This is another great article by the Wall Street Journal’s Sue Shellenbarger (see below)!!! The business approach is absolutely a great way to get everyone involved and really make the decisions together! We find that with technologies, this is often a great way to approach the situation as well. When we have a family that is considering installing the GrandCare technology (sometimes, the family members say if a Loved One agrees to adopt some sort of remote wellness technology like GrandCare, they will have the assurance and peace of mind to let them stay at home). If a Loved One is engaged and part of that process, it can be a very connected and family-oriented solution! Of course, as the author mentions – if a Loved One is incapable of making this decision (dementia or other mental troubles) that would change the decision process altogether. Often times, I think there is no ONE correct solution, instead there are many puzzle pieces that fit together to provide the perfect in-home solution. With the new technologies out there, it has added a new “step” into the continuum of care. The new phase can be thought of as enabling technologies. GrandCare, like many others, absolutely requires a human caregiver in order to properly function. Much like a baby monitor, if nobody is on the other end, it really does no good.
GrandCare technology is a tool designed to help caregivers make better informed decisions, connect with their loved ones (by video chatting, sending pictures, videos, music, games, trivia, etc.), and have “peace of mind” that a loved one is safe, happy and healthy at home. I believe that there are many times when an in-home care provider and some type of monitoring technology like GrandCare can be a perfect synergy. GrandCare does not have panning cameras, but instead acts like a customized security system (complete with motion, indoor temperature, lighting, caller-id, door sensors while combining telewellness such as blood pressure, weight, pulseox, glucose, medication dispensers). There is obviously no one size fits all, but that’s where the customization plays such a huge role! It’s exciting that there are so many options out there – and people can choose exactly what fits their needs.
‘The Talk’ With Mom and Dad
When the time came for Kathy Peel’s mother and father to consider moving into an assisted-living facility, Ms. Peel tried reasoning with them, citing examples of friends who were happy they had made the move.
Among the pros the family agreed on were the Weeks’ “positive attitude” and desire to share care for each other. But the cons loomed large, including the fact that no family members lived nearby to provide emergency care in a crisis. Ms. Peel had been forced to make 10 trips to Memphis from her home in Dallas in 2009 to help her parents with health problems, from her mother’s heart ailment to her father’s failure to notice her bout with dehydration. Ms. Peel printed the plan, and after mulling it for a few weeks, the Weeks agreed to move to a senior-living community in Memphis.
It’s an agonizing discussion for adult children: whether elderly parents can no longer live on their own. Some 42% of adults between ages 45 and 65 cite the topic as the most difficult one to discuss with their parents, according to a 2006 survey of 1,000 people by Home Instead Inc., an Omaha, Neb., provider of in-home care. And 31% said their biggest communication obstacle is getting stuck in the parent-child roles of the past.