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Five Everyday Technologies That Can Help Along the Care Journey

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Today we are exploring how five everyday technologies can assist in caring for our older loved ones. From smartphones to wearables, these technologies are often overlooked but are effective support tools.


Smartphones


Smartphones are an indispensable tool for caregivers and care receivers. They can help you:

· Communicate with each other as well as with loved ones and healthcare professionals via calls, texts, or video chats.

· Set reminders for medication, appointments, and daily tasks.

· Access caregiving resources, such as blogs, forums, and support groups.

· Download apps that assist with medication management, mental health support, tracking health data, and organizing care teams.


Video doorbells and home security systems


Video doorbells and home security systems can help care partners monitor their loved one's safety and provide peace of mind. These systems often include features such as:

· Live video streaming, enabling care partners to see who is at the door and communicate with visitors.

· Motion detection, alerting care partners when someone approaches the home.

· Integration with smartphones, allowing care partners to monitor their loved one's home remotely.

· Optional add-ons, such as indoor cameras and smart locks, to enhance home security.


Wearable health monitors


Wearable health monitors, such as fitness trackers or smartwatches, can help families keep track of their loved one's health and well-being. Some benefits of wearable health monitors include:

· Tracking daily activities, such as steps, heart rate, and sleep patterns.

· Setting reminders for exercise, medication, and hydration.

· Detecting falls and automatically alerting emergency contacts (Apple Watch).

· Allowing users to make phone calls or send messages from their person in case of emergencies.


Smart home devices


Smart home devices, like Amazon Echo or Google Home, can simplify daily routines and enhance safety for older loved ones. These voice-activated assistants can help care partners by:

· Setting reminders for medication, appointments, and tasks.

· Controlling smart home features, such as lights, thermostats, and door locks, through voice commands.

· Providing entertainment, such as music, audiobooks, and podcasts.

· Making phone calls and sending messages using voice commands.


Telemedicine and remote health monitoring


Telemedicine and remote health monitoring technologies allow care partners to connect with healthcare professionals and help manage their loved one's health from a distance. Some advantages of telemedicine include:

· Virtual consultations with doctors, saving time and reducing the need for transportation.

· Remote monitoring of vital signs, such as blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and heart rate, through connected devices.

· Access to electronic health records, enabling care partners to review medical information and share it with healthcare providers.

· Improved communication between family care partners, healthcare professionals, and loved ones, ensuring coordinated care.


Final Thoughts


Everyday technologies can significantly improve the care journey for care partners. As technology continues to advance, it's sometimes difficult to stay informed about the latest innovations and how to integrate them into caregiving routines, so stay tuned and we will do our best to keep you updated. If you would like to explore more or keep up with new advances here are some sites and newsletters that we follow:


Aging 2.0 Site: https://www.aging2.com/ and their newsletter CoverAge. (You can sign up for free on their site)

MIT Age Lab

Aging and Health Technology Watch

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