Hi-Tech Elderly Home Care Helps Make Nursing Homes a Thing of the Past

It’s something my sister and I have heard ever since we were young, and somehow, my father and my mother completely agreed on this too – when they were too old to live independently (and I don’t really think they expected the day would actually come), we were not to send them to a nursing home. Instead, we were to think of some kind of a pain-free euthanasia method to dispatch them. Yes, that’s gruesome, but  the way they said it, it seemed like it was the nursing home that was gruesome, and what they were suggesting was in fact a humane alternative. But now that they are both closing on 90 and their health is failing from a number of diseases that we all get as we live out our geriatric years, I’ve had to investigate the options to nursing home care. I didn’t have a choice –  If I did convince them to go to one, they would probably run away or something. The thing is, technology now has made elderly home care completely possible by remote control. There are ways to go off to work and still be sure that your parents haven’t slipped and fallen, that they have had their exercise, that they’ve  remembered to eat. Of course, it’s the Internet and several high-tech devices that make this possible.

Perhaps the devices and the abilities listed below seem like just some more high-tech wizardry on the market – more stuff on the crowded shelves at the stores; you have to understand that nothing could be farther from the truth. Assisted-living, nursing homes and old-age homes have been ways to put our elderly relatives out to pasture for about a century now. This no longer has to be done. With these elderly home care devices, your parents can live with you; your children and their grandparents can get to know each other, and life will be much kinder to all concerned without wrecking anyone’s worklife. If this isn’t a revolution, what is?

Phillips Lifeline is a unit of the electronics giant that services the elderly home care market. The Lifeline is a Panic Button pendant that can be worn by a person; when an emergency occurs, they can press the button on the pendant, and right away, Philips will send emergency doctors home and call the designated person. Even better, they have an AutoAlert system that can detect falls on its own and call the doctor is in. The service costs $50 a month.

What do you do in a case where you fear that grandma is perhaps too ill to contact you? What if an elderly person suffers a stroke and can’t press a button? The alternative is a system that costs about $1000 a month. An elderly home care company called GrandCare installs custom sensors everywhere your parents are likely to go in the home. They will put a sensor in the shower so that they’ll know if mom has fallen down; there will be one next to the toilet to make sure she isn’t having trouble getting up. There’ll be one on her bed to make sure she gets up at the right time, and there will be one on every door to the house to alert you when she goes out.

How about the pill taking regimen that every elderly person needs to have help with? There are typically a dozen kinds of medicine; how can they ever remember all of that without personal help from you? That’s where the Philips Medication Dispensing Service comes in. You can stock it up with 60 doses of pills, and the machine will speak out when it’s time to take them. If the pills aren’t taken after a reminder, the device will get on the phone and alert you. The service costs $75 a month. Or consider the ActiveCare Personal Assistance Link; it’s a basic cell phone that also has GPS and a fall detector. If an elderly person has fallen, the device will right away call for help, with GP{S coordinates.

In the future, elderly home care promises to get even better. They will put sensors on a walking stick or on the shoes to help remind a person that there is not enough exercise they’ve had.