For seniors with cognitive impairment – and their families – high-tech safety devices have evolved into user-friendly must-haves.
In this post, we’ll consider different types of technology that can increase your loved one’s safety and independence – and your peace of mind.
1. Location Tracking Devices
Location tracking devices are peace of mind in a watch, fob – and even a shoe insert – for families and people with early- to late-stage dementia. Most personal tracking devices will transmit your loved one’s location to your smartphone, tablet or computer; have SOS buttons the person can use to summon help; allow you to communicate via voice or text with your loved one; and alert you if your loved one has left a designated area.
Others can track your loved one’s driving speed and route, allow them to set medication reminders, alert you to a fall, and let you know if they missed a doctor’s appointment.
Note: GPS trackers typically require a data plan, but if your loved one is still driving or wanders frequently, the monthly service fee may be worth every penny.
2. Your Smartphone
Keep a recent picture of your loved one in your cell phone and, if your loved one has a smartphone, keep these items in both of your phones.
Doctors’ contact information
If possible, download your loved one’s insurance carrier’s mobile app for quick access to their current policy information
If you can’t download the insurance app, take photos of insurance cards with your phone’s camera
A list of your loved one’s current medications and dosages
A list of your loved one’s food and drug allergies
Contact information of someone to call in case of an emergency
3. Tech for the Home
Consider these technologies to help keep your loved one safe at home.
Security Locks, Alarms & Motion Detectors. If your loved one lives with you, these travel devices can also be used in your home or your loved one’s room to deter wandering and alert you immediately if they are trying to leave the home or are active in the middle of the night.
In-Home Cameras. Having another set of eyes on medication, entryways, in the main room and hallways can help you monitor your loved one’s safety. Some cameras are equipped with two-way communication and will monitor movement, alerting you if no movement has been detected for a defined period of time.
If your loved one lives in their own home, it’s important to respect their privacy and independence. Ask their permission before installing cameras and agree on where they will be placed. If they resist, explain why you feel cameras are necessary and how this type of “check-in” system can help prolong their independent lifestyle while giving you all peace of mind.
Motion-Activated Lighting. Prevent falls with motion-activated lighting at all entrances to the home, in hallways, and bathrooms. Also consider installing close to their bedroom door and next to their bed so switches are easily found and within reach.
Medication Management. If your loved one forgets to take their scheduled medications or often takes improper dosages, try an automated pill dispenser. Fill each compartment with the proper medications and dosages and program a corresponding alarm for each compartment that will beep or play a voice recording reminding your loved one that it’s time to take that set of pills.
Voice Reminder Devices. Family members can program these devices to play pre-recorded messages for their loved one at the appropriate times or when certain movements are detected. For example, if the person approaches the door to leave, a daytime message might remind them to take their keys and identification with them and to lock the door when they leave. A 2 a.m. message may remind the person that it’s the middle of the night and to go back to bed.
For more dementia-safety tips or advice for successful outings, call the life-enrichment experts at YourLife™ of Coconut Creek today! 954-228-6319
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