How to Care for Elderly Parents Remotely – Tips and Options
As an adult child in charge of your elderly parent, you begin to wonder about the next steps to take to care for your loved one. With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting hard almost a year ago now, many questions pound your head on where and what the best place for your parent is to live as they continue to age. With many things to consider, the pandemic has revolutionized the way remote anything can be done, including remote monitoring. Many folks admit that they want to stay within their communities and age in place.
Did you know that 3 out of 4 older adults desire to age in place? An AARP article revealed 76% of Americans age 50 and older say they prefer to remain in their current residence.
A flood of concerns fills your head as you ponder how you will have enough time to care for your parents all day. You begin to question if it is even possible to monitor your parents remotely? In the right circumstances, monitoring elderly parents remotely can allow you to respond quickly to your parents’ needs or any medical situation they could be facing. Let us provide you with some of these helpful tips and resources on how you can carefully monitor your loved ones at home.
Advantages of Monitoring Elderly Parents Remotely
Many of us want to care for our parents as they continue to age, but this raises many considerations. We know it is not possible to spend 24 hours a day caring for elderly parents but caring for them remotely has many advantages.
- Ability to monitor your elderly parents at any time throughout the day
- Providing them with the comfortable lifestyle they desire
- Allowing them to “age in place”
- Easy access to communicating with them through video conferencing
- Fulfilling your duties while keeping your parents safe
You can officially provide your loved ones with the care they need and deserve through remote monitoring. This is why remote caring in these days of social distancing and crunchy time schedules are starting to take lead.
Hiring A Caregiver For Your Elderly Parent
After considering the many benefits mentioned above from monitoring elderly parents remotely, the next question you might be facing is which options do I have? Let’s begin with hiring a caregiver for your senior. Two main types of caregivers exist.
- Informal Caregivers
- Professional Caregivers
If your parents do not need 24/7 assistance you might want to look into creating a network of informal caregivers. Informal caregivers comprise of family, friends, and relatives that can stop by to check on your parents and help them with basic needs such as shopping, meal prepping, traveling for appointments, and companionship. Professional caregivers on the other hand could be beneficial if your senior needs a bit more help. Professional caregivers are paid an hourly rate and visit your parents on a proper schedule daily. A certified nursing assistant will assist them with various tasks at home.
Monitoring Elderly Parents Remotely Through Technology
With the advances in technology, monitoring your elderly parents remotely can be quite simple. There are many different options for technology nowadays and especially since the pandemic. Explore some of the technology options available for remote monitoring below.
Remote Care Options through Technology
- GPS Services
GPS’s allow you to monitor your parent’s location even if you are miles and miles apart. GPS devices are much more accurate now and can set your mind at ease knowing that they are safe at their premises or made it to their appointment okay. Some examples include PocketFinder, iTraq, Trax, and the Medical Guardian.
Cameras can help you keep an eye on your parents from the comfort of wherever you are. Round the clock monitoring is made easy so you can keep an eye on what your parent is doing to ensure their safety. Access to the video is available by phone or another application.
- Virtual Assistants
Virtual assistants are easily installed to help elderly parents with many functions of the home. From reminding your parents of their medication schedule to getting alerts, regarding their health, virtual assistants such as Google Home or Alexa make this easy.
- Phone Apps
Remote caring is made easy with an abundance of apps available on phones and IOS devices today. Apps can monitor the vital health of your elderly parents, make communication easy, give them reminders for medications, food, appointments, and much more.
6 Great Apps for monitoring Elderly Parents Remotely
- Caring Bridge
CaringBridge allows you and your loved ones to stay in touch and keeps track of pertinent information.
- Lotsa Helping Hands
This app helps you create a community of care around your loved one. You can invite family, friends, volunteers, and care aides to join and then manage everything from sitters and errands to appointments and family gatherings using an interactive calendar
eCare21 provides round-the-clock patient monitoring through wireless and wearable devices such as a smartwatch or FitBit. You can track the wearer’s glucose, heart rate, activity, medication, weight, calorie intake, and sleep.
PillBoxie can help your parents remotely follow a proper medication schedule by setting reminders so nothing important gets missed.
This cool application makes emergencies as easy as pressing a button, whenever your parents press it, emergency contacts are notified immediately.
- Oscar Senior
Oscar Senior makes initiating video calls a breeze. You can also browse the web and send photos, set reminders for them, and keep track of their activity.
With a variety of options for today’s monitoring options, it is up to you to decide which would work best for you and your parents. Thanks to the quickly evolving remote scene, monitoring elderly parents remotely is made more possible than ever. We hope you find some of our tips on services, apps, and devices useful. Feel free to check out some more of our resources. Share with us what was most helpful to you in making the transition to remote monitoring for your loved ones!