Choosing a nursing home may not be right for every family for a variety of reasons. There could be cultural considerations, family dynamics, or cost concerns. Whatever the reason may be for deciding against nursing care, it’s no secret that the alternative, in-home care, can be an adjustment for everyone. Fortunately, in-home care has been evolving and now, along with the physical needs of elders, more thought is being given to their emotional well-being and independence.
The Granny Pods Have Landed
You’re probably familiar with the idea of in-law suites, but have you ever heard of granny pods? Similar in concept to a modular home, these are independent dwellings (think tiny houses for seniors) that reside on the same property as a main residence. Families can have all the convenience of living close to one another while retaining the level of privacy they’ve become accustomed to as functioning adults.
The space to install one of these pods can be a consideration for families but with companies liked Med Cottage “Granny Pod” offering different units varying from 300 to 500 square feet, families have a choice of backyard granny pods that will work with their unique space. The Granny Pod cost can vary but for about $40 and $61K seniors can enjoy a kitchen, living, bathroom and bedroom spaces at a scale that is small enough to be maintained fairly easily. These tiny houses for elderly adults come with amenities that are important to maintaining their independent lives; for instance, handicap accessibility or safety railings are built into the homes. They’re also fully-equipped with padded floors and built-in webcams for added safety features.
GPS Monitoring for Older Adults
Not everyone may have the space requirements needed for a Granny Pod. And even if your loved one is in close proximity to caregivers, there can still be concerns about providing assistance to seniors should they need help. If a health emergency — such as a serious fall — were to occur, technology has a solution for that, too.
The Bay Alarm Medical company offers a monitoring product that offers medical alerts when a health situation arises. If a caregiver is concerned about the whereabouts of an elder parent, the Bay Alarm company offers GPS monitoring as well to help caregivers retain peace of mind. Both of these technologies allow for independent living with perhaps even more of the watchfulness than more traditional in-home care provides.
Robotic Caregivers: Rise of the Machines
Another evolution in in-home care comes in the form of robots! Believe it or not these technologically advanced computers can be the perfect match for seniors. Some of the problems a care robot can solve are practical, for instance, assisting with moving in and out of a wheelchair.
Even seniors who are able to live at home with family may find it difficult to get the necessary amount of socialization needed for their overall well-being. Robots that play games with their owners can be a solution to this problem while the older children of seniors are away at work or taking kids to sports practices and afterschool activities.
Also, some of the lesser discussed parts of in-home care, such as bathing and toileting,are being approached with care robots – removing the awkwardness that comes from relying on friends/loved ones for such assistance.
In-home care is evolving, and not just to the benefit of the elders being cared for, but for the loved ones that want to help their loved one maintain the quality of life they’ve always had.
What do you think of some of these high-tech developments in the field of home care? Would you ever consider using them? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!