Simplify your life by taking advantage of the latest in caregiving products, services and technologies. Learn what you can do to improve the safety and independence of your loved one with the help of offerings that were designed specifically for caregiving.
Walkers, canes, wheel chairs and scooters can help your loved one with getting around, or ambulation. There are many different styles and types to best suit the individual. Consult your physician or get a care assessment from a Care Advocate to determine what type of walking aid may be best and to learn the proper way to use them.Hospital Beds
Hospital beds with push button controls can make it easy to adjust the bed height and angle. Hospital beds are available in many models and sizes.
Some bathroom safety improvements can be made easily. Others may require the help of a professional. Consider installing grab bars to make it easier and safer to get on and off the toilet and in and out of the shower. Add a tub seat or transfer bench to help prevent slipping and exhaustion in the shower, and install a hand-held shower to make it easier to turn on and off the water. You can also make it easier to get on and off the toilet by adding a raised toilet seat with arms that can go right over the current toilet. If getting to and from the toilet is difficult, consider using a portable toilet or commode.
A personal emergency response system is a monitoring device worn by a care recipient and usually connected to a care recipients' phone. The user wears a pendant around the wrist or neck and a speaker is hooked up to the phone jack. In an emergency the user will press the button, which alerts a trained professional, who will broadcast over the speaker to see if the user is okay. If there is, in fact, an emergency or the user isn't able to respond, paramedics, police, family members and neighbors will be alerted of the situation. Some emergency response systems have built-in sensors that monitor movement and send alerts if there are unsafe high or low temperatures in the home.
Another type of emergency service uses bracelets, necklaces and watches to carry the wearer's unique emergency medical identification. The ID number is linked to a medical information network. When emergency responders call the network headquarters, they get information about the wearer's medical conditions, allergies, and advance directives.
Other types of emergency medical information service include a simple, wearable tag with medical information engraved on it, and a medical tag alert in the form of a USB drive.
Global Positioning System, or GPS, is a satellite-based navigation system consisting of a network of 24 orbiting satellites. Some systems are a web-based application that uses a location based mapping system to provide information about a person's location. The person can wear or carry a device such as a phone, a pager or bracelet. There is also a mounted device for the car. A family member can use the internet to access the person's location. There are different levels available such as monitoring on the computer, receiving alerts by phone or requesting emergency assistance should an individual wander away or get lost.
There is also a type of device that enables geo-fencing. If a person with cognitive impairment wanders off to more than a pre-set distance, the caregiver receives an alert on their phone or computer with a link to a map showing the loved one's location.
Electronic home monitoring systems allow a caregiver to remotely access multiple rooms in the home of their loved one. Depending on the individual product, these systems might use wireless motion detectors, video cameras and temperature sensors to transmit information to a family's computer or to a commercial security system.Motion and temperature sensor programs are designed to monitor falls and inactivity, medication use, wandering, cooking safety, sleep and bathroom inactivity. Sensors can be placed on the stove, a bed or medicine cabinet to send a signal to notify a caregiver of activity or non-activity. A caregiver can monitor activity online and even shut off the stove or lights using the web. Video monitoring systems can be made to look like ordinary household objects such as a clock, radio, or lamp. They're designed to let you see what goes on in the home with professional caregivers you may have in place or just monitor an individual's safety. You should have a discussion with your loved one about these types of devices and only use them with their consent.
There truly does seem to be an app for everything, and today caregivers have so many at their fingertips to choose from. There are several apps for disease-specific information and resources on the latest research, treatments, and advice from the caregiving community.