How to Ensure Your Senior Loved One Is Safe When You’re Far Away
If you have a senior loved one who lives at least one hour away from you, you are technically considered a long-distance caregiver. Trying to help a parent or grandparent when you aren’t living nearby can frequently feel like a daunting task. Luckily, there are plenty of gadgets, devices, tools, and services available to you and your loved one that can ensure they are happy, safe, and comfortable. Take a look at these tips to find out how you can improve your long-distance caregiving capabilities.
Get a Senior-Friendly Phone Plan
Being able to stay in touch with your loved one with a simple phone call or text message is reassuring for you both. Look for cell plans that cater to seniors. Some providers offer senior citizen phone plans for customers who are 55 and older. These plans include unlimited data, talking, and texting, as well as DVD-quality streaming and unlimited mobile hotspot data. An unlimited plan also allows you to avoid any unexpected overuse fees at the end of the month. Before you settle on a plan, however, shop around and compare your options.
Send Help for Household Tasks
Daily household tasks can get difficult for seniors as they get older. Sarcopenia, the natural loss of muscle that comes with aging, makes tasks like mowing the lawn or lugging around a heavy vacuum cleaner a challenge. You can find caregiving professionals in your loved one’s area to take care of these tasks. They can drop by just once or twice per week, or on a more regular basis — it really depends on what your loved one needs.
Arrange Safe Transportation
Mobility is the most common disability among older Americans, with nearly 40 percent of people aged 65 and up reporting an issue with movement. Getting to and from appointments like medical checkups can be risky when your grandparent or parent has trouble getting from A to B (or perhaps has even had their driving privileges revoked). Arrange transportation for them with a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor in the area. If none of these choices are available, try services like iTNAmerica, which offer door-through-door transportation.
Make Use of Security Technology
If your loved one is in agreement, you can install video monitors in their home, allowing you to check in on them. You can take a look using your phone or computer. To preserve their privacy, agree on set times when you can take a peek and make sure all is well in their home. Wearable activity trackers are another way to stay abreast of their movements — again, if they agree! They might also like a wearable medical alert system that they can use to signal for help if they fall: The Senior List’s guide to the best medical alert systems includes categories for everything from “easiest to use” to “most affordable.”
Provide Solutions for Medication Management
As people get older, their memory may wane. This can make keeping track of medications difficult, especially when multiple prescriptions are required. An electronic medication management device like MedFolio is ideal. Like an old-fashioned pill organizer, it has spots to keep pills according to the day of the week and time of day. However, it also uses a visual LED-lighting system and electronic sounds to alert seniors if they’ve forgotten a dose.
This is just one of the many ways that technology is making life safer and more enjoyable for seniors than ever before. As a long-distance caregiver, you can provide your loved one with added oversight and security thanks to internet-driven support services and cutting-edge gadgets. Follow these guidelines and give your loved one the support they deserve to enjoy happiness and safety every day. You will benefit from the resulting peace of mind as well, and you can rest easy knowing that they are doing well.
A Guest Post from Claire Wentz of caringfromafar.com.
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