Apps can make your life a lot easier. You already know that—from DoorDash to Instagram, they make it easier to socialize, order food, and entertain yourself. But what about practical uses for these apps? They do more than just make things easier. The most useful apps are able to keep your loved ones safe. They can reduce family conflicts, help with communicating information, and even save lives.
If you have elderly parents, you know the challenges you’re facing. And if they’re isolated because of the coronavirus, it’s especially important to stay in contact with them. The elderly, particularly those with pre-existing health conditions, are especially at risk. That means that your parents are probably trying to stay isolated as much as possible. But if that’s the case, you need to be able to track their health.
In fact, it might be a risk if you go visit them. If you usually try to check up on your parents, this will be especially hard. What if they fall? What if they live alone? What if they have a tendency to wander and get lost, or forget to eat? This is a lot of stress that you probably don’t need. And since your parents know they’re at risk, the stress of someone constantly checking up on them can cause friction in your relationship.
What else can you do? Luckily, lots of companies have produced safety and independence apps for your parents. Want your parents to get reminders to take their medicine? What if they leave the house and start wandering around? There’s an app to solve each of these issues.
There are three great apps that stand out from the pack. They’re meant to cultivate independence for your parents while giving you peace of mind.
1) Medisafe Medication Reminder
Medisafe Medication Reminder is one of the easiest apps to use. It’s free to download on both Android and Apple devices. And if both of your parents take medication, this app saves time. You can set up multiple profiles on the app, which makes it great for family medication reminders. You can set it up to send reminders at certain times of the day. The app can track your medication levels, too. It will send reminders to pick up refills, whenever you need them.
2) Philips Lifeline with Auto Alert
If your parent lives alone, or even if one parent goes out for a walk, something could happen. That’s what alert technology is for. The Philips Lifeline with Auto Alert uses technology to connect your parent to a response center. The base station is plugged into the wall, and a help button is worn around your parent’s wrist like a bracelet. Sensors connect wirelessly to that base station. When the sensors detect a fall, the base station contacts 911. If you’re worried about accidental calls, there’s a safety feature. For most of these devices and apps, you have the opportunity to press a button so it doesn’t call. If you don’t respond within a set amount of time, the system will assume you’re unconscious and make a call.
Another great system is called Lively. It’s another sensor-based system that can be placed in a variety of locations. The system comes with website access and sensors that are based on cell phone data. The sensors feed information to the site, depending on what activity you’re trying to capture.
For instance, one user was worried about his parents taking their medication, eating regularly, and getting lost when they go outside for walks or drives. By placing the sensors on the door, their keychain, the microwave, the refrigerator, and their pillboxes, the user can now track his parents’ activity through the data being captured by the website. With this type of approach, it makes sense to have a conversation with your parents. They may want an adjusted approach to the monitoring, so they don’t feel like you’re a prison guard. No matter what type of approach they settle on, it’s important to agree on something that makes use of all the technology we have available.