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Monitored Independence for Aging Loved Ones

How to best care for an aging loved one is a very difficult issue that most of us will face at some point in our lives. But, today’s digital revolution has provided us with a lot more options than ever before.

Perhaps you are already struggling with providing the care that an aging loved one needs and deserves while trying to preserve their independence and dignity.

Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and in-home care are all viable (and sometimes necessary) options, but today, there are many other choices as well.

Today’s technological advancements bring with them new options for everything. Even the most common digital tools—your laptop and your cell phone—can become valuable tools to help you care for an aging loved one.

“Monitored independence” is revolutionizing how seniors are cared for in America, offering more autonomy and independence for those who want it, while keeping them connected to family and friends and the help they need when they need it.

Here is a look at some of the many options available:

Tele-caregivers

Some new services use what are referred to as tele-caregivers to monitor and assist their clients. A tele-caregiver works from a remote office where they monitor each client through the internet and video cameras placed in the client’s home. They can also hear their clients, talk to them directly, remind them to take their medication on time, and remind them to do other things like removing a meal from the oven.

The tele-caregiver has a fairly good idea of the overall condition of each client and if there is any sign of distress, a nearby relative, friend, or the local 911 emergency center can be contacted. Being monitored this way is not for everyone and these services aren’t cheap, but all of this, in most cases, is still less expensive than a nursing home.

Voice Assistant Technology

Digital devices such as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Homepod, when used with virtual assistant AI technologies, like Ask Marvee and Amazon’s Alexa, allow those with mobility issues to control things like the lights and the thermostat in their homes with voice commands, or to ask the system to remind them to take their medication, to call family and friends, or even to call for emergency assistance. Voice assistant technologies like these are playing an ever-increasing role in allowing seniors to age in place in a manner that is safe, convenient, and fun.

Remote Monitoring Systems

Some services, like Alarm.com’s Wellness system, install remote monitoring systems with motion sensors placed throughout the house that allow them to monitor what their clients are doing at home without direct video monitoring. First, sophisticated algorithms are used to establish a client’s behavioral patterns. After that, any activities (or lack thereof) that are out of the ordinary are reported to a relative through text messages or email.

Fall Detection/Daily Reminders

There are also wearable fall detection technologies like the MyNotifi wristband by MedHab and UnaliWear’s Kanega watch, which provide fall detection and can send voice-assisted emergency alerts to caregivers and others. Furthermore, there are other companies like Medisafe and LifePod which provide helpful daily reminders for clients to take their medication, which is a major issue when it comes to caring for the elderly.

Contact an Experienced Eldercare Professional

How best to care for an aged loved one is one of life’s most difficult questions and there is often no perfect answer. But, we hope that the information provided above gives you and your family some helpful ideas.

For more detailed information on various tools that can be used to allow your elder loved one to safely live a more independent life, contact an eldercare professional who can help you choose those that best fits your loved one’s needs and your family’s budget.

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