In Part II of our Aging in Place with Grace series, we are tackling the topic of Tech For Elders. As our loved one’s cognitive abilities decline their ability to use the technology they once did can decline as well.
Thankfully there are tech products designed with this in mind. Finger that were once nimble and minds that were once sharp can greatly benefit from the use of a few “modified” tech gadgets around the house.
Emergencies are bound to arise – some of them you may not even have ever considered. Case in point: my mother-in-law started a bush on fire outside her front door when she was “sneaking a smoke” and the cigarette she thought she snuffed out was in fact…not 😮 She is sharp of mind still and knew to call 911 – we’re not so certain that my father-in-law would know what number to call. This phone has the number pad but it also has 1 button calling options. You put a picture of the person or emergency staff associated with that phone number on the button and your elder simply has to pick up the receiver and punch a button – help is on the way!
If everyone in the home needs the push button feature there are phones such as this one that offer only picture, one button push options. This also eliminates the possibility that your loved ones could accidentally make calls that can get expensive quickly such as an international call.
Entertainment and reminders
As our elders are home more and some may even be homebound the tv can be a good distraction and source of entertainment. However, it can also quickly become a source of frustration if the wrong button is hit. We have made many trips to our loved ones home to “fix” the tv. This universal remote control has only the buttons they need.
Most elders have medicines that they need to take and some of them need to dosed at specific times of the day. If you are not available 24/7 it is important to help them to remember to get their medicines taken so their health conditions are maintained. This clock is great for this. It has the option to set 5 different alarms during the day and has numbers big enough for almost everyone to see!
Health and wellness
When Covid hit we knew that we had to monitor the wellness of our loved ones even closer. We didn’t know much about this virus but we did know that it was prone to settle into the respiratory system and that monitoring oxygen levels was important to know when emergency medical attention might be needed. We made sure that every household we were monitoring had an oximeter in it. Little did we know that this little tool was going to be handy for monitoring all kinds of health conditions as it also monitors pulse. I highly recommend you have one of these on hand.
Blood pressure is also a common vital that needs to be tracked. Having a reliable, easy to use blood pressure cuff at home can making tracking this a LOT easier than needing to take your loved one to the doctor or a monitoring station at your local pharmacy.
Keeping track of them!
If your elders are still tooling about independently it can be a little unsettling if they have been gone for a longer time period than you expected them to be. We have gotten the call “Dad left an hour ago to go the bank” – that bank is 5 minutes from their house. Give yourself some piece of mind and get a gps tracker for them. It saves a lot of unnecessary driving around trying to locate them – especially when they merely decided to go buy cookies!
Every situation is different, and every elder is different. With all things you need to determine for yourselves what help they need in what area. This gives you a glimpse into some of the areas we needed to evaluate and some tools we found helpful. Perhaps some of these will hit home for you too!
Click here for some good pointers to help your loved ones Age In Place With Grace.
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