The advent of technology has changed the very core of people’s lives, for better or for worse. For caregivers, additional support that can offer practical solutions can be a tremendous blessing. Keep abreast of this rapidly changing landscape. The tools that support you today will be replaced by the new and improved tools of tomorrow in the blink of an eye.
If you predominantly use your computer for social media, gathering information from the world-wide-web or paying bills, you’ve only touched the tip of the iceberg. Here’s just a few of the tools and tips you can find online.
- Caregiving support 24/7. Online peer groups of fellow supporters are there for each other come rain or shine. In addition to first-hand experience, the support of someone who has walked a mile in your shoes is invaluable.
- Electronic Scheduling. Posting that daily list of tasks you’ve developed for your parent makes it easy for friends and family to offer support. Whether it’s helping your parent with their daily hygiene a few days a week to providing transportation to the local senior center, every little bit helps. When supporters see the tasks in writing and come to understand the amount of help required, they are more apt to pitch in. Visit http://lotsahelpinghands.com/ for help creating your online care calendar.
- Video Conferencing. Using tools such as Skype or Facetime allows those that your parent loves to visit in a more personal nature that just a weekly phone call. Watching your loved one’s face light up will make scheduling this time a joy. Lack of social engagement is a serious concern for the elderly. Not only do they receive emotional support, but those friends and family that live too far away to personally assist feel like their contributing as well.
- Medication Reminders. There are several apps that can help your loved one remember when their medication is due. Time and dose are listed per day as well as details such as whether they should take with food. An alarm goes off at the appointed time. An example of one such tool is Med Minder and can be found on Google Play.
- Webinar Seminars. These seminars offer valuable information on caregiving. In addition, they often include a question and answer period in which you can ask direct questions to the presenter. The Family Caregiver Alliance and the Alzheimer’s Association are just two of the many groups that provide this service.
These are just a few of the many technological advances that can help to make a caregiver’s life a little easier. Your local senior community center and Area Agency on Aging often offers additional information regarding computer programs and applications that support caregivers.