Useful Advice from the Kerr Medical Team

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic created government-mandated isolation, seniors were one of the loneliest groups in the United States. Many lack strong support networks, and if they are dealing with a disability or limited mobility, they are likely spending a lot of time alone.

Research links loneliness to higher rates of illness, depression, and death. Now that COVID-19 restricts social interactions for everyone, finding ways to connect with our elderly loved ones becomes essential to helping them stay healthy.

Here are a few tips and tools from Kerr Medical that can help you ensure your senior parent or patient keeps in touch with family, friends, and physicians.

  • Engage your senior's social circle.  Even active seniors may be facing isolation during the stay-at-home orders that are occurring in many states. Ask family and friends to call, write letters, send cards, or text your elderly loved one. Think about setting up a schedule of calls, so your senior has at least 1 friendly conversation every day.
  • Create virtual interactions. Thanks to technology, your elderly patient can now 'see' who is on the other end of a call. Teach them how to use video chat software available on tablets, smartphones, and laptop computers. Remember that several of the apps, like Skype and Facebook Messenger, have captioning to help adults who have hearing impairments.
  • Sign up for telemedicine services. Medicare recently expanded telemedicine services, allowing the use of FaceTime, Skype, and Facebook Messenger. Seniors can consult with medical professionals online to avoid going to the doctor's office or medical facility. Importantly, by using apps that allow visual interactions, physicians can see your loved ones and gain insight into their health and stress level. 
  • Get a medical alert system.  For seniors living alone, especially those with health issues, a medical alert system is a powerful tool for staying connected. Some smartwatches include an alert feature. Kerr Medical offers several monitoring options and alarms to notify you if your elderly loved one has a fall or needs urgent help. Our alert systems are easy to use, with some merely requiring a button push to sound an alarm.
  • Invest in a two-way communication monitor.  You may have seen media coverage of seniors in retirement communities or assisted living facilities trying to engage with loved ones who are looking through a window. If your elderly parent is isolated during COVID-19, consider investing in a two-way communication system from Kerr Medical.  The system includes a video monitor with a zoom feature so you can see your loved one and an intercom that allows you to converse. Importantly, the system has a range of 1000 feet, equal to 3 ½ football fields, helping you connect with people in rooms on upper floors or without windows.

Seniors need to remain at home and stay isolated for protection during the COVID-19 pandemic. With your help and tools from Kerr Medical, older adults don't need to be alone.

For more information about our monitoring products, contact our team. We'll help you find the right solution and direct you to additional resources for support during this difficult time.