There are clear benefits to aging in place. These benefits include saving money, feeling comfortable in a familiar environment, and continuing community connections. All of these positives support greater happiness and health for seniors. Yet aging in place also poses daily challenges for many seniors and their caregivers.
To support the goals of seniors aging in place, technology is working rapidly to make the process safer and happier. An example of one such technology is MyHomeReach. The MyHomeReach technology is a network of communication which promotes a stronger circle of care for seniors aging in place.
Importantly, for most seniors and their caregivers, communication is key. By creating a wireless connection between devices, offering training and documentation for all users, and allowing both GPS and user customization, MyHomeReach makes it simple. Seniors navigate through their busy schedules, all while keeping caregivers in the communication loop.
The premise is straightforward. The providers establish and install a system of devices that monitors an elderly loved one's movements throughout the day. The system also updates and communicates with care providers and promotes independence during activities of daily living. Through customization, MyHomeReach can help seniors get access to taxi services, for example, in order to get to the airport for a family trip. MyHomeReach can immediately alert caregivers if the senior has missed an important appointment with a doctor. It can help an elderly loved one find the nearest hairdresser or barber for some grooming time.
In addition, MyHomeReach promotes independence for seniors. The product supports and empowers seniors to organize their lives, all while communicating vital information to loved ones. When seniors aging in place feel supported, empowered, and safe, they are likelier to experience greater happiness and health.
By training seniors to use this technology and offering ways to meet their needs, MyHomeReach does not demand that seniors change their routines. Instead, the technology allows them to share their routines with others so as to ensure their safety. This independence is vital to self-confidence and self-esteem for seniors.
The uses for this product are as diverse as the possible users themselves. However, a few key situations can make the most out of this product. If an elderly loved one lives far apart from family caregivers and is under the care of physicians, MyHomeReach can help connect the loved one, caregivers, and health care professionals. For seniors with visiting nurses or who are recovering from surgery or coping with a disability, having a strong loop for communication is vital. Up-to-date informtion, communication, and connection mean better decision-making, even from afar.
If a caregiver lives nearby but must work and/or care for children, MyHomeReach offers reassurance. The caregiver can stay in communication while the elderly loved one is at adult day care or during doctor's visits. The caregiver might even be able to take a long weekend, knowing the elderly loved one's well-being is being monitored.
MyHomeReach operates electronically and is readily available on most wifi-enabled devices (such as a tablet, smartphone, or laptop). This makes checking on an elderly loved one easy and low stress. Caregivers simply open a device, activate MyHomeReach, and get the newest information at the click of a button.
Seniors can also interact with their health care professionals directly without appearing in person. This is a huge benefit that comes with web-based technology. Seniors in rural areas or those with mobility challenges or a lack of transportation can update doctors, describe symptoms, and ask for help from home. They don't have to make and keep an appointment with a doctor or go to an emergency room. This saves time and money for everyone involved. It also enables seniors to update their care professionals more frequently.
Before implementing any changes, a chat with the elderly loved one and his or her doctors is warranted. Making informed, mutual decisions ensures that the circle of care for an elderly loved one is strong, vibrant, and efficient.
For more information about this product and others offered by HealthComms, visit their website at http://www.healthcomms.com/products/MyHomeReach.
HealthComms. (2011). MyHomeReach: About. Available at http://www.healthcomms.com/products/MyHomeReach. Retrieved November 12, 2016.