With the pandemic keeping us all indoors and away from our elderly loved ones (whether they are living at home, or in a skilled nursing facility), it has become increasingly important to properly harness technology as an effective means of communication.
To this end, our friend, Claire Wentz, from Caringfromafar, has written this exclusive article for our Regency readers. Thank you Claire!
How Technology Can Help You Care for Loved Ones Without Breaking the Bank
It’s often said that thanks to modern technology, the world has gotten smaller and people are now more connected than ever before. While this is arguably true in more ways than one, it can make for bittersweet situations. One can now move further away from family members and feel more comfortable as there are now more opportunities to stay connected. But on the flip side, loved ones like seniors and those with medical conditions are deprived of the physical care and attention they need.
Still, this doesn’t change the fact that their needs must be met, and you can take advantage of technology and the internet. This will not only help you bridge the gap, but it can also be indispensable in ensuring that your loved ones’ myriad needs are met, even from a distance, and without sacrificing your budget to boot. Here’s how.
Shop online for their needs.
No doubt, it’s the lack of physical connection that will be hardest for you and your loved ones, especially as it pertains to care. But just because you’re physically absent doesn’t mean that you can’t provide for their physical needs from afar. In fact, you can already purchase anything that your loved ones may need (e.g., groceries, medication) to make their lives more comfortable—from wherever you are in the world shipped straight to their doorstep, no less. It is for this reason that online shopping has become a real godsend, and it will serve you and your loved ones to really make use of it.
As a bonus, online shopping also comes with a good number of ways to save. For instance, Rakuten offers some tips on how to save at Target. Tips include getting a 5-percent discount by simply signing up for the Target REDcard. Better still, you save on hefty shipping fees for online purchases; plus they offer a time extension for returns. Downloading the Target app also is also worthwhile as you’ll never miss out on coupons and special discounts.
Of course, probably the best use of technology when you’re taking care of a loved one long distance is communication. To date, there are countless apps available that you can use to constantly stay connected with your loved ones. Best of all, the only thing they make a dent on is your internet bandwidth, which is often negligible. It goes without saying that a substantial or even unlimited data plan is worth the minimal investment.
The apps are almost always completely free, too—or at least, cost mere cents. At present, most of these calling apps have video-calling, which is undoubtedly the next best thing to you being in the same room. You don’t even have to worry if seniors are comfortable using the technology as the best ones are very user-friendly, adaptable, and intuitive.
Wait, there’s more.
And while still on the subject of apps, it’s a real treat to note that there’s an app for just about any function you can think of when it comes to long-distance caregiving. There are handy apps that can be set up to ensure that they never miss a dose of their medication. There are also others that keep track of their blood pressure and sugar levels (to name a few) and would even alert you in emergencies, like falls.
It’s more than wise, therefore, to explore the most useful apps that will help you take care of your loved one from afar. Again, most are free or cost no more than a few dollars to buy, so you can give several a whirl and zero in on the ones that work best for you and your ward.
The world can seem big and overwhelming, especially when you’re away from the people you care for. But really, there’s truth in technology making it smaller, and with the right, budget-friendly tools and apps in your devices, you and your loved ones will definitely benefit from it.