Communicating with Seniors

Call, Text, or ….WORRY?

Sometimes communicating with your elderly parents is like communicating with your teenager or 20-something kids.  When they don’t text you back, you WORRY!  Sometimes when they do text you back, you WORRY!  “Did I interpret what Mom said correctly?”  “Did she understand me?”  Same with phones.  “Why doesn’t Mom pick up the phone?”.  Which is the best method of communication? 

Have you ever sent a text meaning one thing, only to have it mis-interpreted, causing hurt feelings?  Or maybe you had a phone call where someone’s hearing aid is not functioning properly and messages get lost in translation?”  A recent post to CUREUS, an on-line medical journal, stated that “barriers to effective communication between health personnel and elderly patients may be very similar to communication barriers between two individuals who speak different languages.”  Isn’t that true!?!  Recently, I tried to call my mom and she wouldn’t pick up., but then she texted

Mom:  “Are you Home?”

Me:  “Yes, just left a message”

Mom: “With who?”

Eventually, we get it worked out with some frustration. Using the Remote Monitoring System from Aging in Place, I can log on to the portal and “see” where Mom is in the house without bothering her with a text or phone call. Also, in the portal, there is a rules engine that allows me to set up alerts that come to me via phone call, text or email. These alerts are flexible and help me predict if Mom needs help.

Examples of Rules:

  • “Out of Bed Alert: If Mom gets out of bed between the hours of 10pm and 6am, send me a text”
  • “Door Alert: If the front door opens between 8pm and 8am the next day, call my phone”
  • “Medicine Cabinet: If the cabinet is NOT opened by Noon, send a text”. “If the cabinet is opened more than once in a 24 hour period, send a phone call”.

The Remote Monitoring System by Aging in Place Monitoring is very flexible, very reliable, easy to install, and provides peace of mind knowing that my loved one is safe, living in place in her own home.