Tech Tips For Helping A Senior From A Distance

Tech Tips For Helping Seniors From A Distance

Tech Tips For Helping Seniors From A Distance

As we age, it’s normal to need a little help. Most seniors function just fine; it’s just that sometimes, support from loved ones can make a positive difference. That’s why you're ready to help your parents or senior friend.

Decades ago, you had to live near a senior in order to offer help. If you lived far away, there really wasn’t much you could do; however, technology has changed a lot since then.
These days, you can provide some form of assistance even if you live on the other side of the country. But before you can delve into tech like this, it helps to understand what kind of help seniors often need.

Problems Faced By Seniors

Lumen Learning has a free online course that describes the unique challenges faced by seniors. Some of these challenges include:

  • Financial problems brought on by less income and more healthcare expenses.

  • Ageism, or discrimination and prejudice based solely on the senior’s age.

  • Mistreatment or even abuse by people who should be providing care.

  • Loneliness and few opportunities to socialize.

  • Depression and similar mental health issues.

Of course, one of the biggest challenges seniors face is health. Thankfully, people are living longer than ever; the consequence of that is having more health problems. As Everyday Health explains, many seniors face the same medical conditions:

  • Arthritis

  • Heart disease

  • Cancer

  • Alzheimer’s disease and dementia

  • Osteoporosis

  • Diabetes

  • Disability issues

Apps & Sites To Help You Support Seniors

So how can you help your senior loved one manage these challenges when you live far away? With all of the advancement in technology these days, there are tons of apps, sites, and individual pieces of technology that can help you offer assistance no matter where you live.

For example, video chat can help alleviate loneliness and strengthen bonds between a senior and their family or loved ones. Video games can provide the mental stimulation needed to help fight dementia and can be a source of socialization. There are even health trackers that share information in real time. The beauty of this technology is that all of this can be done when you don’t live nearby.

Also, technology like this isn’t reserved just for you. There’s plenty of helpful technology your senior loved one can put to use. Some must-have technology for seniors include:

  • Tablets, smartphones, and iPads for photos, music, video chat, reading, and games.

  • Hearing aids to help with the loss of hearing that often comes with age.

  • Wireless home monitoring systems in case of medical emergencies.

  • Assistive technology such as LED lighting or stove shut-off systems.

  • Smart home technology that gives seniors the freedom to live independently.

Home Services

There are plenty of other ways to help besides providing tangible technology options. Did you know there are a variety of services available online that you can set up from your phone or computer?

For example, if your senior has difficulty getting to the grocery store, Caring.com lists meal delivery services that can provide regular groceries or complete meals delivered directly to their home.

If your senior loved one needs some extra help around the house, there are plenty of online options for housekeeping, pet sitting and lawn, and handyman services.

These are only a few of the options available, but they go to show that it’s easy to connect your senior loved one with the right kind of assistance through the touch of a button.

It’s challenging to take care of a senior from afar, but technology truly is making things so much easier. Once you’re familiar with the typical problems seniors face, you can help by providing your senior with technology that can boost their independence, or by using online services to give them some peace of mind and assistance. By incorporating the benefits of technology into your long-distance caregiving, you can stay connected and involved. In some ways, it might feel like you were never gone.

How To Stay In Touch With Long-Distance Family And Friends

How To Stay In Touch With Long Distance Family And Friends

We’ve been talking this week about increasing our social circle and improving our relationships. Having a strong connection to others helps to keep us healthy. However, with many people these dyas living far from family and friends, it can be hard to stay in touch. However, being far does not imply that the closeness or the bond between individuals cannot develop or strengthen. These days, technology allows us many ways to stay in touch with loved ones no matter where they live.

Here are four ways to stay connected.

Email. 

Almost all of us have email accounts these days and they are a great day to keep in touch regularly with family and friends. Not only are they easy and free to send, but the messages arrive to your loved ones almost instantly, making it simple to have an ongoing dialogue. We’ve heard of some families who make it a point of e-mailing every day, just to check in and let each other know how they are all doing and what is happening in their lives. 

Social Media.

Social media can be a great tool to keep in touch loved ones.  With a quick upload or status update, you can let everyone know, and see pictures or videos, about what’s happening in your live. It’s one of the easiest way to keep in touch with larger groups too, since you’re able to let everyone in your circle know what you’re up to at once.

Texting & Texting Apps.

As long as you have a phone and/or internet connection, you can communicate in real time with people anywhere in the world via text, or other messaging apps. Apps such as Whatsapp allow you to create groups to communicate with too, making it easier to have conversations with many people at once, no matter where they live.

Skype.  

Sometimes, nothing beats a face to face interaction. Luckily there is Skype. Skype allows you to talk live with others online, and through video, with anyone in the world, no matter where you live. It’s the perfect fix when you really just need to see that special someone you’re missing.

While all of these tools are great to use, we know that it’s easy to get caught up in the day to day demands of life, making it hard to stay in touch. Our best tip? Start a ritual and stick to it. Send your family member a quick email regularly just to check in and let them know about your day. Set up a weekly Skype date with your pals and chat while you’re all eating breakfast together. Get all of your siblings to sign up to WhatsApp and start an ongoing conversation chain. These efforts are what will really make you feel connected – no matter where you live.