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Do you and your family have aging loved ones who are able to still be in their own homes? Are you and your family concerned, though, that your loved ones may not be staying engaged with family and friends? Are you also concerned about their health and safety as they live on their own? This may be the time for you and your family to consider the right technology that can support the ability of your loved ones to remain in their own homes. You, your family and your loved ones should discuss whether certain apps or devices might help your aging loved ones stay safe and healthy in their homes. Also, consider consulting with the primary care practitioner of your loved ones to identify areas where technology may help now and in the future.

1. Often our aging loved ones suffer from isolation and depression. The first technology tip can offer our aging loved ones opportunities to connect with family and friends, which may be necessary as many seniors suffer from isolation and depression. You and your family should look for easy-to-use computers and touch-screen capabilities, like the GrandPad or iPad. Even something as simple as a cell phone can also increase the opportunity for your loved ones to connect. Be sure to look for phones with large buttons and clear screens. The Lively Flip phone was specially designed for seniors, with a special one-click button to connect with a member of the Lively Response Team, who can summon help or connect the caller with a board-certified doctor or nurse.

2. Often our aging loved ones have hearing loss.  With the second technology tip, you and your family can download a captioning app like Clear Captions that will allow them to read phone conversations in near real-time. Do not forget what a valuable resource video conferencing technology like Zoom and FaceTime can be. Face-to-face conversations can be easier for seniors and allow for inclusion, even when there are social distancing restrictions.

3. Often our aging loved ones need help with their health and wellness. Technology tip three can assist in promoting health and wellness for your aging loved ones.  For example, to stay healthy our loved ones need to be sure to take all their medication timely. There are medication management systems that can issue reminders, dispense medications, monitor medication usage, and notify caregivers when doses are missed. Products like epill and MedMinder are two of the products available to consumers for purchase or for rent. Another technology for managing health is Telehealth. In fact, Telehealth is becoming more and more common, and is another way of making the health of your loved ones easier to manage in regard to illnesses and connecting with health care professionals while at home. There may also be many technologies that can also help seniors to stay healthy while aging in place.  Part of staying well is exercising and technology can help. For exercise, there are many products on the market that can support movement for seniors. While products like the FitBit and AppleWatch are popular, senior living communities across the country have the Wii Fit Plus which include tournaments and competitions.

4. Often our aging loved ones need a safer home. With tip four, technology can help make a home safer for your aging loved ones. As the bodies and minds of your loved ones age, there may be new mental and physical challenges. As the risk of falling or wandering off increases, there may be technologies that can help your loved ones stay safe while living at home. For instance, home monitoring systems, like Alarm.com Wellness, use strategically-placed sensors to allow you to monitor your loved one’s daily activities and will notify you when there is a disruption. Personal emergency response systems (or PERS) can typically be worn on a necklace or belt clip, and will send an alarm if it perceives a fall, wandering, or if the individual wearing it presses the button. Many will send help immediately. An example of this type of product is MobileHelp. If wandering is a concern, GPS tracking devices, like GPS SmartSole or Theora Connect Wearable, can alert the authorities and help locate a missing person quickly.

At Britton G. Swank, P.A., our mission is to guide you in the right direction to help you provide for yourself and your loved ones no matter what the future holds. We want to help you control the assets you have, leave them to people and causes you care about, when you want, in the way you want. We can help you take care of yourself and those you love in the event of disability due to illness, injury or old age. No matter what risks unfold, we can help give you the comfort of knowing you are prepared. We want you to feel good about your future and the future of your loved ones.  We encourage you to contact us and schedule a meeting.