Technology can make life easier, safer, and more enjoyable for both seniors and caregivers – here’s how!
When you consider the key characteristics of a compassionate caregiver, how often do you think about the use or implementation of leading edge technologies? All too often, we tend to under-emphasize the role of technology in the caregiving field, and today’s applications, devices, and tools can make any caregiver – or senior, for that matter, feel more confident and able to handle life’s little ups and downs. The following are the five best technologies for caregivers and seniors available today:
Electronic dispensers: Whether the senior in your care is capable and willing to handle their own pills or medications, or you are in charge of this important aspect of their medical care, you may want to invest in (or suggest that the client purchase) an automated pill dispenser. Many of these feature built-in alarms that can remind the patient when it is time to take important medications, and some even communicate directly with smartphones or computers for the ultimate in convenience.
GPS tracking devices: While this piece of technology may seem a little overbearing for the average caretaker, having the ability to always know where your patient is results in greater peace of mind for all parties involved. If you care for an Alzheimer’s patient who still retains good mobility, you may want to consult with the family of the patient and gain consent for a GPS location device that can be worn on their body, or in the pocket of a pair of pants. This eliminates the frantic searches for a patient who may be suffering from dementia, and it is even useful for those clients who have full cognitive ability but still need some help from time to time.
Home care software: Definitely geared toward the caregiver side of the patient/provider spectrum, home care software packages are a must-have these days for any professional healthcare provider or business that wants to automate, simplify, and organize daily operations. The idea is to enable caregivers to focus on client care, and not a large pile of time-consuming paperwork. HomeTrak, for instance, makes customized software solutions that can automate several key areas – like payroll, billing, scheduling, and more, and that translates into more time serving clients and less time on the more mundane parts of the process.
Snapfon – This device is a tailor-made cell phone that is designed especially for use by our senior population. Featuring large, easy to read buttons, a full-color screen that is visible even in bright daylight, extra-loud speaker to facilitate clear communication, and even an integral panic button that can immediately summon help – 24 hours a day, this phone helps to keep your senior connected and secure. The Snapfon even syncs to another phone to let you know if the battery is running low on power.
Anti-scald shower device: Even if you assist a senior client during normal bathing routines, you still have to remain vigilant that you don’t put them in danger of a burn from hot tap water. Some seniors look at taking a shower or bath as the last vestiges of independence, so consider suggesting an anti-scald shower or bath device when consulting with the patient’s family members. This inexpensive piece can minimize the chances of burns and serious injuries if you’re not directly supervising the shower or bath.
There are so many exciting tools and gadgets available today to make seniors more independent and caregivers more effective. The five listed above make a great start for any caregiver or patient this year.