How broadband can help you care for your aging parents
Are you between the ages of 40 and 60 with aging parents who need your care and assistance? Do you have dependent children still at home? If you answered yes to both of these questions, you are part of the “sandwich generation.”
You understand the pressures of maintaining a household and family while simultaneously assisting and addressing concerns for aging parents. You understand questions like:
Dad’s not answering the phone, is he okay?
- Did Mom remember to take her meds today?
- What if there’s a fire?
- Did they eat lunch?
- What if Mom is cooking and forgets to turn off the stove?
While no one can be in two places at once, there are broadband-based technologies that can help ease your concerns and provide doable options for safety and security.
Panic button style personal alarm systems (“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”) from days past are still available, but a new generation of these devices is providing security for families who cannot be present. Today we have access to wearable fall doctors that are passive, meaning it will send an alert even if your parent is unable to push a button.
Alarms, motion and activity sensors, cameras, door and window sensors are just the beginning of today’s generation of home automation products. Now there are sensors that can send an alert to your smart phone when smoke and carbon detectors are activated, when the temperature in the home changes drastically, or when a water leak is detected. This is particularly helpful if you have concerns about elderly parents forgetting to turn off faucets or stoves.
Is your parent struggling to manage multiple prescriptions? Between memory loss and failing eyesight, are you concerned about your parent mismanaging medications? Imagine being able to load and program a medicine dispenser to remind your parents when to take their meds, and then to have it alert you if they don’t take them at the prescribed time.
The sandwich generation understands that uneasy feeling when you know a loved one is at home, but there’s no answer when you call. You worry. How can you remain connected when you can’t be there 24/7? You can use 2-way audio capable HD cameras to check in from a smart phone when you can’t be there in person.
These technologies exist and broadband makes them possible. Of course, these safety and personal care devices don’t replace face-to-face time with your parents. But they can bridge the gap and ease some stress when you’re being pulled in multiple directions and simply want to check in to make sure they’re safe and well. This is just one more example of how broadband can bring independence and quality of life to seniors while providing peace of mind to their caring families.