In this age of on-demand services, technology and apps, there’s a new way to age in place. No longer do elders have to struggle to hang on to their “independence” at home. It has always been most elders’ desire to age in place. However, in the past, many of them did so with risks to safety and comfort. Too often, they sacrificed quality of life to age in place.
The Modern Way to Age in Place: Tech Enabled with a Personal Touch
Today, we’ll share with you the wonderful new way to age in place. We call it “tech-enabled with the human touch”. Many of the services and products that help elders age in place aren’t just for “old people”. They are lifestyle services and health technologies that benefit all ages.
The home can be a comfortable, happy place that supports healthy aging. It shouldn’t be turned into a nursing home for you to age in place. There’s a better way! This is enhanced aging in place.
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On Demand Services to Age in Place
Reducing the Hassles: Shopping and Purchasing
Amazon has revolutionized commerce. While you may think of them for books and electronics, they offer so much more. Many of our clients benefit from ordering medical and care supplies for the home. This includes gloves, adult diapers, chuck pads, cleaning and household supplies. They save time and hassle by ordering monthly with direct delivery to the house. And, the prices are great. Amazon Prime is well worth it for the free, quick shipping. Plus, you get the added bonus of streaming entertainment.
The True Link Card is a reloadable Visa that makes it easy for the client or caregiver/care manager to access funds quickly, reliably, and safely. Our favorite feature is customizing where and how the card works. Allow certain purchases, block specific merchants, block online or phone purchases. Set spending limits, allow ATM withdrawals at set limits. Get email and text alerts about charges and track every transaction online.
The Cure That Can Kill: Managing Medications
Medications are a danger zone for anyone who wants to age in place. More than 125,000 people die every year from failing to take medications properly. Difficulty managing medication leads to many nursing home placements.
Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy makes ordering medication and coordinating easy. They manage all the refills, call the doctors, and even deliver to the house. Payment is easy; they’ll send you an invoice or you can pay by credit card.
Another great resource for medication management at home is your local home health company. Contact EasyLiving to find out more about services in the Tampa Bay area.
To Age in Place, What You Eat Matters
Shipt and other grocery/food delivery services take away the grocery shopping hassle. Through a user-friendly website/app and local network of reliable shoppers, Shipt connects members to fresh grocery and everyday essentials. Saving time, fuel and effort, same-day grocery delivery has become a go-to essential for many of our clients. Shipt works with most grocery stores including Publix. You can even set a recurring grocery list for regular ordering. Our caregivers often create the list for or with the client, making the whole process super simple.
In the same vein, services such as Blue Apron can be ideal for seniors who enjoy cooking without doing all the prep. Senior nutrition often suffers as we age in place. Healthy, fresh (and delicious!) meals provide the nutrients to maintain a strong body and immune system.
Technology Smoothes the Way to Age in Place
Health monitoring and medical technology grows by leaps and bounds every year. Here are just a few examples that support aging in place: electronic pillboxes and medication apps, health trackers, and monitoring systems. Online medical records and communications benefit the patient, doctor and caregivers. There’s tech for almost any need out there. We’ll share much more in our upcoming post on preparing your home to age in place. Stay tuned: join us on Facebook to get the latest!
Connection and Communication
As you age in place, technology plays another vital role...connection. Isolation and inactivity are killers. They can lead to health problems and cognitive decline. To age in place, elders need to stay connected and active.
Something as simple as setting up a smartphone, iPad, or laptop with a few tools can help. Video chat with your loved one via Skype or Facetime. Watch movies, check out funny clips (or exercises programs or lessons) on Youtube, listen to podcasts. The barriers are super low if you just set up a few things and show your loved one how to access what they need. Our caregivers do this all the time for clients. It opens up a whole new world for them.
When you want to age in place, you need a personalized PLAN. (This is where the human touch comes in!) Not every service or technology will work for you. It’s the right combination that matters.
If the solution won’t work for you, you’re just throwing good money after bad. A simple example comes from a client we worked with years ago. Her kids sold her car. They suggested she use taxis. No one tested that or showed her how to do it. She had the phone number, but was intimidated and had problems managing cash. The process requires complex thinking that was difficult in her stage of dementia. Our care manager assessed the situation and found several areas of need. To solve the transportation issue, she talked with the taxi company and set up a pre-paid taxi account. Then, she put simple instructions by the client's phone and did a "ride along" with her.
Meal delivery is great, but some seniors have little appetite or find preparation difficult. Or, they simply don’t like the meals offered. Sometimes the smell of cooking in the home and mealtime company is what’s needed. In that case, the human touch of a caregiver would be better. Often, a unique combination of services balances budget, comfort, and preferences better than a one-size-fits-all approach.
Get an assessment and build the right plan if you want to age in place. Anticipate problems and implement successful solutions before a crisis. Home, sweet home is the ideal setting for aging wisely...when done right.
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