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The Caregivers' High-tech Gift List

These devices can even be programmed to create a “safe” zone. It can be the yard, the neighborhood, whatever you agree on is appropriate. If the person leaves this zone, the device will trigger a call or e-mail to you and you can check in with them to see if she is all right. More concierge-level services are available, but the bottom line is that for those with dementia, this kind of device can give him greater confidence as he moves around the community safely.  The Alzheimer’s Association is a good resource for more information on these devices.

The Futuristic—Not Yet Available in Stores: Robotics hold the potential to assist our aging loved ones in significant ways. In Japan, an electronics company is developing a robotic skeleton that can be strapped on to a person’s arms and legs. Sensors embedded in the skeleton then react to nerve impulses to help move the individual’s arms and legs. In a recent USA Today story, an elderly man with Parkinson's walked for the first time in two years with the help of this technology. There is no question that this kind of innovation will eventually become more and more a part of our everyday lives.

Relish the Moment: This can be a great time of year for families and friends. I hope you connect with those that you love and have a great time remembering the past, enjoying the present, and planning for the future. If one of these gifts makes sense for your loved one, consider that technology can enhance his or her life while it improves your peace of mind.

No gadgets can replace the human touch, but many hold tremendous potential to assist in providing quality care for those we love. Enjoy the holidays.

All the best,

Elinor

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