For many Millennials, elder care is personal: that’s their grandparent you’re talking about. But unlike previous generations, Millennials have a powerful tool to help them do more than just move grandma to assisted living or hire a caregiver and hope for the best: the Internet.
Thanks to Gen Y innovation, the digital landscape is reimagining health, safety, finances, food, transportation — “virtually” every aspect of aging. And this means an expanded definition of “caregiving,” which can now be performed from afar via technology.
Secret Decoder Watch
For instance, seniors can wear an Apple Watch look-alike that contains an alert button to push in the event of a fall or other emergency. A senior who might refuse to wear a medical alert pendant will look stylish and up-to-date wearing a Lively watch, which helps keep them safer than having a smartphone.
The company also sells in-home sensors, which allow family members to track a senior’s actions. If there’s no movement at a time when the elder is expected to be up and about, this can be a signal something is wrong — enabling help to get there much sooner and potentially save a life.
The Right Prescription
One serious issue for seniors living independently is the risk of mixing up medications, mistakenly taking 4 pills at 2 o’clock instead of 2 pills at 4 o’clock, which can lead to disastrous consequences.
For one Millennial entrepreneur, it was an easy fix: presort prescriptions into single-dose packs, clearly labeled with the day and time to tear open and pop the pills. The packs come in one long strip rolled into a dispenser, and arrive by mail every two weeks. A no-brainer, and so simple it’s a wonder nobody thought of it before. The company even created an app that uses customized, geo-tracking sensors to create reminder prompts.
The Buck Stops Here
Seniors who’ve donated to various charities all their lives can be blindsided by fraudsters who see them as an easy mark. Or they might develop a touch of dementia and begin whimsically distributing their savings to anyone who asks.
When the latter happened to 32-year-old Kai Stinchcombe’s grandmother, he founded True Link, which issues senior Visa cards with an online dashboard that family members can access to block merchants or groups engaged in suspicious behavior. Family can also limit transaction amounts and keep a watchful eye on their loved one’s savings and checking accounts. Best of all, instead of taking away a senior’s credit cards and sense of autonomy, True Link allows the older person to maintain their independence.
Where to Live for Tech-Assisted Retirement
Finally, if a senior plans to use technology to help them live better in retirement, these are the 10 best cities for technology-assisted living that will both allow an elder enough disposable income to pay for tech services, and provide the maximum range of senior-related tech services available. The researchers evaluated the availability of transportation (Uber), dog sitting (Rover), house and yard care (Porch), grocery delivery (Instacart), and professional caregiving (CareLinx) to make their assessment.
Anyone planning to relocate with a HECM for Purchase, or who already lives in one of these areas and wants to age in place with a reverse mortgage, may be particularly interested.
For ease of sharing, here’s the list:
- Washington, D.C.
- Philadelphia, PA
- Chicago, IL
- Austin, TX
- Houston, TX
- Boston, MA
- Miami, FL
- Denver, CO
- Atlanta, GA
- Portland, OR
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