How to support someone needing care to utilise technology

How to support someone needing care to utilise technology

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Dec, 2022 - 4mins
senior man with care worker at home
senior man with care worker at home

Technology for some can still be a little scary and can create its own anxiety. We can all see the benefits of technology in our everyday lives. However, as someone gets older and realises they need a little extra support, we need to consider making them a part of the conversation on how to better support them and how technology can help supplement the in-person care they might require.

There might be some hesitancy or reluctance in fully embracing technology

Here are some tips for supporting someone who is needing care to manage the move towards care supported by technology:

  1. Start small: Introduce technology gradually, rather than overwhelming the person with too much at once. For instance, you can introduce some device that may pique their interest based on their needs and give them some time to play around with it, get them comfortable. 
  2. Be patient: Allow plenty of time for the person to get used to the technology and provide assistance and support as needed. Be sure to listen to their questions when they raise them and help them understand its uses and answer their questions with patience.
  3. Keep it simple: Use technology that is easy to understand and use, with clear instructions and intuitive interfaces. When explaining uses and functions, make sure to avoid jargon as much as possible. 
  4. Make it relevant: Choose technology that is relevant to the person’s needs and interests. For example, if the person enjoys staying in touch with family and friends, consider a video chat platform.
  5. Consider training and support: Consider offering training or support to help the person get comfortable with the technology. This could include in-person assistance, or even hiring a technology assistant. Or if dealing with a family member, allow them plenty of time to use the device or equipment until they are fully comfortable and can operate them with little to no supervision or help. Lastly, always offer a helping hand, it all makes a world of difference.
  6. Emphasise the benefits: Help the person understand how the technology can benefit their long-term care needs. By understanding their own pain points, we can then understand the appropriate device or tools they might want to use. For example, many elderly service users tend to get very lonely and isolated and technology can help them stay connected with loved ones, access information and resources, and manage their health and daily activities more easily.

What type of technology is available

There are many ways in which technology can support and aid long-term care in the home and hospitals allowing individuals to be independent for longer:

  1. Remote monitoring: Technology can be used to monitor the health and well-being of individuals receiving long-term care from their own homes or residences. For example, wearable devices can track vital signs such as heart rate and blood pressure, and send the data to a healthcare provider for analysis, such as Cair:ID 
  2. Telemedicine: Technology can be used to connect individuals receiving long-term care with healthcare providers remotely, using videoconferencing or other forms of communication. This can be especially useful for individuals who have difficulty leaving their homes or are located in rural areas, allowing easier healthcare access especially for people with disabilities.
  3. Medication management: Technology can be used to help individuals manage their medications, including reminding them when to take their medications and alerting their caregivers if they forget.
  4. Assistive devices: There are many assistive devices available that can help individuals with disabilities or mobility issues manage their daily activities more independently. These can include things like smart home devices, voice-controlled assistants, and wearable devices, One such device is miiCube by MiiCare and the popular AI speaker Alexa that can help them set reminders, etc. 
  5. Social connections: Technology can help individuals receiving long-term care stay connected with friends and family members, which can be important for maintaining social connections and emotional well-being. This can be done through videoconferencing, social media, or other forms of online communication. Devices such as Kraydel connect
  6. GPS tracking: GPS tracking devices can be helpful for people with dementia who may wander or get lost, as they can help locate the person if they become disoriented. Watches such as the CPR guardian watch
  7. Communication tools: These don’t have to just be technology focused they can be communication cards, a badge or sticker or even a lanyard that helps people to visually identify that the person might need extra assistance.

By following these tips, you can help support someone in need of care to make the transition to technology and realise the many benefits it can offer for long-term care needs. Overall, technology has the potential to greatly enhance the quality of life, of care and support available to individuals especially ones receiving long-term care in the home and hospitals.

However, it is important to note that technology should be used as a supplement to, not a replacement for, human care and support. It’s also important to carefully consider the specific needs and abilities of the person when choosing technology to support them.

If you need support or advice why not get in touch with us and see how we can help.

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