AARP Bulletin Features GrandCare as a New Technology for Aging Parents

Form AARP Bulletin | Sally Abrams

New Technology Could Allow You or Your Parents to Age at Home

Devices give older people the opportunity to avoid or delay the nursing-home decision

Phil D’Eramo used to call his parents four or five times a day to make sure they took their medication. An only child from upstate New York, D’Eramo was worried, especially about his 89-year-old father, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Were Mom and Dad eating often enough? When his father went out for short drives, was he getting home safely? […]

Now he logs onto a website to check their activity, captured via cellular connection, and remotely monitors their medication. He sees the number of times Mom opens the refrigerator, and when Dad goes into the bathroom or heads out the door. The company can alert D’Eramo by text, email, Web or phone if something is out of the ordinary.

“A dazzling array of new technology is giving older people more confidence in their ability to live alone, and it’s helping families avoid the wrenching decision to move an aging parent from his or her home to a nursing facility. “Smart” technology such as sensors, voice activation, GPS, Bluetooth, cellular connectivity via mobile phones, smartphone monitoring apps and sophisticated computers are making aging in place a viable option for an increasing number of people.”

System Comp 2AARP highlights GrandCare Systems as one of these smart technologies:

Who uses it: Gladys Jules lives in Atlanta and has used GrandCare to check on her aunt and mother in South Carolina and to keep them socially connected. Jules’ daughter recently had twins and streams daily photos to her grandmother. Last September, Jules, 62, had colon surgery and now also uses GrandCare daily. She takes biometric readings, organizes her prescriptions and stores her medical information for her kids “just in case.”

What it is: A multipurpose system that tracks daily activity, has medical monitoring (glucose, oxygen, blood pressure, weight) and can display anything: diets, discharge plans, exercises. An interactive touch screen lets Dad watch videos, view family or Facebook photos, listen to music, play games, read the news and video chat with family.

How it works: It uses an Internet connection that communicates with wireless sensors you’ve placed around the house. Caregivers log on to a website to see their loved one’s activity, write them messages and make rules (“Alert me when …”).

Learn more about GrandCare Systems by visiting GrandCare.com.

Other technologies highlighted in the article include MedMinder, Reminder Rosie, Philips Lifeline with AutoAlert, GreatCall 5Star Urgent Response and MobileHelp.

To learn more about aging in place technologies and how they are read the full article from AARP.

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