Caregiving isn’t easy, but it may be easier with a little help from technology. Technology has afforded caregivers a wide variety of tools that can assist in many ways. Here are a few technological products that may assist you as you care for the ones you love.
Keep Them Connected
This one may seem the most obvious, but it’s a more complicated topic than you might believe. Cell phones, tablets, and computers are typically the go-to for connectivity. These devices allow the ones we love to keep in touch with friends and family who may be too far away, or unavailable to visit for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, not everyone is comfortable with these devices, and, as a result, some are scared away from even trying.
Thankfully, there are specialized computers, operating systems, programs, and applications designed with older consumers in mind. Some are computers crafted specifically for the function of video chat, which limits options intended to streamline use. Phones have been designed to function like standard telephones, but use subtitles during the conversation, which can alleviate the stress of not hearing or misunderstanding. There are also online classes that will educate you and your loved ones on how to keep up-to-date with the same technologies others are using. Before you (or the one you care for) give up on reaching out, search online for the right kind of communication setup that will work for your situation.
Keep Them Healthy
You may already know about the numerous apps available for your phone, tablet, and computer intended to monitor health, but there is hardware out there that can help as well. Several medication dispensers use sound and light to help your loved ones know when it is time for pills, reducing the chance of overmedicating or missing doses altogether. There are even hardware extensions for smartphones that can monitor blood glucose levels, and wireless devices that can monitor and transmit health-related information to caregivers and medical personnel.
(Some apps combine health and social!)
Keep Them Safe
There are several devices intended for instantaneous communication with medical personnel in case of emergency, both for you and your loved one. Since you can’t always be there, some technologies will constantly monitor health and safety, and alert you and medical responders should something happen to the one(s) you care for while you are away. If you require a more all-encompassing setup, some systems will even monitor the entire home, measuring wellness indicators like sleep, bathroom use, activity, and other information around the clock through several wireless sensors.
Keep Them Organized
Most smartphones, tablets, and computers come with calendars and scheduling programs as a standard, but if you need something a bit more specialized, you’re in luck. There are a large number of apps and programs designed specifically for caregiving. These applications can include connectivity with medical care, healthcare records, medication scheduling, and even forums where you can talk with other caregivers.
Keep Yourself Together
Don’t forget to take care of yourself! Stress-reducing applications, yoga classes, or just about any other activity that makes you feel relaxed is incredibly important. The better care you take of yourself, the more apt you’ll be able to take care of the ones you love.
Technology changes daily. There are more options today than there were yesterday, and there will be even more tomorrow. Keep your eyes on the news, caregiving forums, and any other resources at your disposal to stay up-to-date on the latest opportunities for your situation.