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How To Use Technology To Help Your Senior Loved One With Dementia From Far Away

How To Use Technology To Help Your Senior Loved One With Dementia From Far Away

Guest Blogger Claire Wentz (

How To Use Technology To Help Your Senior Loved One With Dementia From Far Away

Photo via Pixabay by MarvinRoaw

Making sure our senior loved ones are healthy and happy is always a concern, but it’s not always easy to do, especially if you live far away. A phone call can go a long way, but many people want to be more involved than that due to their loved one’s health conditions. For those with family members that have dementia, the stress is exacerbated. Did they remember to take their medication? Did they make it to the store okay? Are they getting enough to eat each day? It can turn into an endless stream of worries and concerns, leaving you feeling drained.

Fortunately, the age of technology has made it easier than ever to stay in touch with the people we love and to help them make the most of their days. No matter how far away you are, there are several ways you can help the senior in your life with daily activities and keep them safe despite their changing cognitive function. The key is to do some research on the different apps and services available to find the ones that are best for you and your loved one.

Here are a few of the best ways to get started.

Keep them safe

The elderly are, unfortunately, often targets for thieves and burglars. This is in part because they are the least likely demographic to fight back, but also because it’s believed that they will have valuables in their home. If your loved one lives alone or still lives at home, consider having a surveillance camera installed on the premises that sends a live feed directly to your smartphone or tablet. This way, not only can you keep an eye on things from far away, you can ensure you have the ability to play back any wrongdoing for police. Unfortunately, your loved one may be unknowingly decreasing their home security. As you know, dementia makes remembering difficult, and forgetting to lock the door could mean the difference between safety and a breakin. Consider installing smart locks on your loved one’s door. You can check that their door is locked each night, as well as when they are away, and quickly lock it with the push of a button if you find that they forgot.

Set up a service

Just because you’re absent much of the time doesn’t mean you can’t be there in spirit. If you’ve enjoyed cooking for your loved one in the past, set up a cooking service so that fresh meals will be delivered to their home (or have someone come in and prepare the food there). Or, you might hire someone to come and walk your loved one’s dog every afternoon. This is an especially useful service if they have limited mobility or are struggling with dementia. Hiring help gives you the peace of mind that they are being taken care of, while also enabling them to maintain some of their independence.

Help them set up a video chat service

While some seniors aren’t comfortable with using too much technology, many are finding that services like Skype can help them stay in touch with the people they love the most. Help your loved one set up a video chat service so they can reach you anytime. This will be especially helpful around the holidays if you can’t get away to visit, as well as a way to check in daily. If you senior isn’t tech savvy, this doesn’t mean you can’t still use it to your advantage. There are several products, such as GPS-tracking sole inserts and watches, that enable you to keep track of your loved one and avoid wandering. Perhaps an automatic pill dispenser would be helpful in the early stages of dementia, rather than a phone call that your loved one might view as a nuisance rather than helpful.

Set up a medical alert alarm

Medical alert alarms are a great way to ensure your loved one is safe and can get the help they need even if you can’t be there. Help them set up an alarm system such as this one, which can assist with everything from a medical emergency to a home intrusion to a fire. These alarms are made especially for seniors and people with disabilities, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, so they can be crucial tools to help someone with limited mobility get help in the event of a crisis.

Get connected

Help your loved one get connected to others in the senior community by finding online support groups and clubs. Staying social is crucial for elderly individuals and can help improve memory function, mood, and general wellbeing, especially those seniors showing early signs of dementia.

How To Use Technology To Help Your Senior Loved One With Dementia From Far Away

You may feel guilt for not being able to be there for your loved one as much as you would like to be; keep in mind that showing your love and support by helping them stay healthy and happy is just as good as being there yourself.

Aging In Place: How Seniors Can Tackle Home Modifications

Harley Clarke Mansion Could be Demolished Says Evanston

Harley Clarke Mansion Could be Demolished Says Evanston

There are a growing number of Evanston IL residents who want to give up on the Harley Clarke Mansion. The city council may let residents pay to tear down this local landmark. The goal is to restore the lakefront dunes to their natural state.

A growing group of Evanston Residents feel that the mansion is in need of too much repair to make it work the effort. It has been considered that to get the view of the natural dunes back is a better way to go. There is still a large group who oppose this idea.Harley Clarke Mansion Could be Demolished Says Evanston

The city of Evanston says: group of Evanston residents has offered to pay for the demolition of the Harley Clarke mansion, aldermen were told Tuesday. During public comment, two speakers informed the City Council they have secured enough cash to pay for the removal of the local landmark and the restoration of the lakefront site, saving the city money and putting an end to years of debate over the future of the structure.

Following their remarks, an alderman directed city staff to prepare a resolution ahead of the next council meeting to move forward with the plan. Nicole Kustok and Jeff Coney spoke in favor of a plan introduced last fall by the Evanston Lighthouse Dunes group. The 1927 French eclectic-style mansion would be torn down, while its Jens Jensen-designed gardens would be preserved.

Harley Clarke Mansion Could be Demolished Says Evanston

The Harley Clarke Mansion is the former home of the Evanston Art Center. They moved out a couple of years ago and the mansion has since been vacant. Since that time no agreeable replacement has been accepted by residents. At one time a bed and breakfast was proposed and rejected.

What are your feelings about tearing down the mansion? Many people are torn, and no decision has been agreed to yet. Attend the Evanston City council meetings and speak your mind and help Evanston.

The Evanston IL Harley Clarke Mansion

Evanston IL Among 2018 Gold Medal Award Finalists

Evanston IL Among 2018 Gold Medal Award Finalists

Evanston IL Among 2018 Gold Medal Award Finalists for National Gold Medal Award. Evanston is in Class 3. This is of population 75,000 to 150,000. There 5 public beaches including a dog beach and a boat launch. There are swimming beaches and sailboat rentals and classes available.Evanston IL Among 2018 Gold Medal Award Finalists

The National Gold Medal Award honors communities throughout the United States. These cities demonstrate excellence in long-range planning, resource management and innovative approaches to delivering superb park and recreation services with fiscally sound business practices.

The National Gold Medal Award Program includes seven classes. 5 classes based upon population. 1 class for armed forces recreation and one class for state park systems in odd numbered years. At the beginning of each calendar year, agencies are invited to submit applications for consideration, with a deadline of mid-March. Finalists are announced at the end of April.

A panel of five park and recreation professionals reviews and judges all application materials. Importantly judges were chosen for their considerable experience and knowledge in parks and recreation on both local and national levels.

The City of Evanston’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department joins three other finalists in the Class III category for cities with populations of 75,001 to 150,000 that will compete for grand honors this year. Other finalists include Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department (Bloomington, IN), Greeley Culture, Parks and Recreation (Greeley, CO), and Lawrence Parks and Recreation (Lawrence, KS).

“From summer camps to summer jobs, preschool programs to senior services, Evanston’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department strives to meet the needs of our entire community,” said Mayor Stephen Hagerty. “Being named a national Gold Medal finalist two years running is a testament to the department’s continued commitment to excellence, innovation and community service. Congratulations to the entire department on this outstanding recognition.”

Evanston IL Among 2018 Gold Medal Award Finalists

Highlighted in Evanston’s award application were the department’s efforts to positively impact all members of the community through services, events and programming, including Mayor Hagerty’s Summer Youth Employment Program (MSYEP), long-term care ombudsman services, summer camp reading program in collaboration with the Evanston Public Library, and others. Also included were new department initiatives, such as the “Let’s Play”. Also engagement trailer, which brings recreation opportunities to neighborhood events. Installation of the Ecology Center’s apiary and pollinator garden, which facilitates educational programming. The City also noted its wide variety of cultural events. Evanston offers the World Arts & Music Festival, as well as its diverse, skilled staff, which includes Olympian figure skating coaches, a member of the Screen Actors Guild, certified Kingian non-violence trainers, and many others.

Also check out Evanston IL Downtown Rated In Top Ten!

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