Thursday, December 3, 2015

Using Technology to Support Caring for your Senior

Technology has come a long way, even in the past decade, and is changing how we live our lives. It used to be more difficult to keep in touch with loved ones who lived far away, but with cell phones and the Internet, it has become easier than ever. Balancing family, work, life, and caregiving can be tough, but there are ways you can use technology your advantage:

Video conferencing: Teach your senior to use simple programs such as Skype, ooVoo, or Facetime. This will enable you to stay in touch more easily while also being able to actually see your loved one. Take note of any changes in their appearance or behavior that you may want to monitor. They can feel more connected and will enjoy getting to see grandchildren or other family members that aren’t able to visit often.

Email/Text: You can use email or text as a way to communicate as well. Show them how to attach and open photos for even more sharing options. A quick text can let you know that they’re safe and provide an instant way for you reach each other. You can program in frequently used numbers as well as emergency contacts.

Set Reminders: This can come in handy for both you and your senior. Add appointments, events, visits, and other activities to your electronic calendar so you have access on the go. Your phone or email can remind you of upcoming plans and help you to stay organized. Setting alarms and reminders on your elderly parent’s phone can help them remember to take medication, pay bills, or attend appointments.

Alarm Systems: If you’re worried about your loved one living alone, consider installing an alarm system. There is a wide variety to choose from ranging from basic models to those with video and sensor monitoring. Wearable alarm devices can also be useful in case your senior should fall, get lost, or feel unsafe.

Entertainment: From apps on a smart phone or tablet to e-readers and games, technology can help your senior to keep their mind stimulated. You can download favorite books, magazines, or puzzles, and they can increase the font size to improve readability.

Talk to your aging parents about Internet safety and not opening or responding to emails from people they don’t know. You want them to be alert to potential scams. When you’re further away, technology can make it easier to stay in touch and keep your senior safe when an in-home care provider is not there with them. Caregivers can also help them stay up-to-date on how to use different technology so they can chat, text, or email you on their own.

Always Best Care of Asheville-Hendersonville can provide senior services to meet your loved one’s needs and help them maintain their safety and independence when you can’t be there. To learn more about the wide range of care available, call (828) 989-7263 or visit us online.

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