June 18, 2021
Reading Time 6 min.

Modern Technology to Reduce Caregiver Stress and Worry

Thanks to advancements in modern technology, people, including seniors, are more connected than ever before. This allows you to rest easy knowing mom is safe at home. A few relatively easy uses of technology can increase your parents ability to age in place reduce burden on the caregivers.  

There is no need to feel intimidated in any way by the complexity of new tech devices. All it takes is to follow instructions, and a little bit of guidance for your aging parent, and they too can discover how simple it is to use most modern-day gadgets. Before long, you both will realize just how useful modern technology turns out to be in reducing caregiver burnout and stress and keeping your loved ones safe.

Phyllis is forever grateful that she was able to get her parents are on board with technology. This allows her to keep tabs on their daily whereabouts and ensure her parents are only a text message away. It is especially useful when they are out and about and helps reduce her worry.

The same cannot be said of her mother-in-law, who seems to be anti-technology, even though she has no problem watching TV. It makes her wonder how long it will be before her husband's mother needs to move into a senior care facility. Her lack of activity, increasing isolation and declining mobility are pointing to a time she is no longer safe at home.

But, on the other hand, her parents prove to be an excellent role model for her hubby's mom. With some encouragement and a new understanding of what it takes to age in place, it is just a matter of time before Jenny, her mom-in-law, starts realizing the numerous benefits of modern technology.  

Phyllis thought it would be a brilliant idea to do a bit of research around the uses of modern-day technology and how it can make life easier for the elderly. She was blown away once she realized just how much it means to senior people.  

Seniors using modern technology to improve quality of life.

Benefits Associated with Modern Technology for Seniors  

Follow along as we delve deeper into some of the benefits of modern technology:  

  • Ease loneliness: This is especially important for the widow or widower. While they may have caregiver assistance at home, it is not the same as loved ones. And once the caregiver leaves, the emptiness of the home returns as soon as they are alone again. Modern advancements such as FaceTime and Zoom ensure that elderly persons can see and speak to their friends and their children remotely, even when they are miles away from one another. This goes a long way towards reducing feelings of loneliness which lead to anxiety and depression.  
  • Shopping online: As our parents age, shopping becomes more and more challenging. Difficulties with driving, mobility or endurance contribute to this fact. Grocery pickup services such as Instacart reduces the burden of buy groceries. Buying gifts for children and grandchildren has been made much easier with online shopping. Also mom can buy needed personal items with minimal difficulty online to avoid asking for an awkward favor.
  • Remembering Medication: Due to either inaction or forgetfulness, many elderly people may not adhere to a regular medication routine. This can become a serious medical emergency if doses are skipped or accidentally repeated. With a weekly pill organizer and a medication management app on their smartphone, they will have minimal difficulty taking medication as prescribed. 
  • Smart homes: The safety of your loved one need no longer be a concern. Motion sensing lights make sure a dark room is illuminated for your loved one. Smart appliances and monitors can allow you to turn of the stove remotely if mom forgets. Programmable thermostats allow for smooth temperature regulation within the home.
  • Receiving medical care: Another useful modern technology feature is Telemedicine as it facilitates the physician's visit, which is conducted via the camera and microphone of the senior individual's smartphone or laptop. Your parent will receive a visit with their doctor in real-time virtually. This can reduce the burden of attending in person appointments and improve compliance with scheduled check ups.
  • Emergency response systems: These are also referred to as Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) and are backed by an emergency response team. This will give you peace of mind knowing a system is in place to facilitate a quick response to fall or other emergency that may occur unexpectedly when mom is alone.   

Phyllis is glad she did a bit of research as she discovered firsthand how technology had impacted society. Through these modern-day tools, she can be assured of her own parents' ability to age in place with only minimal need from an in home caregiver.

Will Seniors Get Used to Modern Technology

  

Elderly lady using modern technology to have groceries delivered.

Phyllis has realized that senior individuals are often overlooked when it comes to the design of modern technologies. Especially if you consider the fact that their motor skills, sight, and hearing are likely declining as they age. We mustn't underestimate how quickly they can adapt to the ever-evolving technology landscape as any other age group would.   

The coronavirus pandemic is proof of just how able seniors are to use new technologies such as Zoom and FaceTime when necessary. Many has to hop on a call with their physician using Telemedicine during this time.

Jack and Charlotte, Phyllis' parents, were keen to learn more about some of these favorite tech services and hopped onto their daughter's computer to find out how they too can benefit from these modern-day technological advancements.   

Favorite Modern Technologies for Seniors  

Mobile applications or apps are the most easily accessible technology for seniors as they come preloaded on a cell phone or table. Other additional apps can be found in the app store to fit your needs. Many are free but some have a small up front cost. This list from senior living is a good place to start discovering new apps that are helpful for seniors.   

Jack was super excited to find out how much easier their lives can be when using food delivery apps. He discovered Door Dash and Uber Eats for take-out delivery from local restaurants. HelloFresh and Home chef are options for meal kits to be delivered to your home with instructions for preparation. Silver Cuisine meals are prepackaged and prepared so that all you need to do is heat them up. Instacart is for grocery shopping without ever leaving the house.

Charlotte does not always trust their judgement when driving, while they are safe in the car now, she knows this will not always be the case. She is relieved to know that with the use of mobile apps like Lyft or Uber they will be able to get where they need to go when driving is no longer an option.

Their other daughter lives in the country, but it is no problem as video chatting apps such as Zoom, FaceTime, and Skype helps them connect with her at a suitable time where they get to see her smiling face and check in on their grandchildren.   

The Best Modern-Day Gadgets for Seniors

  

Aged gentleman using modern technology to connect with grandchildren.

Phyllis is well aware that both her parents and mother-in-law have some of the best smartphones on hand, but cannot help but wonder if there is any other modern tech she can get them to make life easier.   

She learned that e-Readers and Tablets are just as useful. Her father is more of a bookworm, so she will get him an E-Reader to store his favorite books and quickly find his way to the next chapter whenever it suits him to do so.   

Her mom loves watching movies, so a Tablet with its bigger screen would be the perfect device to ensure hours of entertainment.   

Both Jack and Charlotte are still very active for their age. It would be great to let them use fitness trackers like Fitbit that also doubles as a wristwatch. These gadgets are waterproof and connect to a person's smartphone. The device monitors your steps, number of calories burned, heart rate, and even your sleep.  

Phyllis can sleep better at night, knowing that modern technologies like these will improve the quality of life for both her parents and mom in law.   

Conclusion  

As we have discovered, our loved ones can benefit from modern technologies to improve the quality of their life and help them age in place for as long as possible. They can now be more connected than ever before to those whom they care about. And it also helps keeps them safe, so that you and their caregivers can worry less. A great example is when a loved one has forgotten to take their medicine, and you get an alert on your phone, so you can remind them of the medication schedule. Another way to reduce caregiver worry are the apps like emergency response systems or PERS in a medical emergency.

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That's all for today.

Take care, keep mom safe and have a great day!

Winn

Articles of Interest:

  1. CAREGIVER QUOTES TO INSPIRE CAREGIVERS
  2. ELDERLY CARE IN HOME AND ELSEWHERE
  3. PREVENTION OF FALLING AT HOME - STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TO PREVENT FALLING

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