According to AARP, 87% of people age 65 and over want to age in place or remain in their own homes and communities as long as possible. However, that can become complicated during a pandemic. Neighbors and family members can’t check on aging loved ones as easily as they once did. This year, holiday gatherings and traveling are expected to decline due to COVID-19. This year, you may find that using technology can help you check on your elderly family and friends:
1. Alexa has built-in features for seniors. You can set up medication reminders, turn on and off lights, adjust the thermostat, or feel safe knowing if your loved one falls, they could still call for help. Alexa can also help with basic skills like turning on music, making phone calls, making lists, listening to the news or checking the weather. You and your loved one can also have fun with Alexa, playing games to sharpen your mind like Trivia, Question of the Day, or Jeopardy or even complete a short exercise program. You can also set up “Ask Me Buddy” with a predetermined list of contacts to send messages to if you fall or need help.
2. Order meals or grocery deliveries using apps like Instacart, AmazonPrime, UberEats, Target, DoorDash, etc. This is a great way to send food from afar. Due to COVID, winter weather, or whatever issues may arise, these apps are a great way to send a loved one a meal or groceries. Contactless delivery is an option too.
3. Reminder Rosie – With 75% of people age 65 and over living with a chronic health condition, including diabetes or high blood pressure, family caregivers have learned how to navigate the online resources available. Reminder Rosie is a voice activated talking clock that tells your loved one to take their medication at a certain time. You can program the clock with a personalized message and many people say that hearing the familiar voice reduces their stress.
4. Walabot Home is designed to be placed on a bathroom wall and scans constantly for movement. If it detects a fall, it immediately calls your trusted contact.
5.GPS trackers can attach to clothing or be worn on the wrist to tell you the exact location of your loved one. Some can even set alerts for you via email, phone or text, when your loved one goes outside a certain geographical area. Pocket finder is a great option.
6. Low Tech option- Not everyone has the money to purchase new technology and some seniors are resistant to utilizing new tools, so a low-tech option is just to increase the frequency of your phone calls to the seniors in your life. Social isolation plays a dramatic role a person’s physical and mental health. You can help with just a phone call.
FSL can help with caregiver support or resources, please call us at 602-285-1800 for more information.