As our parents age, weighing their care options can be a difficult and emotional process. In many cases, keeping them at home is appealing, as “aging in place” allows your loved one to stick to their same routines. However, this independence can also present health risks.
Fortunately, modern technology is evolving to make living at home more safe and healthy.
It is estimated that two thirds of older people in the United States are living with multiple chronic conditions. This population also makes up 66% of the nation’s healthcare budget. Caring for an aging loved one can be more complicated when they have a strict medication and treatment regimen to manage these conditions, so app developers are making it easier to monitor senior health.
If you are caring for a senior family member, the following apps may help you out:
- Balance: For Alzheimer’s Caregivers
This app provides both organizational and informational tools for caregivers of those with Alzheimer’s. Users can get specific tips on how to address certain behavior and care needs, and can also read up on the latest Alzheimer’s health news. The app also has medication, appointment, and other scheduling tools.
CareZone allows multiple family members to connect on a simple interface, keeping track of their loved one’s care schedule, medications, behaviors, and daily tasks. Users can also upload files and photos to share with their family network. The app also has a reminder system built in, so your family member can avoid missing medication doses.
- Elder 911 and Elder 411
Created by the same company, these apps are great resources for medical information and advice. Elder 411 has over 500 pieces of expert information organized into categories. Elder 911 focuses on the transition from hospital to home, helping caregivers plan discharge, care transfers, doctor recommendations, and other topics.
- Dementia Caregiver Solutions
This app provides specific advice for addressing complicated dementia-related behaviors. Users can click on the problem at hand and receive solutions. You can then star the solutions that work to use later. The app also provides more general information about dementia as a whole.
Technology is changing the way that we address common health concerns. Dizziness, for example, is estimated to impact 65% of people over 60-years-old on a daily basis. Not only do smartphones make it easier to call and check in on aging loved ones, but informational apps are now able to suggest possible causes for common ailments like dizziness.
Carol Marak, editor at Seniorcare.com, writes in Huffington Post that caregiving technology will evolve to make truly independent living more feasible.
“Keeping a person safe and comfortable at home through a platform that automates everyday devices is a good start for aging in place,” she writes. “But how about the personal care needs that people have as they decline? If a person intends to live at home as long as they can manage, technology must adapt to those issues as well. The medical term is activities of daily living, and deal with the day-to-day things like bathing, cooking, grooming, cleaning, walking, using the bathroom, and oral hygiene.”
Just remember, no matter how evolved our tech and mobile apps become, it is still important to see a medical professional for all concerns. If your loved one is having an emergency, call 9-1-1 or get them to care immediately.