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Nearly 90% of adults over 50 want to remain at home and age in place. But with the rising cost of home-based care and the vulnerability to diseases that come with age, taking care of your loved ones is not getting easier.
Being available around the clock is almost impossible. People have job commitments, travel, and personal lives to work on. For these few - and many more - reasons, you have to find ways to watch over your elderly parents living far away.
This post lists the advantages of monitoring elderly parents remotely, the available tools for remote monitoring elderly parents, and what to look for in your chosen monitoring system.
Remote care apps and senior home monitoring tools watch over your elderly parents while you focus on daily living. In medical emergencies or accidents, a monitoring system intervenes by notifying the responsible emergency contacts, who then spring into action to respond to the problem and prevent a catastrophic outcome.
Here are other advantages of monitoring systems:
Leaving elderly parents unattended is not an option. But, with the dynamic world we live in, offering full-time attention while chasing your career goals and taking care of your three-year-old kids is difficult.
Remote care reduces the burden on your shoulders by being there for your elderly parents instead of your physical presence. The systems (including personal safety apps and unobtrusive monitoring systems) monitor everything from vitals, potential hazards, personal safety, and the overall health of your aging parents. This means comprehensive care with very little to no need for compromising other aspects of your life.
Personal safety and monitoring apps have many built-in features, including emergency contacts. Let's assume that your elderly parents don't touch their phones within a predetermined time frame, a clear indication that something is wrong.
Safety monitoring apps automatically send an emergency alert to the emergency contacts listed on its database. A quick response can intervene in dire situations and even help save a life.
That, however, doesn't mean you shouldn't communicate with your aging parents. Sure, the elderly monitoring device does more work. Yet, remember to talk to your parents and check on them from time to time.
A remote monitoring app is a sure way to intervene in times of distress. Some monitoring apps come with the panic button, while others connect to home health monitoring systems to watch over your loved ones' vital signs. This way, you can rest assured that they are safe wherever they are.
Remote monitoring apps help prepare for future care needs. Every day, they watch over your aging parents, giving you a general expectation of what they may need in the future. For instance, if you've been tending to a loved one living with dementia, you will know for sure when they should receive better care from experienced caregivers.
The tech gadgets (like cameras, laptops, tablets, and even smartphones) let you see what's happening in your parents' lives. So, it's easy to confirm that they are receiving good care. Knowledge is power, and this will surely give you some respite to focus on fulfilling your duties.
Here are some tips on how to monitor an elderly parent remotely to make life easier for them while you also track their location, health, and personal/ medical needs.
There's no doubt that technology is an absolute necessity in our daily lives. Today, there exists a vast network of devices and applications to help you keep track of your parent's health and wellbeing at all times. A good example is the medication reminder apps on the Apple and Google stores. With these mobile applications, virtual assistance and tracking medication are more accessible than ever.
Delivery services keep your loved ones safe at home. They never have to worry about their next meal or get exposed to the dangers of the outside world. Excellent food delivery services like Amazon Fresh, Instacart, Shipt, and Walmart Postmates, deliver meals right at their doorstep without you having to send something by mail.
Taking care of the elderly alone is demanding. Hence, you can get help from friends and family nearby if an emergency arises. It all begins with reaching out to the people living nearby and discussing a workable plan of action whenever an emergency arises.
Educate the friends and neighbors on your parent's conditions and let them know what needs to be done in an emergency. Let them participate as casual caregivers and report to you on your parents' progress if they want to contribute.
Technology makes it easier to monitor elderly parents remotely. You get first-hand information on their health, location, and safety. Here are some ways to collect such data:
Mobile phone apps such as the AllsWell Alert app can help you monitor the health and safety of your elderly parents remotely.
GPS services are suitable for people living with Alzheimer's or dementia. You can check their location with your smartphone, regardless of where they are. GPS trackers pin-point the exact position accurately to up to 1 meter. This way, you can monitor their movements and ensure that they are always safe.
Cameras allow you to keep an eye on your parents 24/7. You may choose to install them anywhere in the house (entrance, exits, and common areas) and monitor the feed from a mobile app. Just remember to ask for permission first.
Virtual assistants like Google Home and Alexa fit nicely in the homes of your aged parents. These assistants help with daily activities, such as controlling various appliances in the house, reminding them to take medications, managing TV and entertainment, sending emails on their behalf, and more.
These are placed on the elderly parents to monitor their vital signs. With a doctor's prescription, you can put it on the patient's body to easily monitor the vital health signs such as blood pressure, heartbeat, and blood sugar level from a mobile application.
You may also want to try out talking to your parents via video conferencing. Apps like FaceTime, Zoom, and Skype facilitate real-time talks with international coverage. If something is not right, you will see it rather than hear about it over the phone.
Even though you may want to go all out in taking care of your elderly loved ones, there are a few things to consider before deciding on what path to follow.
For starters, consider personal privacy and monitor only what needs to be monitored without invading your parents' personal lives. For instance, using a hidden camera to record every move without someone's consent is illegal and generally unacceptable without third-party permission. The same goes for recording audio without their consent.
Other things to consider before getting a monitoring tool for your elderly parents will include:
Budget. Remote monitoring tools monitor the health and safety of loved ones in the comfort of their homes. However, all this comes at a cost. If you're willing to pay good money for an elderly monitoring device, make sure it does what you need.
Available features. What features does the monitoring tool have? For example, some devices provide help in case of falls. Others have emergency buttons to alert the fire department or hospital in an emergency. Others have none of these features but have an alarm system to scare perpetrators.
Lastly, you want to check how easy it is to use the monitoring tool. Every second can have a significant impact, so you want a system that's easy for your aging parents to use in times of distress.
Here are some additional questions to answer before getting a remote monitoring app or device:
Does the device have practical uses in multiple rooms such as the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom?
Would the software programs need to be updated regularly?
Will the data on the device be secured from data theft?
Should it be charged every day? Is it an easy process?
What is the connectivity and mobile range?
Find the answers to these questions for a clearer picture of what your elderly parents need.
How AllsWell Alert Can Be Helpful
Technology brings something special to the table. You can finally embrace your life and the challenges in it, while remote monitoring apps like the AllsWell Alert app care for your parents. AllsWell Alert is a personal safety & emergency alert app for people living, commuting, or traveling alone. It combines the panic button functionality with inactivity monitoring, enabling the app to send emergency contacts an alert with the user's location even when they cannot press a button.
Go ahead and give it a try today. Download AllsWell Alert's app and keep your loved ones safe even in your absence.
Caring for your elderly loved ones is a responsibility we all have to face at some point in our lives. The good news is a remote care system can help you keep your head in the game careerwise, watch the kids, grow personally, all while monitoring your elderly parents remotely.