Archive for June, 2015

Technology Changes the In-home Care Landscape

Posted on: June 25th, 2015 by Kim McCreery

Senior couple video conferenceTechnology has revolutionized in-home care, for patients, caregivers and loved ones. For decades, being “home” had the potential to become extremely isolating, as aging parents and relatives were often cut off from their families and social circles due to immobility and lack of comfortable access, transportation and support. However, with the proliferation of smart technology, social media and interactive telecommunications platforms, senior home care means more connection, comfort and engagement than ever before.

Many new technology entrants to the marketplace have infinite applications for home care services, from traditional medical applications to socially-driven engagement capabilities. Not only do these tools bring a much-needed peace of mind to seniors, their caregivers and loved ones, but more importantly, they enable more freedom, more independence and an increased quality of life. Nowadays, just because you’re home doesn’t mean you can’t connect, converse and feel like you’re a part of something outside of your immediate surroundings. And likewise, should a medical emergency arise, it’s these tech enhancements that keep loved ones safe and cared for. Here are a few favorites:

  • Webcams: Installing webcams throughout the home allows both family members and caregivers the ability to virtually check in on the senior at any time. Webcams also allow family members who live far way to video chat with their loved ones.
  • Sensor Monitors: In conjunction with webcams, sensors can be placed throughout the home to track movement. These are particularly handy for seniors with ambulation or wandering issues. Most sensor systems connect to a TV or computer monitor and an Internet connection.
  • Medical Alert Pendants: These handy devices have been around for a few years now, but continue to be updated to increase effectiveness. They are worn by the senior and the button is pressed in the event of a fall or other emergency, connecting the senior to 911 or another emergency response service.
  • Automatic Pill Reminders/Dispensers: These are perfect for patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. An alarm goes off, alerting the senior to take his or her medication by voice message, and dispenses the correct dosage. If the senior misses a dose, an alert is sent to the caregiver after 90 minutes.

At Home Solutions provides a monthly rental service for automatic pill reminder dispensers and medical alert pendants. There is no long-term commitment and there is always the option to purchase the equipment. Contact At Home Solutions today to learn more.

And don’t forget about some of the non-traditional medical and personal care technology—platforms like Facebook, Skype and Facetime as well as gaming platforms such as Wii Fit and Lumosity which add a much-needed layer of engagement, excitement and enjoyment to provide an overall greater quality of life.

Besides providing assistance with in-home technology for seniors, At Home Solutions provides a wide variety of home care services, including personal care, transportation, light housekeeping and specialized disease care management and education. At the core of these home care services is a commitment to creating an increased emotional wellbeing, added social engagement and the utmost in safety and security. Learn more about how At Home Solutions provides a different kind of home care in the Mesa and Casa Grande areas.

Giving Loved Ones Independence by Stepping Back

Posted on: June 10th, 2015 by Kim McCreery

CookingAn increased number of seniors are choosing to remain at home during their elder years, even in the face of injury, illness and ongoing conditions. For adult children, caring for aging parents can prove rife with physical, emotional and social challenges, as they increase their capacity as caregiver and become more and more involved in the day-to-day tasks this critical role requires.

It’s easy to get caught up in the role of caregiver when the situation arises—your parents have done so much for you that, when they reach a point in their lives when help is needed, it’s natural for you to want to do everything you can to make sure they are taken care of. However, it’s important to remember that, for the majority of seniors, maintaining independence was a key factor in their decision to stay at home. While your efforts may be well meaning, it can sometimes be a slippery slope—it’s easy to go from caring for an elderly parent to doing everything for your parent. And often, this well-meaning hands-on caregiving can have an adverse effect on inspiring self-sufficiency and overall day-to-day freedom. As a caregiver, you should strive to promote the independence of your loved one, not take over everything.

Why is promoting independence in seniors so important?

  • Independence enables aging family members to continue making contributions to society, and feel good about that influence.
  • Self-sufficiency gives seniors a sense of achievement and self-worth, critical during their later years.
  • Being able to tackle some tasks independently promotes future self-reliance—if they can do this, they can probably handle that!
  • Independence fights frustration and feelings of futility, even in the wake of illness, injury and general aging.

In these situations, it’s important to put yourself in your aging parents’ shoes. How would you feel if there were things you could do, but weren’t allowed to because someone else had taken over? Allowing your loved ones to do things for themselves provides a sense of purpose and can make them feel self-assured. Bringing in professional assistance from a home care agency such as At Home Solutions also increases your parents’ feeling of empowerment and ability to function successfully at home.

At Home Solutions provides a broad range of companion home care services  across the greater Mesa and Casa Grande area, from light housekeeping and meal preparation to general assistance and lifestyle tasks. Many times through this outside intervention, both elderly parents and their adult children can learn to work better together to foster self-reliance, independence and a better overall quality of life. Contact At Home Solutions today to learn more.