Working adults who are caring for, and raising, their own children but who find themselves in the position of caring for aging or ill parents are in what has been deemed, “The Sandwich Generation.”
Those adults are dealing with the challenges of home, career and making certain their aging parents are cared for and safe; there are many technologies on the market that can aid those caregivers and offer peace of mind (and perhaps a bit of free time) to those who find themselves in that situation.
Whether the seniors in your life are determined to age in place or are living with you in the family home, here are some technologies to consider:
- A home medical alert system - These devices come with a personal medical pendant or bracelet that offers a senior (or anyone of any age with a medical condition) access to immediate medical care at the push of a button. These devices provide peace of mind and access to a trained Care Agent who has access to your loved one’s medical history and can make calls to family members or physicians on behalf of the patient.
- Motion activated lights for the home - If you have an aging relative that is living alone and struggles with mobility, installing motion activated lights can provide a lighted pathway to various rooms in the house without him or her having to fumble for light switches. These devices will also turn themselves off after a predetermined time which means they won’t have to worry about whether they’ve left a light on in another room. There are also devices that can be purchased that can light up or chime at preset times to remind the senior to take medications or test blood sugar.
- Computers and web-based camera technologies - If you live in another state from your aging relatives or even if you reside in the same locale, but simply can’t make it over for a visit as often as you’d like, it may be wise to look into a simple laptop computer that can be equipped (or may come with) a webcam. With this device you can arrange calls at a specific time and you can be able to have a visual chat (which could also alert you to any potential health issues or hazards) with your aging parent. It’s a great way to keep in touch and to provide face-to-face interaction; loneliness could lead to depression in a senior and that can lead to other health issues.
Ask your physician for ideas on other technologies that will not only aid you, as the caregiver, in staying in touch with your aging parent but can also provide a lifeline in times of a health crisis. Because the population is aging at a rapid rate, and because so many seniors are choosing to age in place, technologies are developing rapidly to address that population and those needs.