Being far away from someone you love is tough, especially if they have health issues, but fortunately technology can help you ensure that they stay healthy and happy, no matter how far apart you live from one another. Here are some of the best ways you can use technology to help your loved one from afar.
By Marie Villeza
When you have a loved one who lives far away, it can be difficult to know the best ways to help them out. This is all the more true if your loved one suffers from dementia. You may stress about what will happen if they put themselves in a dangerous situation, or you might be worried about their everyday well-being and whether they’re lonely.
Fortunately, there are several types of technology available that can help your senior loved one get organized, stay healthy, and find the best ways to get social so that they can stay active in their community. Do some research on your loved one’s immediate needs and find out what they enjoy doing, or what they may need assistance with. For those with limited mobility, it might be helpful to find a caregiver who can visit a few times a week and help with laundry, shopping, and other chores.
Here are some of the best ways you can use technology to help your loved one from afar.
Check their health
You can help make keeping up with their health an easy task for your loved one with apps that allow them to check their blood pressure and keep an eye on any potential issues.
Many seniors enjoy doing crossword puzzles and playing games like Sudoku to keep their minds sharp, and in fact, this is a great way to help individuals who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or are at risk for it stay sharp and vital. There are several smartphone and tablet apps that can help your loved one stay mentally fit, such as Lumosity, an app which offers games and puzzles specially-designed by neuroscientists.
Stay in touch
Stay in touch with your loved ones by helping them set up an app like Skype on their smartphone or tablet. This will allow you to see each other and stay up-to-date on what’s going on in their lives at the same time. Just make sure they know about which safety precautions to take–such as not accepting requests from strangers and never giving personal info out online–before you set it up.
Get them reading
Reading is a great pastime for seniors, because it keeps their minds sharp and it’s a wonderful way to keep boredom at bay. Many seniors love having an e-reader, because it allows them to store several titles on one small device. Show your loved one how to use apps like Goodreads, which will give recommendations on books they might like based on ones they’ve already read and allows them to share a good title with other readers.
Help them remember
It can be difficult for many seniors to keep up with their medications, especially if they take several every day. Even having a pill sorter may not be helpful if the medicines have to be taken at different times of day. With apps like Pillboxie, managing medications is a lot easier because it utilizes forty different images–with varying sizes and colors for pills–and alarms that work even if the device isn’t connected to a network.
Being far away from someone you love is tough, especially if they have health issues, but fortunately technology can help you ensure that they stay healthy and happy, no matter how far apart you live from one another.
Marie Villeza is passionate about connecting seniors with the resources they need to live happy, healthy lives. She developed ElderImpact.org to provide seniors and their caregivers with resources and advice.