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Are you a Carer?

3 Ways to Boost Your Caregiving Abilities Long-Distance

Caring for a senior loved one can be challenging when there’s distance between you. And per Harvard Health, two-thirds of seniors need help with daily living, meaning caregivers are more in demand than ever. But thanks to technology and all its innovations, there are ways you can care for your loved one without physically being there. Here are three ways to lend your loved one a hand, all thanks to technology.

cell-phonePhoto via Pixabay

Choose the Right Cell Phone and Plan

The perception of some is that seniors can’t learn new things. But older adults have proven that they can be just as adept at navigating technology as younger folks are. In fact, AgingInPlace notes 85 percent of those 65 or older have smartphones. If your loved one doesn’t yet have a smartphone, now is the perfect time to introduce one.

Choose something with a big display and easy navigation, and note some carriers, like Verizon, even offer special pricing for customers ages 55 and up. Wireless plans for seniors come with unlimited data, talk, and text, so keeping in touch can be almost constant—without worrying about overage charges.

Use Smart Assistants for Daily Needs

If reminding your senior loved one about medications, appointments, and check-ins is a challenge, a smart assistant could make a significant impact. Smart or virtual assistants use a speaker or your loved one’s smartphone to answer questions, schedule events, give reminders, and more.

Older adults may also find smart assistants beneficial for daily tasks like checking the weather, finding recipes, or listening to the news. Especially for those with mobility or dexterity challenges, a smart home assistant can prove invaluable. And for the 12.9 percent of older adults with vision trouble, a screen-free tool is crucial.

Top voice-activated smart assistants include options like the Amazon Alexa, Samsung Bixby, Windows Cortana, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri. Depending on the device your loved one has, selecting a smart assistant may be as simple as downloading an app. However, in-home speaker systems are available for most voice tools, too.

Try Smart Camera Systems

Many seniors who live alone are at risk of experiencing falls, especially if they use multiple medications or have cognitive or sensory impairments. Since you can’t be there, it takes a unique approach—and open lines of communication—to figure out a solution.

Preventing falls starts with working alongside your loved one, discussing their feelings and opinions. Enlivant explains it helps if your loved one partakes in physical activity to build strength and balance. Carefully adjusting medications with the help of a physician can also prove beneficial.

But caregivers should also assess the safety of the home and make sure accessibility features are in place. And, for older adults with a significant risk for falls, the ability for caregivers to check in remotely is crucial. By installing cameras in your family member’s home, you can “drop-in” on them to ensure that everything is going well.

Remote monitoring can be challenging to deploy, notes AARP, since navigating the equipment and programs can be hard for both seniors and their remote caregivers. But in-home monitoring can maintain your loved one’s independence and safety, so having a conversation about such tech is vital.

Of course, open communication is the first step in getting your loved one on board with any type of technology addition. Involving them in such decisions and listening to and respecting their opinions will go a long way toward achieving optimal health and safety. But the good news is that smartphones and other new technology can be fun and engaging for seniors, which boosts the odds they’ll want to adapt. Keep things positive, and your results will be as well.


  

Carers Direct

If you are please let us know - we may be able to help you

There is a wealth of information on NHS Website about carers and caring. Below are some links into the site that we hope you will find useful.

       When you're caring for carers, who's caring for you?

  • Caring for a parent

    Watch this video on: caring for a parent at home

  • Telling people

    Caring responsibilities can make it difficult to maintain friendships or develop new ones. Telling your friends you're a carer is important so they understand and can support you.

  • Taking a break

    Caring for someone can be a full-time job, but it's essential that you take time out for yourself too. Read our guide to accessing breaks and respite.

  • Housing and carers

    Do you know your tenancy rights as a carer? Are you aware of all your care at home options? Do you need tips on moving someone around the home?

Contact Carers Direct

Telephone
0300 123 1053
Helpline Information
http://www.nhs.uk/carersdirect/carerslives/updates/pages/carersdirecthelpline.aspx
Office Hours
Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 11am to 4pm at weekends. Calls are free from UK landlines.

Carers support groups

Finance and Law

Help claiming benefits, looking after your bank balance and understanding the legal issues of caring.



 
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