Technology and Assisted Living: Keeping Loved Ones Connected
Moving into an assisted living facility can be intimidating for some people, but it is important to remember that technological advances have made it easier than ever for people to stay connected to their close family and friends. In other words, moving into a facility that is farther away from home than your loved one would prefer does not need to have a negative impact on their personal relationships.
In fact, some assisted living communities like Dogwood Forest in Atlanta, Ga even offer classes that help residents learn how to use technology more effectively to ensure that they can stay in touch with their loved ones.
What Role does Technology Play in Keeping Residents Connected to their Family?
Technology has had a big impact on the assisted living industry, and it provides many useful ways for families to stay in touch and up to date about the health of their loved one.
1) Electronic Monitoring – If you are helping a family member who has a degenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s find an assisted living community, it is a good idea to look for one that offers some form of electronic monitoring. This technology will enable you to log onto the community’s website at any time to make sure that your loved one is safely on the grounds. This can provide you with peace of mind, and it will also keep your family member safe.
2) Smartphones – Anyone can be taught to use the latest technology if they truly want to learn, and presenting your loved one with a smartphone is a great way to help them feel connected to everyone and everything that they care about. Keep in mind that you will need to help them learn how to use the smartphone if you want them to get the most out of it. Fortunately, some communities will also host classes that will provide residents with tips on common pieces of technology such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.
3) Internet Access – Even if you are unable to give your loved one a smartphone, they will most likely be able to access the Internet from the assisted living community. Utilizing services such as Skype will enable each resident to keep in touch with their family without having to pay for an exorbitant long distance bill. Additionally, social media sites are becoming increasingly popular with people over the age of 65, and approximately 50 percent of the people in that age range already know how to perform basic functions on the Internet. This level of knowledge will most likely be increased by the community’s classes about surfing the web.
You should strongly consider the facility’s usage of technology before you make any final decisions. After all, if you select a community that does not place a major emphasis on helping residents stay connected via technology, it will be much more likely for your loved one to end up feeling isolated from their family and friends.
Melanie Fleury has been in the position of searching for an assisted living home for her grandmother. When looking at homes, she found that many of the amenities of Dogwood Forest were exactly what she was looking for. Melanie recommends making a list of what your loved one would enjoy and consider important while looking for a new home.
Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nenzen/8206939291/
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