It is not at all surprising that people do not want to go into care homes. Losing your independence and the comforts of your own home is unpleasant, no matter how lovely the available facilities are. However, there comes the point when an elderly relative’s safety is called into question, and some compromised solution might be required.
An option would be to get regular care support into the home, though there are issues when they are still alone even then. Therefore, you might want to consider smart devices too, which can tackle falls, poor mobility and managing the dosage of medication. While not a perfect solution, these devices can offer a little more independence in the home.
Here we introduce three potential smart devices that can help your elderly relative live longer in their own home.
A smart pill dispenser
When you get older, your dexterity decreases and handling bottles and counting out pills can become more difficult. With challenged eyesight and compromised mental faculties, it might also be impossible to take an accurate dose. Obviously, there are dangers here that go without saying – however, the ability of a person to live comfortably and pain-free is essential.
A smart dispense will automatically dispense medication, organised to a schedule, delivering the medication with the touch of a button.
At a simple level, this pill dispenser could be a storage box with seven individual compartments. Then, there are those with an alarm set to four different times to remind the person to take the meds. Even those with a quirky electronic robot face drop the pills into a dispensing dish at the appropriate time. These robot pill organisers are excellent for those individuals with declining cognitive abilities, but others may want more control, especially where there is a complex combination of pills.
A smart fall detector
A fall detector is worn on the wrist or on a cord around the neck by an individual. If a fall is detected, it will automatically trigger an alert to a monitoring centre. The monitoring centre will attempt to contact your elderly relative, and if no contact is possible, follow a plan of what happens next, including calling an ambulance.
The smart fall detector is small and discreet, and you can adjust the sensitivity based on the individual. What makes it better than an alarm button is that it does not rely on the person being conscious or reaching the pendant to press.
The problem doesn’t generally sit with the individual wearing the devices, as they usually welcome peace of mind. However, there are issues for some who cannot work user-unfriendly interfaces, which exclude those with poor hand-eye dexterity and comfort with technology.
While there are cameras you can install in the home, elderly relatives don’t want to feel monitored the whole time. The reason they would like to stay in their home is to maintain dignity and privacy. A host of security cameras will steal this almost as much as moving into a care home.
Some sensors can be used instead. These sensors are tiny devices that are placed around the home and work to monitor routines. They learn the routine of the person living in the home and can send data to caregivers to help flag anomalies.
There are motion sensors that can trigger lights too. These light sensors will make it easier for the relative who struggles to find the light switch and might be in danger of tripping without it. Sensors can also automatically lock the front door, turn a thermostat down and monitor the taking of medications.
While the set-up of these sensors is challenging and needs a specialist, the results are significant. You can be assured that your relative continues to be safe, and you can see that their normal routine goes uninterrupted.
Dignity and respect
These smart devices are an excellent compromise for those relatives who genuinely do not want to go into a care home. However, it is equally important that you do not impose these devices and agree to them by the relative.