Technology and Caregiving
I’ve just again from a quick journey to Canada for you to convey my 87 yr old Mom again to her home there. She lives by myself in an apartment that has slowly advanced into an area wherein many seniors live, but that does not have the designation (or offerings) that a senior dwelling condominium complex might have.
As such, there may be confined safety, no monitoring, no one assigned to test the residents, no accessibility functions and it is quite a vintage constructing. In fact, whilst my mother changed into touring me, we received a document that her sliding glass door had fallen out onto the balcony and shattered. As it turned into determined no longer to be the end result of a spoil-in, the supervisor of the rental recommended that it turned into due to “a moving of the constructing”.
Before you ask, allow me to say that no, I could not persuade my mother to exchange houses nor to stay with my sister or me. As many senior adults do, she prefers to remain independent.
Having spent the final 6 weeks together with her, I see the need to put a few protection measures into vicinity if she is to keep to stay in her current residence. Her mind is still sharp however she is having a few balance troubles and has already “tripped over a blanket” and bruised her ankle quite badly. Because there’s nobody who often tests on the citizens, if she had been to fall and smash a hip, she might lie there for days without an assist.
There are Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) which make use of a button that a person can push in case of emergency (some of these structures are also equipped with fall detectors). There are medication dishing out structures that can be loaded (by way of a care provider or member of the family) with as much as 60 doses of medicine and with a purpose to ship audible reminders to the senior person that it’s time to take their capsules. There are even complex domestic tracking systems that have facts that the off-site caregiver can display via the internet. These structures can alert the caregiver if, as an instance, the senior person did no longer rise from their mattress earlier than a delegated time.
What approximately vitamins – how do we understand that our growing older determine or loved one is shopping for AND consuming a nutritionally balanced meal? How can we recognize how long the thawed chook has sat on the counter or the luncheon meats have remained inside the fridge? How do we understand how lots the senior adult has eaten and what kind of is being tossed in the trash?
How can we recognize that the senior grownup is bathing and/or acting other hygiene activities frequently sufficient? If mouth care isn’t done regularly enough, oral sickness can occur and may have an effect on the senior adult’s appetite.
Although generation can alert the off-website caregiver to the quantity of workout that is being carried out through the elder person by way of figuring out movement, the sort of exercising can’t be monitored. Senior adults want weight-bearing physical games and activities to be able to help to hold their balance, now not just motion. (I’ve observed that my mother has ended up a lot less cellular since transferring to a rental of her very own and
What approximately scam artists who goal their schemes on the aged? Can technology shield them well enough?
Isolation could end up a problem. Will the use of technology take the region of site visitors who used to pop in to check that all is properly? (There are currently robots being developed in an effort to resource the senior person of their day by day activities, however, can those robots give hugs?)
The off-website online caregiver may be negatively affected as well. What if he or she is not in a position to reply whilst the alarm for help is going off? What if the frequency of alarms is excessive? What if the alarms constantly sound at night? Will the off-site caregiver become glued to the home tracking machine? All of those situations can reason elevated stress to both the off-website caregiver and the senior person who is anticipating a response.
And ultimately, the usage of technology can be highly-priced. Certainly, it’s far much less pricey than an assisted residing facility or a nursing domestic, however, do the blessings of maintaining the senior person of their home without human help outweigh the probabilities of isolation, terrible nutrients, loss of exercising, viable despair and uncleanliness?
I bet what I’m saying is that the generation is a wonderful device to be utilized however we need to be careful now not to allow it to be the major technique of off-website or long-distance caregiving.
Shelley Webb has been a registered nurse for nearly 30 years, with revel in within the fields of neonatal extensive care, dialysis, case-control, and eldercare. When her father got here to live together with her in 2005, the benefits of her clinical enjoy have become clean. Due to his dementia and congestive coronary heart failure, her father became no longer capable of care for himself alone anymore and so she took over these duties.
Having skilled the helplessness, frustration, overwhelm and even loneliness that caregiving for a growing older parent brings, Shelley is properly aware of the emotional and educational aid that caregivers want and so she started out The Intentional Caregiver internet site. With its weekly newsletter, everyday information updates and monthly audio interviews of specialists in eldercare and supporting offerings, Shelley strives to encourage and teach caregivers so that they can be empowered to offer the quality viable take care of themselves while caring for their growing old loved one(s).