There can be no bigger gift than living your life in your home. Being asked to move into a care setting can be traumatic and unhelpful to the long-term well-being of our elders. Living in one’s own home helps to maintain a sense of independence while being in a care setting can strip away autonomy and control over daily life. This can lead to feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression.
Owing to this very reason, many people prefer senior home care professionals over staying in a senior care facility. One such professional tends to provide assistance with activities of daily living while allowing the elderly to remain in the comfort of their own homes. This helps to preserve their sense of dignity and autonomy while providing them with the necessary care they may need. Furthermore, home care professionals can help to build relationships with the elderly, which can help reduce feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and depression among the elders.
Considering the ordeal that elder parents may have to go through, they may at times be unwilling to go to a senior care facility. After all, it would be difficult for them to part ways with their families and move into a new setting at an old age. However, the introduction of home-based care for family members by professionals has helped reduce the need to send off elderly parents to old-age homes. Ailments, diseases, and disorders may now be better managed with the help of designated professionals dedicated to people suffering from specific issues. In addition to that, assigned professionals may help maintain not just the required care processes but also diets, exercise, and other daily functions according to the requirements that need to be taken care of.
That being the case, finding ways to make the home safe and accessible for our older relatives is important and easily facilitated with the right technology. Relying on the internet and digital resources might feel like we are less than human; we are, in fact, helping a family member live contentedly while maintaining their safety from falls and forgetful moments.
Let’s explore six of the best of these devices for better elder care.
Motion Sensing Light
A motion-sensing light can be screwed or plugged into an existing light socket, making it very easy to install. It senses motion in every direction and will offer bright light upon entry to a room. Such light is essential for those struggling to find the light switch and risk falling. It is especially useful for those who have to get up often in the night to go to the bathroom. It also has the added benefit of saving energy for those relying on limited funds.
Burner alert stovetops
Cooking for yourself is fraught with dangers. One of the most dangerous, and most likely, is forgetting to switch off the stove when finished. A burner alert stovetop includes discs that fit beneath the burner knobs and offer an alert in intervals when using the cooker. These are an important innovation for elders becoming increasingly absentminded and forgetful.
Automatic pill dispenser
Remembering your dosage becomes a challenge when you have multiple prescriptions to track. While not a cheap item, the pill dispenser offers peace of mind that pills are being taken and can even alert caregivers remotely via phone or email when the dispenser has been used.
The dispenser sounds an alarm if the person has forgotten to take the pill, and it also only dispenses the appropriate amount for that day at that time. Caregivers will also be sent pill refill reminders to ensure the individual’s medical conditions are always managed effectively.
Home security system
From camera doorbells to night vision and indoor recording systems to remote phone apps showing what is happening in the home, security systems offer comprehensive support for safety.
While the camera within the home helps you check in to see that the person is safe and well, preventing people from falling and being left for a long time. The camera at the door will help you monitor visitors and prevent elders from being victims of scammers who tend to target vulnerable people.
Fall detectors and Automated external defibrillators (AED)
While the cameras help alert you to problems in the home, as a caregiver, it still means that your loved one is left, potentially hurt, on the floor. Therefore, installing a fall detector and a fall button means immediate demand for help. The waterproof neck pendant or the wrist button allows the individual to notify loved ones of an accident and 24/7 live monitoring services.
Coming to the topic of cardiac arrests, according to the Mayo Clinic, it could be particularly important for the elderly and those who have heart disease or a family history of coronary artery disease to have an AED at home. According to The Centers for Disease Control, 350,000 (approx) sudden cardiac arrests tend to occur outside of hospitals each year; about 7 in 10 of those happen at home. Unfortunately, nearly half of the people who experience cardiac arrests at home do not receive the help they need from their family members, friends, or even other bystanders before emergency responders arrive.
However, if an individual begins CPR and uses best AED device for home within the first few minutes of cardiac arrest, it can double or triple a person’s chance of survival. The best part is that anyone can use an AED. You do not really need training. Once you turn it on, it will provide you with clear instructions on how to attach the defibrillator pads. The device will check the heart rhythm and tell you to provide a shock if it is needed.
Robotics and AI
Loneliness is probably the biggest challenge for our elders who wish to continue to live in the home. The pandemic has evermore highlighted the social isolation experienced by the older generation. Intuition Robotics has addressed this pain point by creating a robot for ElliQ, a proactive cognitive artificial intelligence that can engage in conversation and nudge to take medication and the like and keep the individual connected with the wider world.
If a robotic friend is rejected, you can also look to Ageless Innovation, who has developed a series of robotic pets developed with the ability to engage and soothe the owner. The small companion comes without the need for walks, food, and vets, so it offers all the companionship without the concerns. Ageless Innovation has worked with Hasbro to create cats and dogs with sensors that promote interaction like a live pet.
Exciting future for all
Technology is not for the young. Tech can be a way for us to live a more fruitful life filled with meaning. When we are taken from our homes, we can lose connection with this meaning. These key devices can make all the difference for those we care about.
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