The aging of our loved ones is an undeniable reality, and with it comes the need to provide care as their abilities grow more limited. Around 40 million Americans serve as the primary caregiver to older adults and adults with disabilities — many of whom also balance employment and other responsibilities.
Aging in Place, or the act of staying in your home as you grow older, has become more popular and more possible. This is in large part due to technological advancements that make it easier than ever to provide support from outside of the home.
While caregiving can be rewarding, it can also be incredibly challenging. Whether your loved one is aging in place within your home, or their own, we know these resources and technology can be leveraged to support you in your caregiving role:
- Hero – Managing a medication schedule can be tricky, and as we age, it’s not uncommon to become more forgetful. Even without that challenge, medication requires a consistent schedule and careful dosage. Hero is a new technology that provides secure, automatic dispensing, dynamic reminders, text and email notifications, objective data logging and a closed loop between the physician, patient, pharmacist, and caregiver. This product is intended to remove the burden of ongoing medication management from caregivers.
- AARP – You are likely familiar with the AARP, the largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people to choose how they live as they age. In addition to their membership program, their website hosts a wealth of helpful information for aging adults and their caregivers.
- Home Security – There are plenty of options on the market when it comes to smart home security, but experts recommend SimpliSafe over the others for older adults. This option provides reliable monitoring, works with Alexa and Google Assistant, and includes the option of indoor, outdoor, and doorbell cameras.
- National Council on Aging – Since 1950, the NCOA has worked to ensure every American gets to age well—regardless of gender, color, sexuality, income, or zip code. Whether you are an aging adult or a caregiver, their website is a great place to look for resources, tools, best practices, and updates on the advocacy our nation needs to ensure that every person can age with health and financial security.
- Contact Sensors – If your aging loved one has dementia or Alzheimer’s, part of caring for them is ensuring they don’t wander from home without support. Contact sensors are small devices that alert you when windows or doors are safely shut, have been opened, or have been left open for too long. While there are a variety of these products on the market, experts recommend the Monoprice Stitch.
- Rides, Groceries, Prescriptions & More – While many of us are familiar with the ease of using services like Uber, DoorDash, Instacart and others, these services can prove more difficult to use for elder adults who are not technologically savvy. GoGoGuardian makes these types of modern services accessible and consistent. Learn more.
- Social Engagement – Isolation is a critical risk for the elder generations, and for some, making new friends is not as easy as you’d think. ElliQ is the first ever proactive, voice-operated care companion designed to empower independence and support elders in taking control of their social, mental and physical wellbeing. Learn more.
While it can be challenging, it’s important to remember to make time for yourself as a caregiver. Set a schedule that includes time for yourself – a walk with friends, dinner out, or a half hour to read a good book. The more you invest in your own health and wellness, the more you’ll be able to provide for your loved one.
For other ideas on smart home devices that can help with aging adults, and expert ratings on the best products, check out this article. For helpful caregiving resources, check out this article. For other assorted resources for aging adults, check out this page.