that can assist with all sorts of healthcare planning, like storing medical information, lists of current physicians and prescriptions and general health tracking.
- GPS Devices: Wandering can be an issue for those suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, and a GPS device can alert the caregiver when a loved one is outside a set location, providing them their exact location via a phone call, text or email.
- Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS): Also called Personal Alarm Services, these devices usually come in the form of a bracelet or necklace in which the wearer has access to emergency services with just the push of a button. PERS have been around for a few years now and can help give your aging loved one- and yourself- peace of mind that help is readily available.
- Pill Dispensers: Since it’s common for our aging loved ones to take a variety of medications, sometimes all at different times of the day, an automatic pill dispenser can help them remember to take their medications as directed. This will help them avoid serious complications by forgetting to take their meds, or taking them at the wrong time.
- Home Monitoring: Home monitoring utilizes cameras or sensors to help caregivers keep an eye on their loved ones from any distance. Today’s wireless technology provides a sensor that can monitor areas of the home, like the front door, bathroom or bedroom. When something out of the ordinary happens, like your loved one not getting out of bed at a normal time, the sensors will alert the caregiver that something could be wrong. Cameras can be an attractive safety precaution as well, but before installing one, respect your loved one’s privacy by making sure they agree to this type of monitoring.
- Online Caregiver Support Groups: Finding caregiver support through others who are dealing with similar issues can be some of the most valuable help you can receive. Find an online support forum where you can freely vent some of your frustration to those who understand it best. This support will help lower your stress level allowing you to be a better caregiver.
Use the tools you find the most helpful in your caregiving journey. Anything that can help your loved one live more independently and give you peace of mind should be researched and utilized.
For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit www.asccare.com.