Many adult children would love to have their parents take advantage of new technology that can track their health, or allow a caregiver to monitor them during the day whether they are aging in place or in a care facility.
The idea may not appeal to the older adult, however, for two reasons. One is the learning curve, and the other is the potential intrusion into their daily lives. Therefore, many say: “Thanks but no thanks.”
John Valiton, CEO of Reemo Health, is determined to change that by educating adult children in how to help their parents understand that technology is not only easy to use but doesn’t have to be intrusive. This, he says, is the answer to getting older adults onboard. Helpful new technology can make seniors’ lives safer, easier, and more worry-free once they understand how it works. Below, John offers some tips that can help adult children help their parents.
Tips for adult children helping parents with health technology
It’s imperative that the technology older adults are letting into their lives makes a true difference. This may not mean the exact same thing for each individual. For some, a simple reminder to go for a walk or take their medication might be what they need. For others, they may want the ability to call 911 directly from a wearable device so they feel safe and secure, whether in their own home or out in the world participating in hobbies and traveling. The technology needs to be tailored to their needs.
Keep it simple. As aging individuals explore new technology, caregivers can streamline adoption by setting aside time to show how easy it is to integrate the solution into the individual’s daily life. They can then take time to check in with the senior on any areas where they might benefit from further education.
It’s too easy to get a solution going but then allow it to drop off just weeks down the road. Yet, one of the most prominent driving factors behind senior engagement is caregiver engagement and the best way to ensure caregiver engagement is by choosing a solution that can aid in a caregiver’s everyday management of the seniors’ health. So, stay involved.
After reading about this initiative, HealthCentral wanted to gain some extra insight into how this technology helps both caregivers and seniors, so we reached out to Valiton via email:
HealthCentral: Tell us about Reemo as a company and what its goals are.
John Valiton: Reemo is a health and safety technology platform designed to empower caregivers with actionable insights to improve the quality of life for seniors and patients.
Through the use of wearables and near real-time data and analytics, Reemo technology strengthens the connection between wearers and families, while helping senior-living and healthcare organizations improve experiences and health outcomes.
From remote monitoring to key risk indicators and wellness reporting, Reemo increases engagement, offers peace of mind to family, and elevates the customer-centric approach to health monitoring through both proactive adjustments and earlier intervention.
HC: Does Reemo start by reaching out to adult children of seniors first, as an opening-the-door move?
JV: We find that adult children are often the first to make a move toward a solution simply because of the peace of mind that it offers. They tell us that they worry that their parent will fall.
But that isn’t the only way our team starts interacting with seniors. As senior-care facilities adopt Reemo broadly throughout their patient base, it’s a great opportunity for seniors to try out the solution on terms that work for them, using a trusted partner that can guide them through every step.
HC: How does Reemo go about helping seniors become accepting of, and fully engaged in, healthcare technologies if their adult children can’t help?
JV: Our solution is all about delivering everyday value to senior users. From emergency response alert capabilities through the press of a button on their smartwatch, to more proactive treatment through remotely monitored activity and vital information, seniors are using Reemo to better the aging experience and keep their mobility longer. We’ve always worked carefully to ensure our solution is non-stigmatizing and easy to use to better support senior adoption.
HC: What do you find most satisfying about the work that Reemo does? Is there one story that stands out?
JV: It’s incredibly satisfying to see our solution positively impact the daily lives of seniors. We’ve spoken with users who were able to stay in their own homes longer or manage their chronic conditions better, simply because of the care insights and peace of mind that our solution provides. I even heard from a user (who) said she felt more secure going out shopping and letting her husband stay at home because our solution’s remote monitoring gave her peace of mind. It’s little things like enabling a senior to make a trip to the grocery store that makes our work worth it.
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Carol Bradley Bursack is a veteran family caregiver who spent more than two decades caring for a total of seven elders. She is a newspaper columnist and the author of Minding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories. Bradley Bursack is also a contributor to several books on caregiving and dementia, and is passionate about preserving the dignity of elders. Her website is www.mindingourelders.com. Follow Carol on Twitter @mindingourelder and on Facebook at Minding Our Elders.