Tuesday, June 23, 2020

5 Services and Tools to Help Care for Seniors While Social-Distancing

We all want to spend more time with aging parents and loved ones. So, when forces outside of your control force you to keep your distance, you may feel afraid, anxious, and guilty. While these feelings are completely normal, you should know that distance doesn’t have to mean sacrificing care or connection for your loved one. It just means you may have to get creative to ensure that your senior feels safe, loved, and protected.




One device that every senior should have is a user-friendly and reliable smartphone. You can find senior-friendly cell phones that will work with most carriers. Look for smartphones that are designed to be more accessible and efficient for seniors, with larger displays, durable screens, and long-lasting battery life. That way you won’t have to worry about your loved one dropping their phone or forgetting to charge it throughout the day. If you prefer iPhones, you can also use accessibility settings to make their phone easier to use. A smartphone can help keep seniors connected to loved ones and essential services during the pandemic.


Parental Controls

If you add your senior’s phone to your existing wireless plan, you may be able to take advantage of parental controls that can make keeping track of your loved one’s whereabouts and activities effortless. Some carriers provide these services for free, while others require a monthly subscription fee. Fees are typically affordable but check in with your provider to see if there are any specials or discounts that can help keep your bill low. If you want even more insight into your loved one’s health and well-being, you can also consider senior location or activity trackers. Then you can ensure your loved one is staying active while protecting him/her from wandering.


Smart Speakers

Another device you can use to stay connected to your elderly loved one is a smart speaker. In fact, many seniors have found Google’s smart speaker to be a welcome companion in self-isolation. A smart speaker will allow seniors to search the web, get help at home, and even find entertainment. With the speaker connected to a smartphone, your loved one can also receive and answer calls from you and other family members. Another perk of picking up a smart speaker for your senior, especially one with a display, is that they can find and follow along with recipes, which can ensure that your loved one eats healthy while at home.


Delivery Services

If you need to make sure that your loved one has ingredients for those healthy recipes, grocery delivery services from stores like Costco could be an option. Currently, Costco is offering these helpful services in most metropolitan locations, and some customers may even be able to take advantage of same-day services for fresh grocery orders of $35 or more. Your loved one can order delivery from their smartphone, or you can set up deliveries from afar. To protect your family member, just be sure to request contactless delivery of goods from service providers.


Video Doorbells

Your loved one will need to know when their groceries are delivered and having a video doorbell can make this much easier. The best video doorbells come with a variety of options, including facial recognition and voice communication services that can provide comfort and peace of mind to older folks who live alone. With a video doorbell, you and your loved one will know exactly when deliveries arrive and exactly who is coming to the front door. Installation for many of these doorbells is simple as well, but if you need to arrange for a professional installation, be sure to take the proper precautions to protect your senior family member from COVID-19 exposure.

While staying away from aging loved ones may seem cruel, it’s really the best way to protect them from the potentially deadly coronavirus. So, know that keeping your distance is the most compassionate thing you can do right now. Also know that there are services and tech tools you can use to connect with and care for your elderly relatives.

Photo Credit: Rawpixel

Claire Wentz: Claire, a former nurse, writes for caregivers who don’t live near their loved ones. Her hope is that her writing will inform them, uplift them, and give them peace of mind when they need it. Caringfromafar.com

Thanks Claire!

For more information about caring for your aging parents, please consider downloading my course, Caring for Your Aging Parents, from Teachable.com. It takes a couple of hours, and you can just hit play and listen while you go about other business.