4/28/2020 | By Seniors Guide Staff

If you can’t be with the ones you love … use technology to keep an eye on them. There are many ways to connect with your aging parents, whether you’re across the country or just across town. Just calling your parents for a chat is an important way make sure your they’re doing fine. But there are even more ways to take advantage of technology to keep an eye on them. Whether you want to monitor your aging parents’ health from a distance, ensure that they’re safe at home, or remind them to take their medication, technology can help.

Staying Social

There’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned phone call. But adding video to a phone call can give you extra peace of mind. Apple iPhones feature FaceTime, and Skype offers free video calls. Communication technology can seem overwhelming, though. Many tech companies are working to make video communication less intimidating and easy to use, especially for older people. In 2018, Facebook launched their Portal video chat device. Portal consists of a smart video screen with an auto-zooming camera that follows the user around the room as they video chat. The device is designed be easy to set up and use. It’s a single-use device, devoted to video chatting, so the interface is simple and consistent. Portal comes with its own voice assistant but can also work with Amazon Alexa.

Related: 5 Video Calling Options for Seniors and Their Families

Ensuring Health, Safety, and Wellbeing

Your parent’s home can be equipped with sensor technology, which is a passive way to keep tabs on their activity. While a camera system might seem obtrusive, a system of sensors can alert you if something out of the ordinary happens, or can just let you know everything’s going fine. A bed sensor can let you know when your parent went to bed, and when they get up. A sensor on a medicine cabinet can tell you when and if your parent took their medication. Smart home automation, including whole-house systems like Nest or door cameras like Ring, let you lock doors and monitor other security systems.

Wearable technology is also a way to keep an eye on your parents’ safety and wellbeing at a distance. From the Apple Watch to medical alert pendants, there are many options for wearable emergency devices. Caregivers can also use wearable technology to set reminders like times to take medication. Parents can use wearable technology to do quick check-ins with their families, just to let them know everything’s okay. Some tech companies, like Canada’s LocateMotion, are also working on monitoring systems that track, analyze, and learn from wearers’ activity trends and movement patterns to help avoid emergencies like falls and wandering. LocateMotion calls their technology a “24/7 safety net” for seniors.

Monitoring Medical Issues From a Distance

As telehealth – the use of telecommunications to provide medical examinations and treatment – grows, so do the ways you can keep up with your aging parents’ medical situation. Remote patient monitoring, or RPM, systems are ways for doctors to monitor their patients’ health and track their vital signs remotely, and allow for fewer office visits. Wearable technology can monitor patients’ pulse, oxygen levels, blood sugar levels, and other vitals and communicate those to caregivers and doctors. A biosensor wristband like TDK’s Silmee can monitor patients’ medical condition 24 hours a day. If it detects abnormal signs, it sends out alerts to medical professionals, caregivers, and family members. You can get these alerts on a smartphone.

For more info on great technology for your aging parents, check out our post here!

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff