Senior Home Care and Technology: A Match Made in Heaven for Tech-Challenged Seniors

senior home careToday’s generation of seniors is overwhelmed with a plethora of high tech products aimed at enhancing their lives and improving their safety and independence. They can wear a necklace that responds with emergency assistance when needed, instantly visit “in person” with friends and family through Skype, and even be prevented from wandering with specialized sensors attached to clothing or shoes.

The issue becomes how to inspire seniors (and those who care for them) to shift from a low-tech mindset to embracing all that’s available to them. A recent survey showed that as few as 15% of families caring for senior loved ones are actually utilizing technology. The main issue?

  • Stigma. Many people see the use of certain technology, such as medical alert jewelry, as a sign of lost independence.
  • Support. Troubleshooting technology products that aren’t working correctly causes many seniors and their caregivers to give up on trying to make the technology work.
  • Time. Finding time to allot to trying and learning something new is especially difficult for busy caregivers.

If you’re interested in incorporating a little technology into your loved one’s senior home care but are facing these trials or others, call on A-Abiding Care of Park Ridge, IL for help. Our trained and sensitive caregivers can help overcome the technology hurdles by:

  • Making recommendations for technology that are appropriate for a particular person’s needs and personality
  • Setting up and providing assistance on how to use the technology

Whether it is setting up a personal medical alert system or teaching someone how to enjoy applications on a tablet device, we can help seniors stay connected to family and friends and enjoy life to the fullest! To learn more about our senior home care services in Park Ridge, Chicago and the surrounding area, contact the A-Abiding Care team today!

Maintaining Independence Through Technology

senior independenceWhen our parents were young, phones were still wired to walls, mail was delivered by postmen, and if adult children lived far from their parents, checking in on them involved asking someone to stop by to see how they were doing. If people were housebound due to illness or infirmity, they could quickly start feeling isolated and cut off from the world. Social circles got smaller, and distant family members often felt helpless because they couldn’t be there to help. But the world has changed drastically over the past few decades and technology has altered how we communicate and function with our day-to-day tasks. Technology has also allowed for a revolution in home care for seniors and those who would ordinarily might not have been able to manage alone. 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 for seniors, 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 help 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 and see their loved ones.
  • Alarm Systems: Alarm systems can now be hooked up with cameras at the front door, allowing residents to see who is at the door before going to answer it. These can be hooked up to a computer or a smart phone.
  • 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. Some systems even detect if the person wearing it has fallen, without the need for him or her to press a button.
  • Automatic Pill Reminders/Dispensers: These may be good tools for people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease who are still able to live on their own. An alarm goes off, alerting the senior to take his or her medication by voice message, and dispensing the correct dosage. If the senior misses a dose, an alert is sent to the caregiver after a set time.
  • Games and Apps: Technology has also given us new forms of entertainment, like those for the Wii game system, which encourages movement and activity, as well as games that challenge the mind, such as puzzles. These not only provide hours of fun, but may help improve physical and mental health. Using the Internet, often games can be played with friends and family who live miles away.

To help set your mind at ease when you can’t be with your parents, and to help your them maintain their independence, A-Abiding Care, a Chicago home health care company, can provide you with a free in-home assessment to determine what type of home health care services your parents may need and what technology could best help them. And since technology is only part of the care equation, our trained staff can provide basic home care services, like light housekeeping and meal planning, as well as home health care services, like personal care and specialized disease management.

Call us at 847-698-1400 or contact us online to see how we can help you and your loved ones with home health in Norwood Park, Park Ridge and the surrounding Chicago area.

Stepping Back Can Help Foster a Sense of Senior Independence

senior independenceAs you pass through the various stages of your life, your stages of independence can take on different meanings. They can be big stages, such as leaving your parents’ home or getting married, or smaller stages, like accomplishing tasks you thought you couldn’t do. Then as you age, independence takes on yet another form – being able to remain in your own home safely and securely. This desire to be at home can remain the strongest wish of many seniors, regardless of their state of health or ability to function on their own, even in the face of injury, illness and ongoing conditions.

For adult children, providing care for seniors at home 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, all while maintaining that balance of independence.

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 they need help, 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 that independence was a key factor in their desire to stay at home. While your efforts may be well meaning, it can sometimes be a slippery slope from caring for an elderly parent to doing everything for your parents. 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 ones, 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 and continuing 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 able 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. By bringing in professional assistance from people who specialize in home care for seniors, you can help increase your parents’ feeling of empowerment and ability to function successfully at home. A-Abiding Care, a Chicago home care company, can help you and your loved one when this need arises.

Our skilled staff provides a broad range of senior home health care services in Park Ridge and the surrounding area, allowing your loved ones to focus on what they can do, and helping them with tasks they would rather not do or now have a hard time accomplishing. Our in-home care services include light housekeeping and meal preparation to general assistance and lifestyle tasks. By allowing our staff to provide this type of care, both you and your parents can work better together to foster self-reliance, independence and a better overall quality of life. Contact A-Abiding Care online or by phone (847-698-1400) today to learn more.

Prefer to Age in Place? You’ve Got Options!

chicago home careAs we mentioned in our last blog post, aging in place in the comfort of home is the preferred choice for many older adults. Luckily, the choices for in-home care are virtually limitless; there are several different models and payment options, depending on the type and amount of care an individual requires. So how do you know what kind of care is right for you or your relative? Let’s take a look at the main models of in-home care to find out:

  • Private Duty Home Care: Private duty home care services are non-medical services that include assistance like companionship, housekeeping, transportation, personal, dementia, and respite care, and more. Private duty care services are usually paid for directly by the patient or his or her family. Some services may be covered by long-term care insurance, workers’ compensation, or armed services funding. It is important to note, however, that long-term private duty services are not covered by Medicare.
  • Home Health Care: Home health care is skilled nursing care that is usually required in the home for treatment of an illness or injury – wound care, injections, diabetes or blood pressure monitoring, and other treatments that require nursing skills. Home health care can also provide physical respiratory or speech therapy. Some home health services may be covered under Medicare, providing that specific conditions are met.
  • Geriatric Care Management: Geriatric care managers handle the details of an individual’s life or estate that fall outside the realm of direct care providers, such as financial and estate management. They can also coordinate care for an individual, mediate family communications, or assist with moving to another living arrangement or closing up of a household. Geriatric care management is traditionally an out-of-pocket expense.
  • Hospice Care: Hospice care is a special type of in-home care, designed to provide comfort and support for patients who are nearing the end of a terminal illness. Hospice provides a range of services including nursing, mental health, and spiritual advising. Coverage for hospice care is typically offered by most private insurance providers and through Medicare.

Are you wondering where to begin in your home care research for a loved one? Feel free to contact the Chicago home care experts at A-Abiding Care. We can help you create a plan that suits your loved one’s unique care needs.


How Chicago Home Care Improves Senior Independence

Senior IndependenceAccording to the AARP, nearly 90 percent of adults age 65 and over prefer to stay in their own homes as they age, as opposed to moving into an assisted living facility or nursing home. While the desire to remain in the familiarity of home is quite common, it can present a host of challenges for those older adults who require assistance with everyday tasks such as driving, cooking, bathing, etc. In fact, everything from keeping up with doctor appointments to shopping and socialization can become increasingly difficult as loved ones age, and while many seniors associate in-home care services with a loss of freedom, in-home care services, such as those provided by A-Abiding Care, are designed to support independence and increase senior loved ones’ wellbeing as well as their ability to thrive in-home and out.

The A-Abiding Care team offers unique home care services that support a greater emotional welfare, positivity and general satisfaction, critical to any aging or recovery period. Our services include:

  • Transportation and outings: Getting out of the house and being able to run errands or attend events helps senior individuals retain a sense of freedom. In-home caregivers can provide transportation and even accompany seniors on outings to help them maintain social interactions.
  • Care coordination: An in-home caregiver can make recommendations for assistive products and adaptive devices to enhance independence and coordinate the purchase of products. A professional in-home care agency can also assist with coordinating care across healthcare providers for the smoothest care transitions.
  • Exercise and activities: Exercise plays an important role in maintaining a senior’s physical and mental health. In-home caregivers help encourage activities and exercise to help enrich the senior’s mind, body, and spirit.
  • Travel companion/snowbirds: An older adult or disabled individual who cannot travel alone can still enjoy trips with our travel companion services. One of our professional caregivers can provide exceptional care and companionship during your loved one’s travels, whether he or she is on a cruise, staying at a resort, attending a business meeting, or simply visiting family or friends.

Helping seniors maintain their independence is our number one goal. That’s why A-Abiding Care provides the utmost in independent living support, with quality, affordable Chicago home care designed to increase seniors’ self-reliance and, ultimately, the quality of life for every client. Contact us today to discuss your loved one’s unique needs and interests, and to devise a plan of care that fits your loved one’s needs.

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