Insights from Kerr Medical

Advances in technology are making it easier for elderly parents and patients to remain independent while delivering peace of mind to caregivers. A range of gadgets is available from essential support like medication reminders to sophisticated alerts for in-home and away-from-home medical monitoring.

When to Invest in a Device with Monitoring Technology

Your senior parent or patient may not realize that technologies are available to help improve their quality of life. Deciding to investigate technological tools is worthwhile when you, as a caregiver, or your senior notice the following changes in lifestyle or behaviors:

  • Your parent or patient is now living alone and doesn't have support living nearby.
  • Being alone is creating a sense of anxiety or worry.
  • He or she walks with difficulty or has an unsteady gait.
  • The frequency of falls is increasing.
  • Your patient shows signs of weakening memory.
  • New or existing medications list dizziness as a side effect.

As you begin to investigate monitoring technologies, answer these questions to find solutions that are appropriate for your senior's needs:

  • Will your patient understand how to operate a system?
  • Would an automatic solution be more appropriate?
  • Does your elderly parent struggle with communication due to hearing loss or aphasia?
  • Are fine motor skills too limited to put on a device or push a button? 

Products to Help with Senior Monitoring

When you've determined that monitoring would be useful for your senior, you'll have several options within each of these product categories:

  • Fall Prevention. With 1 in 4 people older than 65 falling each year in the U.S., fall prevention technologies can help.  Cordless bed, chair, and floor mat alarm systems can alert caregivers if an elderly patient needs help.
  • Call Systems.  A variety of devices to help seniors connect with supporters is available, including emergency call buttons, pagers, and two-way communication systems.
  • Movement Sensors. Motion sensors, both stationary and wearable, can support patients who may wander into unsafe areas. The absence of movement can trigger a response by caregivers.
  • Location Detection. If your loved one is living independently and driving, invest in a mobile phone or other devices that include GPS tracking.
  • Medical Monitoring Devices. Wearable items like Fitbit smartwatches include some health monitoring and fall detection features. Other brands have programs to remind seniors to take medications.

While technological innovations facilitate monitoring your elderly parent or patient, tried-and-true methods are also valuable.

  • Daily phone calls can give your senior added support and connections.
    • For those who are more technologically savvy, use mobile phone apps like FaceTime to have a virtual conversation.
  • You can also hire organizations that offer daily check-in calls or weekly in-person visits.

Contact Kerr Medical for Monitoring Solutions

We understand the challenges and concern caregivers experience with their patients (or parent).  The Kerr Medical team wants to improve your life and the life of your senior. We carefully source products designed to address your needs without breaking your budget. Call us today to discuss your needs, and we'll recommend a monitoring solution that works for you.

 

Reference sources:
https://www.aginginplace.org/who-should-wear-a-medical-alert-system/
https://www.cnbc.com/2019/09/12/7-new-tech-devices-for-that-help-seniors-live-happier-healthier-lives.html
https://www.aarp.org/caregiving/home-care/info-2017/medic-alert-systems-options.html