For some loved ones, isolation is a significant problem. ElliQ is a desktop robot with an auto-swiveling head that connects seniors to friends for messages and video chats, and makes it a little easier for them to find and use online information and services. It recommends physical activities, such as going out for a walk or taking medicine, and makes personalized suggestions for different types of music, news, or games. ElliQ is in testing trials before being available for sale.
Your phone rings. There is a health emergency. Your loved one is being rushed to the hospital. You drop whatever you are doing and go straight to the Emergency Room. Of course, you are in the ER for hours. And then there is the wait for a room and the long process of being admitted. While you are waiting, exhausted and tense, you wonder if the EMT’s locked the front door when they left. Did they leave the lights on? Is the A/C blasting away with no one home? You can’t leave the hospital and there is no one else you can ask to take care of this – it’s the middle of the night!
Knowing your loved one is safe is a priority. Whether they are at home or out and about, being able to access help immediately when an emergency arises is crucial. These devices can be key in granting you peace of mind while allowing your loved one to stay at home.
Like many caregivers, I work fulltime, have my own home and family to care for and then, when I go to my father's house, I get to do all the household chores there, too. Caregivers sometimes have to keep their own home clean and fresh - and then repeat the same chores when they go to check in on those they are caring for.
On a Friday night, November 3rd, students from various different backgrounds met for the first time at a pool hall. Having Virginia Commonwealth University as the commonality, each one of us was drawn to the 3rd Annual Caring for the Caregiver Hack for various reasons. For some of us, it was from personal experiences with caregiving of loved ones, and for others, out of curiosity.
The 3rd Annual Caring for the Caregiver Hack, which took place November 4 and 5 in Richmond, VA, challenged college students to advance the health and improve the lives of family caregivers by creating technological tools such as apps, devices for the home, wearables, or interactive web experiences through the spirit of friendly competition.
The beauty of technology is that it’s always accessible and constantly adapting to better meet our needs. But that’s also its downfall: the lightning pace of updates and upgrades can be discouraging to less active users—especially when there are so many options. How do you know what app will work best? How do you know what product will be the easiest to use and give you the most value for the time and effort it takes to integrate it?