Updated: May 10, 2018
Technology can play a major role to assist with caring needs for caregivers. Depending on the situation, some devices can allow a person the ability to be more independent or remain in their home versus living in a facility type of setting. I wanted to share my experiences with some of the technology and see if anyone can also share their thoughts and experiences.
Home Monitoring Systems
Home monitoring systems are an excellent way staying aware of what is going on the home. For caregivers, it can provide a peace of mind knowing your loved one is safe. Most systems have features that will send alerts when a specific event occurs. For example, using a smart phone or computer, caregivers can view how their loved is doing and see where they are located in the home. It is also possible to be alerted when when someone comes to the home and/or leaves (i.e. nurses or a delivery). Motion detectors are helpful to know when a person may be wandering at night. These and other features from monitoring systems add a level of safety in the home.
Installing a home monitoring system can be done by yourself or a technician can come to the home to set it up depending on the system that you choose. There are many brands to choose from and the cost can range from $199 to $400+. Keep in mind that because most of the systems are wireless, wireless internet may be required.
Electronic Medication Dispensers
Medication dispensers are starting to gain popularity. They are used to alert a person to take their medication and come with different features. Before purchasing one be sure to ask yourself these questions to help you decide:
Is the person needing the device able to take medications without assistance once the meds are dispensed? If the person requires assistance to take medication, the dispenser may not be the best option.
Do you need a tamper proof system? Some systems come with a lock and key to make sure that it can not be opened to prevent overdosing.
How many weeks do you need to fill to be dispensed? Some dispensers can allow up to 4 weeks to be filled in the dispenser.
Do you want the system to send an alert when a medication has not been taken? Some systems can send a message alerting the caregiver that medications were not taken.
PEHR: Personal Electronic Health Record
Providers are required to keep medical records on their patients. It is important for patients to have health records. Personal health records can be set up electronically. Some ask why create a personal health record when many providers now have a system that will allow you to go in and look at your chart. It is nice to have these systems but the records are still on their system.
If the provider’s system ever became compromised or unavailable when information is critically needed, like in an emergency, it is important that you have a copy of your medical record. Using an emergency as an example, what if you were in and accident and unable to answer questions about pertinent medical care? This is where a personal health record can save your life! Why? Because emergency personal are trained to look for any medical alert information so that wrong medication or procedures are not administered.
They are not only used for potential emergency information but also to manage care for complex care situations. A personal health record is a major asset when caring for yourselves or another person. Having all information in one place makes is easy to answer questions during appointments or admission process. Personal health records are affordable and come in different forms like bracelets, necklaces, wallet inserts, etc.
GPS devices and apps are virtually everywhere. Runners use them in the event they suffer an injury and needed to be located. Caregivers can use them for loved ones who may wander. Also, they are good if you use community services or transportation services that take loved ones to appointments or errands. Caregivers can easily monitor their location and see where they are at all times.
Do you have an experience with any of these types of devices? Do you have a device or electronic service experience you would like to share?