SPONSORED: How Technology Can Make Aging-in-Place Easier
Photos by Jacquelyn Kuneman
It’s early in the morning and Jeff wakes up to his phone ringing.
“Your grandmother Lillian has fallen again,” he hears on the other end. “Nothing is broken but she is bruised and uncomfortable.”
As Lillian was getting dressed after a shower she lost her balance and fell, face first, onto the floor. Luckily Lillian lives in an assisted living facility and was able to contact staff to ask for help. Unfortunately, staff is not allowed to assist residents once they have fallen. The staff contacts 911 and the family, who then come and assist.
Does this story sound familiar? Are you at the point where you are starting to worry about a loved one’s safety as they age?
Whether or not this is a concern now, at some point we will all have to face the questions: “How do I help take care of a loved one as they age?” and “How can they stay in their own home for as long as feasible?”
Some may choose, like Lillian, to move to an assisted living facility or nursing home.
But there are many who don’t want to live in a facility or who don’t need to, even though family members are beginning to worry.
If your aging family member falls into the latter category, there are options available, thanks to technology that allow loved ones to live at home but still be monitored.
Cox Communications now offers a service called Cox Homelife Care which includes many different technologies that make it easier for a senior or disabled person to live a more independent life.
The cornerstone of the technology is an alert system that monitors loved ones 24/7 for falls and gives them an easy way to contact a professional if there is an emergency.
There are four basic parts to the system: the fall detection pendant, the hub, the family app and a lockbox.
The pendant will detect a fall and automatically trigger a call to a Cox Communication specialist for help. If the senior cannot answer the specialist or communicates they need help, the specialist will call 911 as well as the family. If there is another type of emergency, the wearer can push the button on the pendant and a call will be placed to a Cox Communication specialist. The Cox pendant is the smallest and lightest on the market and is waterproof, making it convenient and comfortable for constant wearing.
The hub is a small device that sits in the senior’s home and operates with its own cell phone technology to connect the device to a Cox Communications specialist 24/7. It also contains a 24-hour battery backup so it will work in the event of a power outage.
The hub is stationary but has a mic and speaker that allows communication between a user and Cox.
The app connects family members to their loved one’s Homelife Care system and notifies them immediately any time the emergency system is activated. Once the emergency system is activated, the family member can use the app to check the status of the emergency. The app also allows users to program medication reminders and check the battery life of the Homelife Care devices.
Finally, the system includes a lockbox for a house key to allow emergency professionals access to the house without having to break down the door.
There are other “smart” devices that can be powered by Cox High Speed Internet that help seniors at home and many of those can be monitored by a family member remotely. In addition to cameras, there are devices such as automatic pill dispensers with alarms that won’t turn off until the pill box has been emptied and sensors that can be placed on cabinets and refrigerator doors that help family members know about their loved ones’ eating habits. There are even ways to monitor the oven to make sure it gets turned off in a timely manner. A quick search of the web for “smart devices” can help you identify products that would be helpful to you and your family member.
If the user has an ongoing medical issue that needs to be monitored such as congestive heart failure or diabetes and their insurance approves remote care, Trapolio, a Cox Business company, provides a technology to help the senior monitor vitals such as blood pressure, oxygen levels and weight, with those daily readings being fed to a medical monitor such as a nurse. A daily check-in about these vitals and tweaks to protocol or medicines may mean many fewer doctor and/or emergency room visits.
To learn more about Cox Homelife Care, schedule a meeting with a consultant to discuss your specific needs. Learn more at www.cox.com/homelifecare.