Young at Heart
12/15/2014 03:49AM ● Published by Family Features
(Family Features) For seniors, keeping in touch with friends, family and caregivers is important to maintain an active social life and remain independent. The number of seniors — and the need to find creative ways to be mindful of their care — is on the rise. With nearly seven million Americans providing support as long-distance caregivers, according to the National Institute on Aging, staying in touch is especially important.
Email, cell phones and texting are some of the ways technology is helping people stay connected today. These tools can be especially useful for seniors living away from friends and family or for those who aren’t able to travel as much as they used to. One affordable option is a complete phone system, such as VTech CareLine, which has no monthly fee. Offering a wearable pendant, one-button or voice-activated dialing, big buttons and volume booster, CareLine has features designed with seniors in mind. For more information about keeping seniors safely connected via a phone system, visit www.vtechphones.com/careline.
Seniors today are staying active, spending time with friends and family outside of their home, rekindling old passions and exploring new activities that keep them on the move. Even for seniors who aren’t able to be as active, changes in scenery, like a neighborhood walk or visit to the park, are great ways to get fresh air, uplift spirits and live a healthier life.
Since transportation can sometimes be a challenge, especially for seniors who rely on caregivers who work full-time, there are numerous organizations that provide transportation resources for seniors to assist in getting them safely to doctor’s appointments, organized activities at local community centers, shopping excursions and more.
Your local Area Agency on Aging is a good resource to begin researching options in your area. Find your local agency at www.n4a.org.
Selecting a Senior Phone
A phone system can provide valuable security and peace of mind for seniors living alone and the loved ones who are responsible for their care. To get the maximum benefit of a phone system designed for seniors, experts recommend shopping for the following features:
Conversations are easier to hear and understand when you can adjust the volume of incoming sound. Look for units that can be adjusted by up to 40 decibels.
Caller ID announce
Hearing who is calling announced through the speakerphone prevents the risk of falls or other injuries associated with running to catch a ringing phone.
As memory and or vision fails, it can be difficult to associate names and numbers. A phone that allows you to associate photos with speed dial numbers will help your loved one keep important numbers straight, which is especially important in an emergency or time of need.
Help Create Connections
Helping an elderly person who lives alone stay connected with others can play a major role in that senior’s quality of life. As a caregiver, you can help foster those connections by:
- Coordinating a rotating visitor schedule with friends and family.
- Asking others to make regular calls to check in and chat.
- Researching local senior programs, such as classes, shopping excursions or fitness programs.
- Identifying resources such as transportation services that are available to help seniors get out and about.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (women in park)