There are many care options for older adults who want to live independently at home. Today, technology presents a wider access to home care services for seniors. There are modern day solutions if your immediate family members are unable to provide help. Hiring temporary help or learning how to adjust your home to fit your new needs is possible.
At Caremada, we understand how much it means to you to be able to age comfortably at home. Showing your loved ones that you are capable of handling your own household responsibilities is key. Read more for helpful tips on how you can live at home as an older adult. By leveraging these tips, you can safely and confidently prolong your time in your home.
Learn How to Use Technology
There are so many different apps, laptops, tablets, phone features, and even appliances that you need to learn how to use. If you are technologically savvy, consider yourself lucky. If you are struggling to relearn how to use your cell phone every time a new update comes out, do not worry. We compiled a few tips for seniors to help you learn how to use technology.
What is technology?
For the purpose of this article, we are referring to mobile phones, tablets, computers and laptops, and smart home appliances. It is important that you know how to use these devices properly. You can use them to improve efficiency, remove obstacles, and connect with your loved ones. If this seems confusing, that is okay. Read below to find out how at home technology can improve your life.
Computers and Laptops
Computers and laptops have a lot of storage. You can store thousands of photos, videos, and messages on its hard drive. Computers and laptops have more battery power than tablets, and last longer between charges. Here are some recommendations for how to improve your computer experience:
- Adjust the brightness of your screen when you have trouble seeing what is on it. This helpful article will guide you if you have a Mac, and this article will be of use if you have a PC
- Change your on-screen text to a larger font to reduce eye strain
- Zoom into a screen by pressing CTRL, shift, + at the same time, or press down Command, shift, + at the same time on a Mac.
- Use the voice-to-text function to dictate what you want the computer to type
- Keep your laptop charged
- Remember to turn off your computer or put it on sleep mode when you are not using it to save battery power
- Download a security software if you have a PC to block out computer viruses
- Switch on Ad blocker to remove the threat of viruses from pop-ups
Tablets are portable, lightweight, and have large screens. They have touch screens instead of a mouse or mousepad. Tablets can be used online or offline, meaning you can download ebooks, videos, and other content for viewing later. Here are some tips for using your tablet:
- You do not have to press hard on your touchscreens. It detects a light touch and reacts quickly to your finger movements
- There are add-on Bluetooth keyboards available to pair with your tablet if you enjoy typing or want to use your tablet like a laptop
- Tablets are great for great for Facetime calls and video chats since they have a larger screen and you can easily bring your tablet around the house
- Charge your tablet when you are not using it
- You can purchase a tablet stand or case so it can stand on its own while you are using it
In Home Smart Appliances
In-home digital appliances such as smart-ovens, stoves, fridges, and thermostats are a headache for aging adults. The small, light-up buttons are often difficult to read and require abstract thinking instead of physically turning a dial. This is a cause of worry for many adult children. Your children may wonder whether or not you will be able to handle simple tasks, such as turning off the stovetop ranges or adjusting the household temperature. Educate yourself on how to check if these things are done properly. This will help you gain their confidence and allow you to grow older at home.
Smart Phone Tips for Seniors
Smart phones have advanced software that can store all your information. This includes not only your contacts, but your search preferences, keyboard tying predictions, and even the news. You are able to connect to the Internet with a WiFi connection or with data usage. This allows you to search on the Internet, send photos and video to loved ones, use the GPS function, and more.
Here are some tips using your smart phone:
- Connect to WiFi when possible
- Turn your data off to save yourself from a high phone bill at the end of the month
- Many telephone companies offer special senior services such as reduced monthly rates
- You can turn your screen brightness up if you are using your phone outside
- Make sure your mobile phone is always charged, or that your landline is always working
- This way, your children and loved ones can contact you at any time. You can ensure that you are safe while living independently
Use Your Apps
Smartphone apps are easy to use and free to download. Apps like Caremada provide a network to on-call services for seniors to hire for a variety of services. Caremada is dedicated to helping seniors live independently by providing access to many care options. Caremada users are invited to browse the app to connect with caregivers. Services are not limited to medical or healthcare aid. Caremada users can search for drivers, companions, nurses, or people to run errands, such as groceries, and more.
Online banking has been around for a few years and is use worldwide by major banks. The security measures put in place prevent hackers from obtaining your information. With that being said, you still need to take precautions when banking online. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you are new to online banking:
- Transition to phone banking first - being able to talk to a real person can help you build trust and answer any questions you have
- Learn about the procedures and recognize that online banking is a safe and secure alternative to banking in person
- Always connect to your home Internet only or use a trusted connection
- Avoid logging in to your account on public WiFi networks, as you are more likely to be exposed to hackers
- Never share your password with anyone
- Write down your password and keep it in a safe place
- Just like you would not in person, do not give out your banking information to people online
Have Easy Access to Transportation
Mobile apps allow users to summon a personal driver upon a tap on their smartphone. If you need a short-term lift to the grocery store or for a haircut, consider using a rideshare app like Lyft or Uber. These companies provide quick one-way drivers that will bring you from your pick-up location to the destination requested. All you need is access to cellular data and a credit card or PayPal account to link for payment.
Hiring a Driver
If you are looking for a round-trip driver or feel more comfortable interacting with only one driver, consider hiring a private car via Caremada. This person can help you carry groceries to your door, or drive longer distances when visiting friends or public events. By connecting with a professional, you eliminate mobility-related concerns for you and your loved ones.
Modify Your Home Where Necessary
Consider moving or adding furniture aids to your home. Older adults have a reduced range of motion from injuries throughout their lifetime or as a result of aging. Do not be ashamed to ask for help when looking for the best accessories for you. These additions will only improve your quality of life. You can install step-stools, automatic lights, or get your house renovated to fit your needs.
Health tends to deteriorate as we age. This can contribute to our ability to live independently at home. Maintain your quality of life by staying active, eating a balanced diet, and socializing when possible. This could mean taking a daily leisurely stroll to the park after lunch, or walking to run weekly errands instead of taking the bus. Adjust your level of activity to your lifestyle.
Be Part of a Strong and Supportive Community
Having people that support you and that you trust will make a world of a difference. You will have a larger network of people who care for you, and a close circle for socializing. It has been proven that regular socializing can help older adults stay youthful and hopeful about their future. This can be joining an outdoor tai-chi group that meets weekly, attending a community gathering, or a virtual book club. Depending what your interests are, you can find a group and activity that best suits you.
Have an Emergency Plan
Educate yourself about your options for geriatric care. Do your own research about long-term care alternatives. Have a list for trusted medical professionals you can consult if needed. Map out the nearest hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies in case of emergency. Always remember to include your contact list of your loved ones to call.
Types of Emergencies to Prepare for
Have a basic emergency kit with what you will need to survive for 72 hours. Include bottled water, perishable food, batteries, a flashlight, a blanket, an extra change of clothes, and a radio or landline phone. Here are the most common types of natural emergencies to prepare for:
- Power outages
- Home Fires
- Snow storms
Budget to be Financially Independent
Of course, it is easier to be taken seriously when planning your own life if you are financing it yourself. Financial independence is a crucial factor when making big decisions. Having a comfortable amount of savings allows older people to relieve their adult children of any additional stressors. Your loved ones can find our budgeting tips for long term at home care here.
Make Your Family Feel that You are Taken Care of
The benefits of aging in place are countless. But, so are your adult children’s worries about you. It is natural for concerns to arise if they feel that you cannot properly take care of yourself. Ensure them that you are safe and in sound mind. Following these tips will help you maintain independence and a consistent quality of life.
Lastly, Have an Open Family Discussion
There are many reasons why senior living shifted from retirement homes to growing older at home. The change in perception and definition of agism in the media have contributed to this substantially. Older adults are educating themselves more about possible alternatives. Many want to stay in the same community that they lived in when they were younger. Talk to your family to see what the best options are. Ease your mind by reading about how to have an open family discussion about aging families here.