by Joy Loverde
Part One, “What Joy Loverde Wants You to Know About Technology and Aging Parents” offers information about creating a safe home environment and check-in systems, including suggestions on where to purchase products and services. Part Two blog talks about technology and creating a network of support – especially with the doctor and medical staff. This blog will offer ideas about integrating technology into everyday living.
I love low tech products that help with daily family caregiving responsibilities. Vibrating wrist watches and devices attached to common-sized prescription containers can record customized information and sound an alarm when it’s time for Mom to take her medications. Then there are pill bottles that can send a text message to a cell phone or TV screen.
“There’s an app for that.” Have you recently checked app downloads that are available as cell phone reminder systems? You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of apps and family caregiver options. In addition to a text message, some of the reminder apps also offer telephone calling as a back-up.
I love all the brain-fitness software and on-line fitness options on the market. Mind games have never been more important for a healthy lifestyle. One of my favorites is the home version of Dakim. You can learn more by clicking on the Dakim link on my website resources page: http://www.elderindustry.com/resources.html. To explore other options type “brain fitness” in your Internet browser.
Talking stuffed animals have been popular for decades with children so why not offer the same to our elderly loved ones – especially those who are experiencing health issues or feeling lonely and depressed? Everything from classic teddy bears to mainstream pop culture characters can talk, and delight. Talking stuffed animals are relatable - some can read them a story, others spout out lines from favorite movies, others can sing and ask questions. Many offer the option of recording words in your own voice. Hearing a familiar voice often comforts and reassures.
Low tech systems keep the entire family connected. Contact the local agency on aging or the telephone company and ask about amplified telephone handsets and other assistive devices to qualified applicants who have difficulty using a standard telephone. Picture phones are easy to use if your elder has vision and memory issues. Skype (Mary please link www.skype.com) is a computer software application that allows users to make voice and video calls and chats over the Internet. Calls to other users within the Skype service are free.
For more ideas on technology and family caregiving take a look at the products and services listed in my book, The Complete Eldercare Planner.