Ninety-five percent of people over the age of 75 say they want to spend the rest of their lives at home, according to Caring.com. It makes sense — who wouldn’t want to live out their retirement in their own home, surrounded by mementos and completely free? But it’s not always so easy for children who have aging parents set on staying at home. What if Mom forgets to take lifesaving medication? What if Dad falls and can’t get to a phone to call for help? The latest technology solves those problems, giving you options to preserve your peace of mind and your aging parents’ dignity and privacy. The best part? It’s less expensive than a nursing home (by far!) and gives your parents the independence they need to stay in the home they love.
Staying in Touch: Cell Phones for the Elderly
Some aging folks say they wouldn’t use a cellphone even in case of emergency, citing too-small number pads, difficult-to-hear speakers and other issues. But phones like the Jitterbug make it easy for aging folks to use a cell phone, whether they want it for regular use or just in case of emergencies.The Jitterbug offers bigger buttons, louder speakers and a straightforward monthly plan starting at $14.99 per month.
If you’re worried that your parents won’t remember to take their medications on time, there are options that can help. Automatic pill reminders take a variety of forms, from a watch that sounds and/or vibrates when it’s time to take medication, to a pill case that dispenses the right combination of medications at the right times of day and sends an alert to your email account if it’s not opened when it should be. Pill dispensers with alarms start around $50 through Med-E-Alert; they sound an alarm when it’s time to take another dose of medication.
Personal Emergency Response Systems
It’s one of the top concerns for people with aging parents: what happens if Mom or Dad falls and can’t get to a phone? With a personal emergency response system (PERS), your loved one will always have an emergency alert device, usually on a pendant, that will connect them with help at the push of a button. Lifeline Systems offers a no-contract system starting at just $30 per month.
Home Security Systems
What if someone breaks into the house? Home monitoring systems offer security and peace of mind for your elderly family. LifeShield offers packages starting around $30 per month for burglary and theft monitoring, environmental (heat, cold, flood), medical and carbon monoxide monitoring. Other packages include fire monitoring or video surveillance for even more security. If your parents are home alone much of the time, a home security system can give you peace of mind about leaving them home alone — and alert you if something goes wrong.
Glenn is a smartphone fanatic from Alaska who is always abreast of the latest mobile trends.