Tuesday, June 18 2013, 09:08 AM MDT
Technology Making It Easier To Be The Caregiver Of Aging Parent
(KUTV) If you’re the caregiver for an aging parent—you know the challenges and struggles involved, but new technology is making it easier to keep close tabs on seniors while allowing them to stay in their own homes.
These gadgets can give both you and your elderly parents’ peace of mind.
Eric and Joanne Boyce are prime examples of the sandwich generation. They have kids at home but are also caregivers for Eric’s 85-year-old mother, Helen.
They want Helen to live independently and avoid costly assisted living as long as possible.
“We've tried for the last several years to simplify her life and provide a sense of comfort for us. We are obviously not under the same roof. We want to know if something happened, there would be a quick response,” Eric said.
The Boyce’s have found that comfort and quick response, with the latest high tech gadgets.
Helen takes more than a dozen different pills. Now instead of making daily trips to check on her medication, Joanne fills up a computerized dispenser every ten days that pushes out the right pills at the right times.
“It keeps us organized and on track of what she is taking and what needs to be refilled. It has made a huge difference,” Joanne said.
Repeated falls are also a common problem for the elderly. That’s why Helen wears a monitor 24-7. It electronically detects a fall without needing to press a button.
“It has an accelerometer in it, so it can tell how fast it's dropping. It has to drop at an angle because we don't fall straight down with a sudden stop at the end. If it hits that parameter, then this device registers that as a fall,” Jim Sease said.
Within 30 seconds, someone at the monitoring service is supposed to call Helen and then alert Eric and Joanne or an ambulance, as needed.
“I like it very much. I've fallen three times and all three times I was able to get help,” Helen said.
Many technologies are on the market and many are less than $100 a month to rent.
But elder care experts caution to have open honest talks with your parents and make sure they are comfortable with these devices before you make any decisions.
(Copyright 2013 Sinclair Broadcasting Group)