Taking care of elderly parents who find it difficult to live alone can be an extremely difficult task. It is complicated by the increased mobility of modern society, as a result of which there is often not only a geographical, but also an emotional distance between parents and children.
“For the past two years, I have regularly, every two and a half months, had to fly to the United States to visit my parents, who are increasingly suffering from typical senile diseases”, says Carol Mack, who lives in Switzerland Owen (Carol McOwen). Her situation is not unique. The modern world has become very mobile. Millions of people travel thousands of kilometers between countries and continents every day. Only in the period between 2000 and 2010 the number of people who moved from one country to another for one reason or another has increased from about 2 million to 4.6 million per year, and this figure has more than doubled compared to the previous decade.
According to a joint study, conducted by scientists commissioned by the United Nations and the OECD, last year there were approximately 232 million “international migrants” in the world, that is, people who for a year or more lived not where they were born but in another country. And in this respect, the case of Carol MacOwen is really quite typical. She grew up near New York, and now lives in Bern, but her sister remained in the United States. Their parents lived in their own homes for 45 years but then their mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
And although today, thanks to technological progress, it has become much easier to maintain relationships over the years and distances, T. Geisen points to numerous scientific studies that conclude that even a dialogue using the Skype program can not replace close daily communication. Personal contact is qualitatively different from remote contact.” But the cost of personal contacts is sometimes considerable, and children’s families often suffer from them.
For example, while Carol MacOwen regularly traveled to the United States to care for her increasingly frail parents. Her German-born husband had to travel to Munich every three weeks to visit his recently widowed father. “In the last few months, we’ve been playing hide-and-seek. As soon as he came home, it was time for me to leave”, says Carol.
The fact of a sharp increase in global mobility of people is proved by the results obtained from the project “Global Attitudes Project”, implemented by experts of the American sociological center “Pew Research Centers”. They created an interactive map of the world, which gives an idea of the routes of world migration between 1990 and 2017.
As for Switzerland, the map shows that currently one in ten Swiss citizens live outside the Confederation. “In conditions of unprecedented mobility and the degree of dispersion of people around the world, intrafamily relationships require even more attention than before, they become more complicated, especially when it comes to caring for those who need such care”, says T. Geisen.
You may live far away from a loved one — for example, an elderly parent — who needs your help, and you may not know how you can improve their quality of life. Many caregivers find themselves in this situation. We learned from them that it is possible to help a loved one at a great distance. You can:
- provide emotional support to a loved one through mutual friends;
- coordinate their care (for example, arrange care by local carers or cleaning, and monitor the process by contacting a loved one at an agreed time to make sure everything is fine);
- monitor the health of a loved one: view their medical records, accompany them during trips to the doctor;
- find out when your loved one needs company, and ask a relative or friend to visit them at this time.
- Caring for a loved one at a distance can be difficult. But there are always ways to deal with it successfully. Below are suggestions that will help you care for your loved one from a distance.
Perhaps the best option for you is to hire a professional carer to help your loved one with eating, maintaining personal hygiene, and other matters. Your loved one can also be looked after by a geriatric specialist or social worker.
But what if your family has health problems and you do not have the opportunity to hire a daily nurse? In the event of an incident, every second will count, and assistance must be provided as soon as possible to prevent any adverse consequences? We have developed a special wearable device specifically for such cases — Salvatio Push.
Salvatio Push is a wearable Emergency Button and App that may save your life or lives of your beloved! This App will automatically send alerts in an emergency which dramatically reduces the time for waiting, potentially saving lives. The button connects via Bluetooth with a mobile App. The Button communicates with a smartphone via a new generation of Bluetooth which allows using button and smartphone on long distances. The device provides us with information in case of human falling.
The initial requirements of the client were to develop a personal Emergency button that sends notifications on the phone using Bluetooth on long distances. The client came to us just with an idea to develop the device that can save lives being connected with a smartphone and used via mobile application. As a result, the client got an amazing safety device which allows reducing the waiting time during an emergency and informs emergency service about an accident. This device and application can be used by any age group from kids to the elderly.
Stages Of Development
- developed a timer interrupt system that monitors the type of button presses to recognize a command, device status transmission system via BLE
- initialized soft device indicated all services and characteristics
- created the sensor and launched it, periodically interrogating it
- processed the data and reported the results to the characteristic.
Technologies We Used
- Accelerometer MPU 9050
- I2C protocol
- Low energy
- IDE Segger Embedded Studio
- Altium Designer
You can take care of your parents and older relatives just by staying close to them. In most cases, we focus on their physical needs and often miss out on what our loved ones need emotionally, socially, or psychologically. Remember that as they age, their hearing, vision, touch, and other senses will deteriorate or be lost. For this reason, speak louder or come closer when you need to say something. In addition, they are more sensitive to pain and touch — be careful. Be careful and considerate of their problems, especially when their memory and body functions begin to fade. It’s harder for them to bear these changes than it is for you. Show kindness and understanding.
You also need to remember that parents and elderly relatives are painfully worried about breaking ties with their children and grandchildren if they consider them old, boring and uninteresting. Sometimes the very children and grandchildren they loved and cared for all their lives quarrel with them. Remember that your elderly mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, uncle, aunt and so have a hard time. They are going through big and small changes, perhaps they are getting sick or experiencing other physical difficulties. Just a few words of support and a little communication from your side will significantly cheer them up and raise their morale. This attention makes them happy and helps them feel needed and valued. As a result, your loved ones will lead a more active life and feel better. All these small joys will make your loved ones forget about problems and worries and decorate their existence. And this is something that each of us can do for our parents and elders — we are in their debt, aren’t we? Caring for elderly relatives is not overwork.
If you can’t be near your loved ones who need help, then enlist the support of friends or specialists. If you do not have such a possibility, then technology comes to the rescue.
Love them, take care of them because you have received this love and care from them for many years — now it is your turn to give these feelings. Care can be shown not only in actions but also in words, moral support. This work will make you happier — because parting with your loved ones is inevitable.
Home care for old mom and dad and other relatives is a blessing. I sincerely wish you success in this task.
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