Aging in Place, Yep- There’s an App for That!

 

Lately at Messiah Lifeways, you’ve probably heard us talk more and more about aging in place and/or community.  We can help older adults both on and off campus age in place a number of ways. Programs like Connections or services like Messiah Lifeways At Home or Messiah Lifeways Adult Day Services can really help aging and disabled clients live safer and longer in their own home as their needs increase.

In addition to traditional home care services such as assistance with activities of daily living or housekeeping, Messiah Lifeways At Home also offers some really handy technology to make staying home a safer proposition. First off is the Philips Lifeline Emergency Call System, which I playfully call the “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up button.” They also supply the Auto-Alert Emergency Call System, which has an added feature that can detect a fall and send out an automatic signal even if the person is knocked unconscious and is unable to press for the call button for help. Also offered is the Philips Medication Dispensing (PMD) System which is a piece of technology that can help clients and caregivers manage safe and consistent medication monitoring.

Whether or not these gadgets are an option for you or a loved one, technology is here to stay, and skeptics should embrace these possibilities. If it means longer and safer stays in one’s home – why wouldn’t you?

Another budding area of technology, to help seniors age in place, are apps (see definition above). The wonderful world of apps features what seems like millions of different programs for games, maps, weather, books, productivity, you name it. Some apps are just plain silly, but some have some practical, real world value, and these 5 apps featured on aarp.com could come in handy for those looking to age in place.

The iCam and SwannView apps offer real-time or recorded video to help caregivers keep a closer eye on loved ones from afar. [Click here] to learn more about them.

Iconosys’s Tell My Geo is an app that uses global positioning to track and serve as a life line particularly for those with dementia who may wander or often lose their way. It also carries important medical data about that person. [Click here] to learn more Tell My Geo.

Next is Webahns Capzule PHR. PHR stands for personal health record and this iPhone app makes it easy for seniors and their caregivers to track and share health information. [Click here] to learn more about Capzule PHR.

Lastly is Sanofi-Aventis’s iBGStar Blood Glucose Meter that connects to the bottom of the iPhone, iPod touch or iPad to help manage diabetes. [Click here] to learn more.

These are just a few apps that exist out there to make aging in place more feasible and safe. Like any new product, it is a good idea for you or a loved one to investigate these applications a little more closely before purchasing them. Lastly, in this ever-changing world of technology, Messiah Lifeways At Home offers a little known service to help those who may struggle a bit with new technology, smartphones and computers. They can send trained staff to your home to assist you with needs like setting up a new smart phone or tablet, downloading new apps or hooking up new computers. To find out more about this service, go to messiahlifeways.org/AtHome or call 717-790-8209.

Do you have a favorite smart phone or tablet app that could help with aging in place? Please share the information with others in the Comments section.

Originally posted 5- May, 2013
Matthew J. Gallardo

Matthew J. Gallardo

Matt is the Director of Community Engagement and Coaching at Messiah Lifeways. He brings nearly 20 years of experience in counseling, advocating, and guiding older adults and caregivers through many of life’s tough decisions. His diverse background of working in hospital and rehabilitation settings, community services, and senior housing gives him the breadth and depth of knowledge to provide unique solutions, opportunities, and help individuals proactively plan for the future. He serves as the Lifeways Coach and as a writer, blogger, podcaster, and speaker for Messiah Lifeways, located in Mechanicsburg, PA.

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