Technology is our life support as millennials. Many of us would not be able to function on a daily basis without it.
Our generation is used to having cameras in our faces. It doesn’t phase us when we get an idea and it’s the first thing that shows up in Google. It just comes natural to us.
Don’t assume that just because you are comfortable with something that your elders even know about it. Just how many times have your folks called you when they got a new device or were setting up a new service and needed your help? Put in some work now, or the calls will just keep coming… and coming.. and coming…
Here are some questions you should know the answers to when it comes to technology and your aging parents.
What kind of phone do they have?
What is their email address?
Do they have an Amazon account?
Are they paying their bills online?
Do they know how to look up an address on Google Maps?
What’s their favorite show on Hulu or Netflix?
They may sound trivial, but if your answers to these basic questions are “I don’t know,” you need to step your game up!
When I sent my mom a PDF to read the other day and she sent me back a Google Doc with comments, I just knew she’d be alright.
My grandma, on the other hand, knew only one of these (her email) when I came on the scene as her caregiver. When I started taking care of her, she had an old flip phone. I had to upgrade her.
The more you can do now to get your loved ones acquainted with and familiar with technology all around them, the better. [Another win: you might end up saving them some money cutting ridiculous extra costs like overpriced cable and internet, stamps, equipment.]
Get to work, right away!
The good news is there is TONS of technology out there, many of it simple stuff you can go out and buy or order online, that you can start using right away to start weaving technology into their daily lives.
Today, technology can be used as a support with many different needs. A beautiful and vast array of devices and services range from simple to sophisticated. Since it continues to creep deeper and deeper into every facet of our existence, the private sector is now entrenched in finding solutions that make our devices and environments smarter. New technologies are emerging all the time to make life easier for everyone.
The future is bright for those who want to age in place and want to rely less on other humans for help.
Check out my grandma turning off her lights with the help of her Google Home Mini.
Watch Grandma get up without worrying about falling or losing her balance using her lift recliner.
Already caring? That’s great. Amazing everyday apps and equipment are out there to boost your caregiving superpowers and enhance your mad caring skills.
Want to explore how technology can help you in a caregiving role? Check out our featured technology resource.
In the next post in the series, we’re going to look at questions related to creating moments of joy and honoring last wishes. Aside from the instrumental activities of caregiving, we also have the important responsibility of facilitating our loved ones’ well-being. Not only that, we are often charged with making sure their final wishes are carried out.
It is important to collect as much data and information about your loved ones’ preferences and experiences NOW while you still can. I will share some questions and resources with you to help you on this adventure.