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Technology for Caregivers: The Latest Tools to Help You

Four out of every ten adults in the US care for a loved one with significant health issues, according to a Pew Research survey. The same survey found that caregivers are using the internet in new ways, helping them to alleviate some of the stress and making caring for their loved one easier. In fact, the survey found that 72% of caregivers look for health information online, and more than half use the internet for health-related social activity. In addition to websites and social media, there is also technology for caregivers on the market today. These high-tech tools are specifically designed to allow your loved one to live more independently and help you to get some much-needed time for yourself. A few of these tools are listed below.

GPS Devices
GPS safety devices can be used in a couple of different ways. They are especially handy for older adults with memory issues or who tend to wander. The most common way to use them is simply to locate your loved one if they are missing. You can log on to your computer or smartphone and it will give you their location. Another way some systems work is by allowing you to set parameters of where they may go. If they go beyond these parameters, you receive an alert to your phone or email inbox. GPS safety devices vary based on the manufacturer, but are often in the form of a bracelet, pendant, or belt clip.

Home Monitoring
With recent advances in wireless technology, wireless sensors are now being employed as an integral part of safety technology systems. These sensors keep an eye on things such as the front door, bedroom, and bathroom. Ordinary activity will not trigger an alert, but if something out of the ordinary happens, an alert is sent to the caregiver. You will receive an alert, for example, if your loved one doesn’t get out of bed as usual. This will enable you to check on them to make sure they aren’t sick.  

Medication Management
Medication management technology includes simple alarm-like reminders for seniors as well as more complex systems like automatic medication dispensers. By choosing the right technology to meet the needs of your loved one, you can help them remember to take their medications as prescribed. Some systems will also sent a notification to you when the medications haven’t been taken on time.

Health Tracking
You may already use a health tracking website or app on your smartphone to track your own calorie intake, exercise, or other stats. Have you ever considered using one designed just for caregivers, though? The Mayo Clinic offers an app, called Mayo Health Manager, that can be used to track appointments, store insurance information, compile health history, save medication lists, and more. There are also other similar apps that offer a single location to manage and track health-related information.

There’s no question about it — caring for a loved one is difficult. Today’s technology for caregivers, however, makes it easier than ever before. By utilizing high-tech resources and tailoring your tools to meet the needs of your loved one, you can help them remain more independent. At the same time, you’ll be relieving some of your own stress.

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