Everybody needs a little personal independence and time away from responsibilities. That need can grow, especially for family caregivers. Even though caring for your parents may be a labor of love you wouldn’t trade for the world, without some time away from, or shared responsibility for, the routine of caregiving, caregivers’ stress and fatigue can build to dangerous levels. Breaks for caregivers are sensible and essential. Take advantage of the summer season to free up some of your time without compromising the extent or quality of support you provide in caring for your loved ones.
Some Ways to Get Away
The closest place to turn for some respite support may be other family members, neighbors, and friends. The success of this approach, however, depends on your specific family and living situation and the complexity of care and support needed. Every caregiving situation is unique. Seniors who need companionship, an occasional ride, and perhaps help with medications are very different from those experiencing early dementia or people recovering a lengthy post-surgical convalescence.
Adult daycare and senior centers can often be sources of support and an appropriate means of freeing up some caregiver hours, but remember that specific care needs must guide your decision about where care can occur and who should provide it. In the right circumstances, vacationing grandchildren could even pitch in, too, but if some the required care demands special training, professional support may make the most sense.
Professional homecare has long been available to help supplement the work of spouses, adult children, and others whose collective efforts help to keep a senior living at home. While this care requires a financial commitment, it may prove to be the most flexible and reliable method to help keep a frail person in the home while providing respite care for the primary caregivers. Professional support also offers the important advantages of trained, licensed, and insured help. And recent innovations have made supplementary home support more effective than ever.
Blending High Tech with High Touch for Homecare
Rapid progress is occurring in the effort to combine professional in-home care with new technologies, including the Internet of Things, or the ability of computers to monitor and control many systems within the home.
Philips has recently teamed with Right at Home, one of the largest in-home senior care franchise networks in the world. Right at Home uses the Philips’ CareSensus system to enable a flexible and affordable blend of in-home and remote care options to help caregivers and their seniors with cognitive and/or physical frailties who want to age in place safely. Using connected sensors and powerful data analytics, this unique blended care approach adapts to a senior’s particular needs to provide always-on homecare for the seniors and peace of mind to their caregivers.
Senior clients will also have the option of being provided with a tablet equipped with video chat technologies, so the Right at Home remote care team can schedule regular check-ins customized to meet the client’s needs. Video visits can range from a casual discussion about dinner to reminders for the senior to take their blood pressure.
Medical alert systems, like those from Philips Lifeline, are another widely used technology that brings peace of mind to seniors and their caregivers. Lifeline allows the senior to access help quickly with the press of a button, if a health or some other emergency arises. AutoAlert fall detection, an available option, can automatically call for help if a fall is detected1, and the GoSafe mobile medical alert device uses up to six technologies to help pinpoint the wearer’s location*.
This summer, take advantage of technology so you can take some time for yourself.
- 4 Ways to Preserve Senior Independence This 4th of July
- Tips for Promoting Senior Independence
- 5 Ways to Maintain Senior Independece
*For wireless, assumes the location of the communicator is in an area with sufficient access to coverage by the AT&T network.