Tag Archive for: Jim Miller

Another Great Piece from Savvy Seniors’ Jim Miller

What types of new home technologies can you recommend to help me keep tabs on my elderly mother? She lives alone, about an hour’s drive from me, and I worry about her safety.

— Concerned Daughter

BRADENTON HERALD – Helping an aging parent remain independent and living in their own home has become a little easier in recent years, thanks to a host of new and improved assistive technology products. Here are some top rated options you should know about.


Monitoring systems

System Comp TRANS HR03-13

GrandCare offers a wide variety of sensors and devices for customers to choose from.

Another more sophisticated technology for keeping tabs on your mom is with a home monitoring system. These systems will let you know whether she is waking up and going to bed on time, eating properly, showering and taking her medicine.

They work through small wireless sensors (not cameras) placed in key locations throughout the home. The sensors will track her movements, learning her daily activity patterns and routines, and will notify you or other family members via text message, email or phone if something out of the ordinary is happening. For instance, if she went to the bathroom and didn’t leave it could indicate a fall or other emergency.

You can also check up on her patterns anytime you want through the system’s password-protected website. And for additional protection, most services offer SOS call buttons as well that can be placed around the house, or worn.

Some good companies that offer these services are BeClose (beclose.com, 866-574-1784), which runs $399 or $499 for the sensors, plus a $69 monthly service fee if paid a year in advance. And GrandCare Systems (grandcare.com, 262-338-6147), which adds a fantastic social component – through a senior-friendly computer – to go along with the activity monitoring. GrandCare leases for $150 to $300 per month.

Medication management

Med Minder

MedMinder provides the only pill dispensers with their own, built-in Cellular connection.

If you want to make sure your mom is keeping up with her medications, there are medication management devices you can now rent, that will dispense her medicine on schedule, provide constant reminders, and even notify you if her medicine is not taken. Two products that offer this are MedMinder (medminder.com, 888-633-6463), which rents for $40 per month, and the Philips Medication Dispensing Service (managemypills.com, 888-632-3261) that costs $75/month.

Jim Miller, a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book, can be reached at Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070.
Or visit www.savvysenior.org.

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/2013/05/07/4514595/assistive-technologies-that-help.html#storylink=cpy

TOMORROW! GrandCare featured on The TODAY Show!!

Wednesday, February 6th on NBC. Tune in from 7-9am CT

Jim MillerSavvy Senior’s Jim Miller Showcasing GrandCare

Jim Miller, creator of the syndicated column Savvy Senior will feature GrandCare’s touch-based system on The TODAY Show!

Since 2005, GrandCare Systems® has provided the most comprehensive caregiving technology on the market today, enabling individuals to remain safe, healthy and happy at home.

Savvy Senior logoSavvy Senior is a national information service devoted to older Americans and the families who support them. Through a variety of media, Savvy Senior provides information and resources through its nationally syndicated newspaper column, senior newswire service, resource books, weekly radio program and television.

Remember to watch or set your DVR’s!

The Savvy Senior: How to keep tabs on an elderly parent

Source: www.baxterbulletin.com/article/20100719/NEWS01/7190320/The-Savvy-Senior-How-to-keep-tabs-on-an-elderly-parent

My 80-year-old mother lives alone about an hour from me and I worry about her health and safety. Outside of the telephone, what types of caregiving devices can you recommend that can help me keep tabs on her?

Concerned Son

Dear Concerned,

There are many different tools and technologies available today that can help adult children keep tabs on their aging parents when they can’t be there. Here are some popular options and new products to check into.

Senior Help Line
One of the biggest concerns among families that have an elderly parent or relative living alone is them falling and needing help. For this, a “personal emergency response system” or PERS is the most affordable solution. For about $1 a day (available through companies like lifelinesys.com, lifealert.com and lifefone.com) you can rent the equipment which includes a small transmitter (SOS button) that your mom would wear, giving her the ability to call for help any time she needs to. The drawbacks, however, are that many seniors forget to wear their SOS button regularly, and if they do have it on and fall, they still have to be alert enough to actually push the button.

Upgraded PERSs
If you’re willing to spend a little more (around $50 a month), there are several more sophisticated PERS on the market. One of them is Wellcore (wellcore.com), a new device that has fall-detection sensors in the SOS button that can automatically summon help without the user having to press a button. Plus, it will beep to remind your mom to put it on, and if she doesn’t, it will notify you. And, when paired with a compatible cell phone, it can even be used outside the home. Halo Monitoring (halomonitoring.com) also offers fall-detection products, as does Philips (lifelinesys.com), maker of the popular Lifeline Medical Alert Service who just introduced an AutoAlert option.

Home Monitoring
Another more expensive option for keeping tabs on your mom is with a “home monitoring system.” These systems come with sensors, placed in key areas of your mom’s home that learn her daily patterns and notify you if something out of the ordinary is happening. For example, if your mom doesn’t get out of bed at her usual time, or if she went to the bathroom and didn’t leave it could indicate a fall or other emergency. The great thing about this type of system is it requires no input from your mom, and you can check in on her anytime through a password-protected website. You can find these systems at companies like GrandCare (grandcare.com), Healthsense (healthsense.com), and CloseBy (closebynetwork.com), with prices ranging from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the options you choose.

Medication Management
If you’re worried your mom not keeping up with her medications, there are a wide variety of pill organizers, medication dispensing and alarm systems (see epill.com) that can help.

One of the best new systems on the market is TabSafe (tabsafe.com). A home-based device that dispenses medicine on schedule, providing reminders to ensure she takes it on time, and will notify you or other caregivers if her pills aren’t taken.

Medication reminding services like OnTimeRx (ontimerx.com) or Check-in Friends (checkinfriends.com) can also be helpful. For a small fee, these services will call your mom to remind her to take her medication. Pillphone.com offers a similar service for wireless phones only.

Videophones have become an increasingly popular tool for keeping in touch with older loved ones from afar. If you’re not familiar with them, videophones are like a telephone with a built-in camera and video screen that gives you the ability to see the person you’re talking to in real time. Two of the best on the market today are the “ASUS Videophone Touch” that works with Skype (skype.com), and the “ACN IRIS 3000” (myacn.com). Both require a high-speed Internet connection and are simple to use. Or, if your mom, and you, both have a home computer and a webcam you can video-chat online.

Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit SavvySenior.org. Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC Today show and author of “The Savvy Senior” book.