SHANA MARIA VERGHIS replied to the topic Is anyone of you a caregiver? Or do you know someone who is?Has technology been of any use in this regard?.
February 13 at 11:54 am
SHANA MARIA VERGHIS wrote:
A care Giver could be a family member or an unskilled person who has basic training in caring for the elderly. A care Giver assists an elderly person in their daily activities like bathing, going to the Toilet, feeding and dressing. Care givers may also assist the aged to drive away loneliness, depression, low self esteem and create a sense of Security in the remaining part of their lives.
I'm not a Care Giver. But visited a few Old Age Homes run by Voluntary Organisations.
I don't think Technology can match with Personal care.
Shana sez: Actually there are a lot of homes where old people are living by themselves, because their kids don't wish to care for them, its out of their own choice, or because the kids are working very far away. Or overseas. So what happens, and I know this because its happened with some of my elderly relations in their late eighties or late seventies, is that they hire a nurse or something. But in some cases those people are not professionally qualified. And are more like domestic workers. Or they might be temparamentally unsuited for the job. Normally, because its a paid job, one cannot expect them to feel extra attached to the client, unless its in their nature to be unconditionally affectionate. Others might exploit or cheat or mistreat their clients, who are dependent on them. In the cases where children are attentive, but owing to their own lifestyles and jobs, cannot be there fulltime, things like Skype have been useful to monitor their condition. But they have to be told to use it, because anyway its user friendly, so if one is not a technophobe it can be done. Moreover, in towns like the ones I am in now, they are developing apps and other mobiles with special single digit numbers that can connect you to a helpline for emergency assistance. If you are alone and having a stroke or something.
In my personal opinion, older people have to be monitored constantly like babies, especially if they are frailer. Because anything can happen. And if you can do this from afar, by getting the person online and seeing their health status etc, or even connecting them to a doctor, who can monitor them from far. It will be for everyone's convenience. The personalised health model is also to make things convenient so that you don't have to queue for a doctor-older people find this particularly strainful. Instead you can get assistance and also reminders about when to take your medicine etc. Ideally, there is nothing like personal assistance, but when its not humanly possible, there are going to be good substitutes.
But you need to know they exist, how and when to use them. And the interfaces will be very user-friendly, so even someone who is not tech-savvy can apply them.
I'm doubtful if a sick and old person can handle the apps. Old age is a stage, where more external assistance is required. This can be achieved only through a dedicated family member or another person who is well versed with the Patient's needs and necessities.
If a patient is in a position to handle Apps on his own, I don't think there is a necessity of any Care Giver.
Shana sez: That's what I'm trying to say. It depends on how adaptable and flexible towards new technologies. I feel its usually designed to make human lives more comfortable and convenient. And each time its being simplified for better use. But if you are 'used to things a certain way', then you might fail to take advantage of the help that is offered right in front of you. Of course in this case it also depends on the person's will. Some very sick, elderly people are still stubborn enough to do things on their own and use help when needed. Others might be just too sick to move without help every minute. Or there might be those who would have used the help but didn't know it existed because they didn't have the info, or access to internet, for instance. And the Internet of Things has a healthcare segment that is being developed for this purpose. You can do further reading if you are interested.