Caring About Dad From Afar: Apps Finally Buy Us Some Peace

Modern medicine is nothing short of miraculous, and the average lifespan in America is now very close to 79. But that also means that people may struggle with the perils of old age for decades.

Few things disturb our peace more than worrying about Mom or Dad, especially if one of them lives alone. If Dad has a hard time getting around or has Alzheimer’s, it’s even worse, right?

Meanwhile, the vast majority (90%) of seniors would rather stay in their own homes, living independently.

Luckily, technology and other resources have made it a lot easier to keep tabs on an elderly parent.

Apps to the rescue

According to AARP, apps are really useful in managing medications, picking a care facility, and many more duties that fall to adult children of aging parents. In fact, AARP offers its own “Caregivers in the Community” mobile app.

Caregivers in the Community connects people all over the country who have the same anxieties as you do about a relative who needs monitoring. You can use it to find friends who know what you are going through after mom receives a cancer diagnosis. And you can use it to ask questions about nursing homes and local resources like where to go for Bingo.

CareZone is a mobile application that specializes in helping people care for distant Alzheimer’s patients. You can take a photo of all your parent’s prescriptions and upload them to CareZone which then generates a medications list. That makes doctor’s appointments and even emergency room trips a lot less stressful. With CareZone, you can also establish a calendar, assign tasks to all the caregivers, and ask for help.

If you can afford it, a geriatric care manager provides assistance with everything relating to the help of seniors. You can find a geriatric care manager on AgingCare.com or ask for a referral from your mother’s primary care physician.

Meals on Wheels: An Old Idea Still Works

There’s one quick and cheap way to make sure someone is checking on your parents every day. Sign them up for Meals on Wheels. A quick trip to Meals on Wheels America, and you can enter your parent’s zip code to find a local provider.

The meals are huge. Many seniors find the meals enough for lunch AND dinner. You won’t have to worry that mom or dad isn’t eating enough or feels too bad to cook. And, best of all, meal deliverers are trained to make sure their clients haven’t fallen and can’t get up. These couriers also provide a modicum of companionship to people whose worst problem might be loneliness.

And if you are worried about Fluffy

Pets are enormously important to many seniors. These companion animals offer unconditional affection and companionship to people who may feel very alone at the end of their lives. Dogs and cats love us no matter how old and wrinkled we get. And they don’t care if we’re still in a bathrobe with unwashed hair.

Pets have been scientifically proven to boost our immunity, fight off depression, and lower blood pressure. So it’s understandable if you want your parent to keep Fluffy.

If your parent now needs help caring for his dog or cat, there are a number of tech tools on the market that allow you to feed a family pet remotely. There are also websites that can hook you up with a dog walker in your mom’s zip code. Or you could find a dog walker in your dad’s city on Craigslist. Be sure to ask your remote dog walker to snap and send you a picture of dad’s dog midway through his walk.

No matter where in the world you are, you probably still love your mum. And now, new technology, combined with local and federal resources, help you find peace of mind, knowing she is cared for.

~ A message from one of my colleagues: Marie Villeza

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

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