From Our Front Desk to Your Living Room: Technology Solutions for Aging Loved Ones

By Published On: June 15, 2023Categories: Aging Parents4.5 min read

Among the many aging adults who we meet while serving our clients, I can always count on hearing heartwarming stories of video calls with grandchildren or distant relatives. Whether by Facetime or Facebook Messenger – or even Zoom – connecting with loved ones through virtual video is a beginning that we can use to cultivate a more confident reliance on technology among our tech-averse aging loved ones.

Seeing to Their Comfort

All along the spectrum of well-being, from nutrition and exercise, from medications to home security, and from ordinary day-to-day communication to entertainment, helping older adults who are aging increase their comfort with technology is an important contribution we can make to their enjoyment of life and betterment of their health.

Unfortunately, the advantages that technology offers us in caring for aging parents can only be fully effective if we help our elders increase their comfort level with it. However, they are likely already depending on tech more than they might realize, and so building further from the technology they already enjoy – such as those video calls with grandkids – is a good beginning for making even greater solutions useful.

This has proven to be successful in our office, as we have seen an increase in tech savviness in the post pandemic world. Older clients who had been reluctant to embrace the ubiquity of technology now have meetings vis Zoom calls or have switched from paper to online billing. The connectivity found via virtual video seems to have encouraged them to increase their technological abilities.

With the rapid acceleration of technological development, though, you might be wondering where to begin. To that end, we offer you some useful options that are worth the time spent teaching your older loved one how to use.

Security Is the Start

Securing the home environment and eliminating the possibility of isolation is important to those who are aging in place. Wireless home security systems with remote monitoring are intuitive and reasonably priced now. Most of them include the option to monitor your loved ones directly from your phone. Knowing that your aging parents are living in a secure home and being able to check in on the status of that security from the focus of your own life is one of the most profound breakthroughs that tech offers us.

Medical alert systems and wearable signal devices that call for help are also worth considering. These devices, which ensure your elderly loved ones have help when they need it, are well established, and the variety of medical alert technology on the market today assists you with finding a system that suits you. In fact, with its Series 7 watch, even Apple has ventured into the aging-in-place market. This stylish watch is an FDA-approved medical device that not only automatically detects falls, but also detects certain types of cardiac events and immediately sends help.

For aging adults who still like to tinker in the kitchen, check out FireAvert, a cloud-based monitoring system that helps protect homes from cooking fires via automatic stove shutoff technology and cloud-based stove and smoke alarm monitoring. Considering that older adults represent 13% of the U.S. population but suffer 35% of all fire deaths (according to a report from the Federal Emergency Management Agency) kitchen fire safety is more important than you might have thought.

The Quality of Connection

Of all the emerging technology designed to assist aging adults with the activities of daily living, one of the more interesting is Sentai, an early-stage company that uses artificial intelligence to provide tailored support to older people who live independently. Sentai can provide gentle nudges in the right direction, from remembering when to take pills to a reminder that their favorite TV show is starting soon. Sentai has discreet heat and motion sensors and can provide real-time updates to family members, providing you with peace of mind.

Technology like this can be the difference between your loved one living independently versus in assisted living. Many of our clients’ adult children express a concern regarding their parents’ forgetfulness that becomes inevitable as they age. These kinds of technological advancements can give you peace of mind to know that they are taking care of themselves.

Tech solutions for defeating door-to-door scammers are available, too, in the form of video doorbells. One of the top-selling devices on the market is Ring, which features high-definition video, two-way talk, advanced motion detection, and real-time smartphone alerts that are compatible with Alexa and Ring Chime. The optional Protect Plan also offers smarter alerts, including human detection capabilities, allowing you to instantly “drop in” to see who is at your loved one’s door.

To defeat phone scammers, make sure your loved one cannot receive calls from unknown numbers. If they have an iPhone, you can go to Settings, then go to Phone, then go to Silence Unknown Callers. Unfortunately, we have had a few elderly clients fall for these scams, and having this feature turned on could save these loved ones from a massive financial headaches.

Helping You Help Your Loved Ones

When we serve clients who are caring for aging parents, we make it a practice to include our own awareness of available resources. Financial arrangements might be where we begin, yet the help you can count on from us extends to all we have learned from our decades of experience. We look forward to continuing the conversation with you

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