The holidays are a special time, when families and friends throughout the southeast come together in celebration. With so many families living far apart from one another, the holidays also are time when we notice changes in our loved ones, including senior parents or grandparents who are aging at home. These changes may be natural signs of healthy aging, but they may be more worrying.
For instance, Stephanie, who works in a health care setting, was recently visiting Tennessee during the holidays, and experienced these changes firsthand.
Stephanie’s grandmother is turning 90 in January, and the family intended to throw a large dinner party in her honor, with plans to invite 30-40 guests at a local establishment.
Stephanie shared that she and her family saw a handful of behavioral changes in her grandmother, including general changes in her activity levels. Her grandmother has always been a very independent person who continues to work and drive an automobile. However, it became clear that the party as originally planned had the potential to be overwhelming, and the family discussed ways to make the event less stressful. Concerned that Stephanie’s grandmother would become very tired in the evening, the family decided to change the party to mid-day brunch. In addition, the guest list was revised to include only 15-20 close family members.
The Comfort of Assistive Technology
Stephanie shared, “At a time when family members want to feel closest, holidays can often be overwhelming for seniors. Being back in North Carolina and seeing that my grandmother, although still independent, is enjoying life at a slower pace, caused me to do some research and I came upon a company – SimplyHome.”
The holidays can be an ideal time for family members to discuss a care plan for aging parents or grandparents and the assistive technology offered by SimplyHome acts as an extra pair of eyes, observing what is going on in the home on a regular basis.
“It’s comforting to know that family members are made aware by this assistive technology of any major or minor changes in their loved ones,” Stephanie says.
Stephanie identified a variety of signs family members should look for, including:
- Personality changes
- The manner that senior family members interact with others A greater need for rest – this may be seen in a stronger desire than normal to escape the frenetic activities of the holidays
- Difficulty sitting or rising Lack of appetite Challenges with memory, such as having difficulty recalling a loved one’s name, not opening mail, or leaving spoiled food in the refrigerator
- Disinterest in previously-enjoyed activities
- Changes in weight, hygiene, mobility, speech, and/or memory
Technology Assistance at Home Benefits Seniors and Their Family Members
“Technology assistance at home can be very helpful with monitoring senior family members,” Stephanie notes. “There is a greater sense of security for both caregivers and those seeking to age in place when geriatric care management technology is incorporated. Detectors show changes in activity and subsequently send alerts, allowing caretakers to act immediately rather than hours later.”
The holidays are an ideal time to reassure aging parents or grandparents that you are there to help them through this new phase of life. A great gift to loved ones is to have a positive impact on their care. Technology assistance at home can be very beneficial in helping senior family members feel more secure and happy as they age in place.
Contact SimplyHome for more information: www.simply-home.com