8 ways to manage your parent’s health remotely

IMG-20160201-WA0000More and more people are moving from place to place today either for higher education or for better job opportunities. Earlier people used to live in joint families, the children were with their parents so it was easy for them to manage their needs. But now the children are mostly staying away from their homes, which make it difficult for them to take care of their aging parents remotely.

The biggest concern for those children is to check on their well-being and manage health of their parents and are often termed as “long-distance caregivers.”

Here are some common ways to manage your parent’s health remotely :

1. Virtual counseling

Seniors do not want to visit hospitals for multiple reasons, it can be an issue with mobility, fear, hesitation of facing a doctor, financial limitation, etc. If you are living away from them, you can talk to them over telephone or video calls and can get to understand their problems and concerns. Not only motivate them for hospital/doctor visit but also encourage them to eat properly, maintain a balance diet, have a set routine, exercise, socialize etc.

2. Book appointments online

Organizing doctor visit has become easy in this era of internet. One can find specialized specific doctor; take their appointment through hospital’s website to relieve their parent’s from booking hassle. Other arrangements like arranging cabs, bill payments, downloading tests reports etc. can also be done through internet. It is important to remember that sending them to the doctor is one part; we must also keep an eye on follow ups. Depending on the condition and situation, other things like doctor’s home visit, groceries shopping, food delivery can also be arranged from a distance.

3. Get their medicines organized

The new easiest way to track the elderly’s medication is a pill box. It could be done once a week or monthly. If you are visiting your loved one frequently, then it should be done when you visit them. Otherwise, you can also ask your trained attendant to help you in filling the pill box/ managing their medicines through an audio or video call.

4. Prepare for emergencies

Maintain healthy relations with neighbors so that they regularly check with your parents and can be contacted in case of any need. One can also register their loved ones with their respective RWA’s, nearest police station and also have the contact details of nearby hospitals and dispensaries that can be used in emergencies. Make a list of those emergency numbers and put them somewhere where it is easily accessible  for your loved one and others in times of emergencies.

5. Video calls

Regular video calls with children or grandchildren will give seniors the feeling that they are still connected with them. It will also give a chance to the grown up children to keep an eye on their parent’s hygiene, their upkeep, their appearance etc.

6. Senior friendly home

To reduce the chances of falls and to prevent seniors from any other hazard, one must make their home more senior friendly.  Put more lights, install hand rail and grab bars in the important areas of the house, anti-skid mats or carpets should cover the shiny floors. You can also use contrast colors for walls and doors, walls and switch boards, plates and mats etc.

7. Hire professional help

These days you can also hire professional services from organizations like ours, Samvedna Senior Care, which provide oversight for your parents’ emotional and physical well-being. These organizations have Geriatric Care Managers and Care Specialists to help you take care of your parent’s needs. They can assist you with you hospital visits and tending to emergencies as well as providing quality companionship to the elderly.

8. Tech Gadgets for remote monitoring

These are some of the tech gadgets we found to be promising in helping elderly live alone while at the same time keeping their children updated on their physical health. These are currently available in the US market and hopefully over a period of time the Indian elderly will also accept them !

  • The Life Bracelet (https://www.comarch.com/healthcare/products/remote-medical-care/remote-care-services/bracelet-of-life/)

This is an element of the care system that increases patients’ security and give them greater independence. It never needs to be removed, it is waterproof, and the battery lasts for years. It has an SOS Life Button which enables the patient to contact the caregiver and request help. The sensor in the bracelet detects loss of consciousness and falls, and automatically alerts the center of care in the event of either. It can also built in health card which can contain personal information, age, blood group, allergies, major illnesses, medications and contact details of kin, which can be used in case of wandering.

  • Fitness Trackers
    It is similar to hand bands or wrist watches. The primary function of these devices is to track metrics from your heart rate to sleep patterns and to monitor all the vitals like blood sugar, blood pressure etc.  Moreover, some trackers help users to track their food intake which can be useful for seniors with dietary restrictions or specific nutrition goals. Cholesterol levels can also be reviewed over the stored data of weeks.
  • A digital pill dispenser (Med minder) https://www.medminder.com

It is an electronic device similar to our 7 day pill box model. The caregiver has to refill the medicine tray that goes and get locked in the device. Afterwards, the pill time has to be set up. It will get automatically unlocked when its pill time and then device will beep if the medicine is not taken. After some time, a pre-recorded voice will remind the patient, to take medicine.  Such electronic dispenser is really helpful for the patients having memory diseases like Alzheimer’s.

  • Sensory gadgets https://www.alarm.com/productservices/wellness.aspx

It is a sensory based technology that helps senior and family members to keep in touch.  The wireless sensors which run on battery can be placed in different parts/places of the home and it will help in monitoring the day routine of senior. Caregivers can have a look on them/ check on them anytime through a private, secured web page. Apart from monitoring, if the senior fall into any emergency or face any disruptions, then remote caregivers will be alerted through a call, email or message. As the device is wireless and the sensory works on battery, the system is easy to set up and operate.

  • Grand care systems (https://www.grandcare.com/)

This innovative wireless system is a set of different gadgets that help a family to monitor health of senior remotely, as well as to improve their quality of life. The most important gadget is a (TV like) large touchscreen device in the residence which performs multiple functions. It can monitor daily activity, store health data, keep reminders, medicine prompts and also web based entertainment like music, videos, and social networking is available. It is senior friendly; no computer skill is required as it works on single touch.

The stored data is secured and can be retrieved remotely only through a care portal or by creating a caregiver’s user account. Moreover, it’s a two way communication, a caregiver can retrieve data as well as they can check health records, view graphs, set up notifications, utilize care notes, and add social communications to the resident’s touchscreen through a care portal.

 Samvedna Senior Care was established in October 2013 with two primary goals – dementia care and active ageing. Our aim is to cater to the intellectual and emotional wellbeing of seniors in Delhi NCR. We help them live happy, active and independent lives, in the comfort of their home and community through interactive caregiving.

Our aim is to provide quality home care services to seniors with limited mobility or dementia, and to facilitate stimulating community interaction and participation.

Emergency and Respite Care:

Our emergency support service is for times when an elderly needs assistance in a hurry. In case of an emergency like a fall, sudden illness or unplanned travel, we are one phone call away, ready to step into action and deal with things. The services include ambulance assistance, an on-call helpline (8am-8pm), hospitalization support and more.

Respite care services give caregivers an opportunity to leave home for a few hours for errands, appointments or simply to unwind, with the peace of mind that comes with knowing their loved ones are in capable hands.
More – http://www.samvednacare.com/emergency-respite-care

General Wellbeing:

With our General Well Being Services we aim to raise the quality of life of seniors, specially those who may have limited mobility and social interaction due to various constraints. Our interactive programme keeps them active and engaged through physical, mental and social activities, all in the comfort of their home.
More – http://samvednacare.com/general-wellbeing

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