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This is an excellent collection of resources, Susan. I am just now trying to understand how my wife and I can stay aware of her parents' status and welfare. They are 88 and 90 years old and live in their own house about 90 minutes away from us. I am jtrying to learn what our options are for monitoring them remotely, or what we should do to enable them to reach out to us or emergency service providers and that sort of thing. I came across your article and these Silvers Summit links this morning, and I am truly grateful.
Thanks so much!
Thank you for your kind words. There are several ways you can take care of your parents remotely.
1. PERS system -- This is a Personal Emergency Response System. It is a telephone connected to a 24/7 emergency reponse desk. One or both of your parents would wear a watch or pendant necklace with a button. These systems are especially useful for frail elderly that tend to fall often. If they fall and cannot get-up or are injured they press the button and send a "Help Me" signal. The monitoring service will call you plus dispatch EMT or fire/police to check to see what has happened.
Google the terms "PERS" and "Personal Emergency Response System" to educate yourself about these systems. There are many systems -- shop carefully. Prices vary , typically you lease or buy the phone and monitoring runs $20-40 per month. Avoid signing a contract for one.
2. Quietcare is a step up from a PERS system. The system uses motion detectors ( not cameras) in the bedroom, livingroom and kitchen. The system let you know about your parents activity and sends data to your home computer -- like if they are up from bed in the morning , in the kitchen , basicially going about their activities and routine normally also taking their pills. If they vary from their routine then you will get an alert to check them or the monitoring service will check on them to determine safety. the website is http://www.quietcaresystems.com/index_fl.htm
3. You could purchase a video phone for your parents and yourself to have face to face calls during the day. There is a company called Vidtel http:www.vidtel.com that has such a phone.
These three methods should get you started in educating yourself on what would be the best way to "watch" over your folks from your distance . You might contact a caregiving organization in your parents area to give you advice or a recomendation. Some states subsidize PERS systems for elderly depending on their financial situation. So do not be afraid to seek out support withing your county or state services for the elderly to give you advice.
Lastly technology should be looked at as an assistive device to help you caregive your parents. Technology in itself is not the total answer.
Hope this was helpful -- Susan