New technologies help seniors stay connected
As more and more families seem to spread out geographically, what is the best possible solution to have a face-to-face visit with a loved one who is in an assisted living facility when a physical visit isn't possible? What if a senior does not do well with computers, gadgets, passwords, viruses, spyware, glitches, or technology? How can a family member have additional peace of mind even when they know the facility is providing good care?
Assisted Living Technologies, Inc. in Connecticut has researched new, state-of-the-art technologies which can help seniors and individuals of all ages with varying disabilities age in place. Over the past several months we have had the opportunity to use the perfect technology that is the solution to the above questions. VideoCare is easy to use software on a touch-screen computer – no mouse or keypad. Simple and straightforward prompts allow users few options to become frustrated or to have difficulty. On the back end, a family member or caregiver has the only access to make any changes via a secure web portal. The technology provides for the following: video-communication, sending emails by voice, receiving emails in a large, readable font, viewing news, listening to music, playing memory games, viewing scheduled appointments, daily reminders, and viewing interesting videos and pictures. On the latter, a caregiver can upload pictures of grandchildren or videos of a recent family event.
We recently implemented a VideoCare system with a couple in assisted living. The daughter said her father feels less isolated, and that it has brought her "immense peace of mind."
This type of technology can supplement the care given by assisted living facilities. In home care, for example, we offer this equipment and other technologies such as remote monitoring systems in a program we call CarePlus. We provide homecare services through our sister company, Assisted Living Services, Inc., and offer clients the option of many types of devices. In a facility, this type of technology could be implemented as a value-added program. It could become an efficient way to check on the well-being of clients, send medication reminders, or communicate events.
Ron D'Aquila, RN, is the owner of Assisted Living Services, Inc.