Top Ways Home Technology is Advancing Caregiving
By Kaitlin Krull
Today I have another guest post coming your way. Please welcome Kaitlin Krull to The Diary of an Alzheimerscaregiver.com! Kaitlin Krull is a writer and mom of two girls living the expat life in the UK. She enjoys writing for Modernize.com with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on home projects with confidence.
Caring for a parent, relative, or friend with a debilitating physical and/or mental condition such as Alzheimer’s is a complex and often difficult process. An estimated 40% of us are currently offering care for children and adults with disabilities from home with varying degrees of external support. Thankfully, the development of home technology has made many aspects of caregiving easier and more straightforward. Here are just a few of the ways that accessible home technology is changing the way we care for our loved ones.
Widespread access to the Internet has changed the way we live in countless ways. For caregivers, WiFi is essential for communication, information, and support. Patients and caregivers alike can now stay connected with family and friends around the world, keeping in touch and sending updates on their care. Caregivers can also utilize the Internet to access tailored information and support from blogs, websites, online forums, and online caregiver communities. Caregiving.com recommends adult caregiving websites such as caring.com, CarePlanners, the National Alzheimer’s Association, and MedHelp, but there are also many other places to access the support and information you may need as a caregiver.
Perhaps one of the greatest advances in home technology in recent years has been the development of the Internet of Things, or smart devices and gadgets that connect wirelessly to the Internet, learn your home’s preferences, and function largely of their own accord. Smart thermostats, carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, and security systems that run on this technology are linked to smartphone and tablet apps that you can monitor and adjust on the go. At Modernize, we think that this kind of technology is particularly invaluable for caregivers, who can devote more time to caring for their loved ones because they know that their smart devices have some basic household needs covered. Other remote monitoring apps and products such as geo-tracking and GPS devices allow patients living with Alzheimer’s and other limiting conditions live a more independent life while putting caregivers’ minds at ease.
Assistive technologies in the home are essential to many people living with disabilities, increasing mobility and simplifying caregiving in a variety of situations. Durable medical equipment such as tub assists, wheelchairs, stair lifts, walkers, ramps, and canes are low-tech but high function and make day-to-day care much more straightforward. High-tech assistive technology, including personal emergency response systems, mobility scooters, and communication devices offer even more convenience to both caregivers and patients in many aspects of home life.