Gone are the days of medication reminders in the form of plastic pill boxes and magnetic fridge calendars. No longer do you have to call your elderly parent several times throughout the day, praying they will pick up the phone, fearing the worst if they don’t. Why is mom not answering? Did she slip in the bathroom while getting out of the tub again? Did she forget to turn her stove off again?
Now, with advancements in technology, our job as children who care for our elderly parents has gotten significantly easier. Amada Senior Care offers The BeClose System that utilizes breakthrough technologies, real time alerts and notifications to your phone, and online monitors to make aging in place not only easier, but stress-free and more affordable. A comprehensive system with multiple features, such as BeClose, is always recommended, especially when installed by a professional caregiver who understands the complexities of senior care. As a starting point, we’ve outlined 4 innovative technologies that we recommend implementing as soon as possible in order to improve how you care for your elderly loved one.
1. Medical Alert Monitoring
Originating in the 1970’s, Medical Alert Monitoring, also known as Emergency Response Monitoring, is not a new technology, however with the addition of global positioning system (GPS), pulse monitoring, and smart phone application, this simple bracelet or necklace can literally be a life-saver. Approximately one-third of all senior citizens live alone. Upon suffering an injury or medical emergency, such a heart attack or stroke, too often seniors are not able to reach for a telephone to call for immediate help. Sadly, many of these victims are not found for hours, even days, after their medical emergency. Not only can this increase the severity of the injury, in extreme cases, can lead to death. Emergency response systems eliminate this frightening scenario because the elderly individual wears a bracelet or necklace at all times, and, with the push of a button, calls for immediate medical help to both to a nearby hospital and anyone else who is synced with the monitor. Low-end monitors require a push of the button for immediate help. High-end monitors have pulse detection capabilities, GPS tracking, and smart phone and tablet notifications in real-time.
2. Digital Pill Dispensers
Do you remember the horizontal, plastic pill cases with the days of the week marked on top? Since the turn of the century, most senior care providers, such as home health agencies and senior living communities, have abandoned this antiquated approach to monitoring daily medications for two important reasons. First, human error occurs in every aspect of life, but when dealing with pharmaceuticals, the difference between accidentally taking one extra pill can be the difference between a normal day and a trip to the emergency room. Secondly, research shows that taking medication at the same time every day is more effective than being off by several hours. With shifts changes between nurses and caregivers, often times pills can be administered earlier and later than expected, every day. Digital Pill Dispensers not only administer the correct pill at the appropriate time, but also come in a locked and unlocked model. Locked models are highly efficient for seniors with Alzheimer’s and dementia, and for senior who have pharmaceutical dependencies.
3. Electronic Thermostats
In the process of caring for a loved one, so much focus is kept on keeping the elderly person upright and healthy that often overlooked is the importance of comfortability. Seniors who live alone, especially in their 80s and 90s, tend to struggle with activities of daily living (ADLs) such as cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. With so much effort exerted on ADLs, senior citizens, especially those living with a disease specific illness such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s Disease, do not stay updated on local weather. In anticipation for a big snow storm, for example, rather than relying on your elderly loved one to increase the thermostat, you can now utilize Electronic Thermostat technology which allows to adjust the temperature remotely, straight from your phone. Additionally, most electronic thermostats now feature automated temperature adjustments based on household activity. Thus, if the monitor senses no household activity, the temperature will slightly decrease while your elderly loved one is not home, thus saving money on your electricity bills. Also, electronic thermostats recognize trends, and will increase temperature during specific times of the day, such as the middle of the night when your elderly loved one is sleeping and their body temperature drops.
4. Home Security Systems
Home security systems are certainly not a new technology; however, spearheaded by the digital revolution, the new approach to protecting our sacred home now resembles something we might find in a Sci-Fi movie. With remote monitoring, smart door locks, smart garage systems, smart cameras, and home sensors, we can now be in full control of our homes remotely. What better way to protect your elderly parent from danger than installing modern home security technology that can be monitored from your smart phone, and you don’t even have to be in the same state. Not only can you detect if your elderly parent forgot to close the garage door or lock their house at night, but you can watch, in real-time, activity within the house. If a suspicious stranger suddenly shows up at the door, you can steer them away by literally talking through the doorbell. Or, if you have an elderly parent who tends to fall asleep with the stove on, you can watch their activity through your phone, and call if trouble is lurking. The icing on the cake is what used to be a costly investment, is now less than $100/month for all the bells and whistles of home security.
Technologies like these and more are provided with Amada Senior Care’s BeClose System. The BeClose wellness essentials such as panic pendants, door sensors, medication management sensors and other items provide a secure and cost-effective option for independent living. Learn how the BeClose System can offer you safety, security and comfort by contacting finding an Amada Senior Care location near you.
Article written by Alex Milzer with Senior Directory, LLC