As individuals reach their golden years, their health starts to decline at a more rapid pace. Unfortunately, the personal time we are able to spend with our parents and other older loved ones is often limited due to the demands of work and home life.
The inability to check-in with our elder loved ones on a more frequent basis makes it hard not to worry about their safety and well-being, especially those that continue to live on their own.
However, it’s important to recognize that many seniors take great pride in their ability to maintain an independent lifestyle. As a result, they sometimes resort to masking their inability to perform certain functions due to feelings of shame and embarrassment at the thought of having to rely on others to achieve tasks they could previously accomplish with ease.
Fortunately, modern monitoring technology can alleviate these concerns without compromising the independent lifestyle of your elder friends and family.
Online Health Monitoring
A variety of applications have emerged in the last few years that allow consumers to securely store and access their health information online. Many of these applications are free and allow devices such as blood pressure monitors, pedometers, and glucometers to upload information directly into a person’s online health log account. In the case of elderly individuals, using such an application could especially be beneficial when having to make decisions relating to their personal care.
Forgetting or taking the wrong medication dosage is a common fear among loved ones of seniors. Fortunately, there are intelligent pill boxes available that can accurately distribute medications to seniors according to the dosage and frequency prescribed by their doctor. Many of these devices also include a feature that alerts the user when it is time to take their medication.
Home Medical Monitoring
For more than two decades, elderly alert systems have been a popular method of providing peace of mind to family and friends of older adults.
Most quality medical response systems have two-way communication capabilities that allow elderly users to alert a dispatcher in the event of an emergency, such as a sudden illness or fall.
Contact by the senior alarm user can be established through an elderly alarm pendant that can be worn either as a necklace or bracelet. When pressed, a button on the pendant will immediately contact a dispatch center. A dispatcher will then attempt to speak with the user via a two-way communication system located inside the home of the older adult. If the attempt to establish contact is unsuccessful or the senior indicates further assistance is needed, the responder will then proceed to dispatch police and EMS response to the site.
This is just a small sampling of the technology currently available that can assist you in keeping tabs on the health and security status of your elderly loved ones. When shopping around for devices, try contacting a reputable elderly advocacy group such as the American Society on Aging (ASA) for recommendations.
Rhonda Clark is a team member at Alert1 and author of this article about home medical monitoring, elderly alert systems and medical response systems. Life-Response offers protection during a personal emergency through 24-hour emergency medical help available at the press of a button.