5 Tech Gadgets for Seniors and Their Caregivers

10/14/2014

Hey there! Wink Martini here with another outpouring of knowledge in regard to old people, caregivers and colorful drinks in fancy glasses. Today, I want to talk to you about technology and all those great gadgets and innovations old people just can’t seem to get.

My mom is probably the savviest of my parents when it comes to technology. She can sort of operate a smartphone and stalks the entire family on Facebook, commenting on everything in ALL CAPS. (Stop yelling, mom!) My pops has mastered the remote control and the DVR—that’s all the technology he thinks he needs. Meanwhile, both of them tend to forget to take their meds. On top of that, my dad is a deep sleeper, so if my mom happens to fall when our Maryland caregiver is not around, he might not hear it. Thankfully, I found these senior-friendly gadgets that may help me and you make aging safer for our loved ones!

gadgets for seniors

Medication Reminders

Medication reminders come in many forms. If your senior is good with smartphones or tablets (it took me quite a few martinis to walk my mom through setting a simple alarm), you can download one of many reminder apps. They use both visual and sound signals to alert about a scheduled medication, and can even send notifications to you or other caregivers if the medication is missed. At 2nd Family, we use a similar concept, but our MedReminders are actually built into the pill boxes. This way there is no time gap between seeing the reminder and taking the medication, because the pills are right there.

Life Alerts

The push-button devices for emergency situations are popular for a reason—they save lives. The way they work is very simple: if your loved one falls, starts feeling unwell or their health is otherwise threatened, all they need is to push a button. An EMT is then immediately dispatched and a professional caregiver will stay on the line to monitor the situation. A life alert device is much easier to use than a cellphone when it comes to emergency situations—there are no screen locks and menus to navigate through, just one button!

Home Monitoring Systems

When you hear “home monitoring,” you probably think baby monitors or hidden cameras. Thankfully, the monitoring and surveillance technology has evolved enough to offer non-intrusive solutions. For example, some home monitoring systems use a network of wireless motion sensors placed in locations most visited by your loved one. Whether it’s a bedroom, kitchen, bathroom or the entire house, these sensors help keep tabs on the senior’s routine. The changes in the routine, such as unusual movement in the bedroom at 4 am or front door opening at odd hours, will prompt an alert to the caregiver. This sensor-based monitoring also helps catch any important changes in behavior and address them in a timely manner.

GPS Tracking

If your loved one suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s, they tend to wander off and sometimes get lost. In this situation, a GPS tracking device can save you hours of worrying and driving around the neighborhood. These devices come in many forms, from rings and pendants to GPS tracking shoes. Your choice of the form will depend on your loved one’s habits—you want to pick a tracker that they are likely to put on before leaving the house or would have on at all times.

Communication Devices

Don’t be afraid to teach your loved ones how to use smart phones or tablets. Don’t assume they will get overwhelmed—try it first. A tablet has plenty of useful apps to keep your loved one connected to family and the world. Show him/her how to make calls on Skype, watch the grandchild’s ballet recital or write a message to a friend. The display can be simplified to only show the most-used apps and restriction can be set to prevent grandma from accidentally buying something she didn’t mean to. And don’t forget to install a few fun apps for drawing, playing or other means of entertainment. Seniors need to keep their minds sharp too!

All these devices will help your loved one enjoy their time at home and may eliminate the need for moving to an assisted living facility. 2nd Family Maryland home care providers use some of these devices, and we even offer a few of them free with our Premium Care Package. At 2nd Family, we embrace technology and encourage our clients to use it as well. That’s why we built our Family Portal to give you easy access to everything you need to know about your loved one’s home care.

Contact us today to discuss senior home care for your loved one.

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