Harness tech to help look after your elderly relatives from home

Advancements in technology and access to more reliable internet services are aiding the support of elderly people and making it easier for children and grandchildren to monitor loved ones and be alerted should anything go wrong.

With the rollout of the nbn™ network and increasingly higher internet speeds, people are becoming more proactive about their health and wellbeing. Assistive health technologies are enabling Australians to monitor not only their own health on a daily basis, but their elderly loved ones too.

According to a recent study, there are currently more than 3.2 million people aged over 65 in Australia, with this number set to double by 2031. In pre-internet times, we may have found more comfort with our elderly relatives being in a nursing home so they could receive constant monitoring. 

Today, access to more reliable internet services now allows us to monitor our elderly relatives in the comfort of their own home for longer and from anywhere.

An example of this technology is CarePredict™Tempo™, a wearable sensor that tracks movement changes in daily routines. The gadget alerts you to any slight change in daily patterns through email, text, or smartphone app. Now you can know if something’s wrong simply with the swift click of a button or buzz notification in your pocket. We’re likely to see more devices like this being developed in the future.

Using smart technologies to monitor your elderly relatives may also enable you to better identify their symptoms and control their medication, while allowing them to live at home longer and maintain close connections with family, friends and society.

Here are our top five tips on how to monitor elderly family members from a far:

1. Skype dates – get some quality face time with your mum or dad via your laptop. You might live 100km away, but to them, you’re having a cuppa and catching-up face-to-face in their lounge room.

2. Socialise – this doesn’t have to be the traditional way, 30 per cent of people  aged 65 years are using social media to connect with family and friends from the comfort of their own home.

3. Get downloading – There are a range of phone applications out there that can help you track your loved ones and their health status. Pain Care translates pain scale into an electronic journal, CareSync allows you to schedule medications and share health information, and Find My Friends sends location based alerts notifying family and friends of your whereabouts.

4. GPS – There are a range of devices that track real time movements, as well as sending alerts. Two examples include Revolutionary Tracker, Safe Link and GPS Smart Sole

5. Educate – Take the time to help your relatives understand the technology they are using and how it can benefit them.

 

Check your address to see when you could be connecting to the nbn™ network.