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3 New Technologies To Care For An Aging Parent

3 New Technologies To Care For An Aging Parent

Caring for aging parents is one of those things in life that we all know is coming, but we dread it all the same. After all, it can be stressful to watch your parents lose abilities that once came so naturally to them. As frustrating as it is for you, the caretaker, it can also become frustrating for parents. They may feel that they are losing freedom that they once had. They may also feel like a burden to their children who are now grown with families of their own. The good thing is that we live in an extremely tech savvy world now. Even better is that your parents don’t have to be tech savvy as you to take full advantage of the technologies that are out there to help care for them. Here are three new types of technology that can help you know your parents are fine while giving them the freedom that they have always had.

Technology For Keeping An Eye On Them

Lively is an activity tracking system, but it’s fairly is non-invasive. You attach Lively ports to things that your parents use every day, such as a closet door, keys, a medicine cabinet, and other items around the house. Then you sync the ports to your computer, tablet or smartphone. If something seems out of the ordinary, Lively will send you notifications so you can check in to make certain everything is as it should be. Lively uses a cellular network, so no WiFi is required.

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Dropcam and Piper offer a fairly similar system in that you can keep an eye on your parents when you are away. The difference is that these companies don’t just use ports. Instead, they utilize cameras through the home. You can use them to check in as well as to communicate. Fortunately, the feature a fairly elegant design to help blend in with the home as a whole.

Smartsoles are GPS insoles that slide into any pair of shoes. It can then be accessed by a Web app from the computer or a smartphone. Smartsoles will then track your parents wherever they go. These are especially useful if you have parents who tend to get lost easily, are becoming more forgetful, or have Alzheimer’s. If your parent gets lost or frightened, you will be able to easily figure out where they are, go pick them up and take them back home where they will feel safe again.

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Technology For Communicating With Them

One way to keep in touch on a regular basis is a smartphone. Smartphones allow you to call your parents and even to talk with them face to face using a number of different apps like Facetime and Skype if you live a great distance away.

For some aging parents, though, the smartphone might be a little intimidating. For these parents who are resistant to smartphones, there is the Jitterbug Plus from Samsung. This phone has simple, user friendly buttons and very basic commands. Plus, if they forget to charge the Jitterbug Plus it will last for 25 days on standby. This phone will place you, healthcare professionals and emergency personnel at the touch of your aging parents’ fingers.

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Technology For Keeping the House Clean

As your parents age, they will being to find it harder to do physical things that once seemed so easy. Vacuuming is one of these physical activities that often gets overlooked. Vacuuming is one important thing that needs to be done, but they might feel it is too invasive to have someone come into their home to clean. The Moneual Rydis H68 Hybrid Robotic Vacuum is the perfect answer. This vacuum cleans both carpets and hard floors by itself. It self-programs the best path for each room, thus coming up with a cleaning pattern. Then, when the battery is running low it will dock itself to recharge.

With the use of these technologies a burden is lifted off of you as your parents’ caretaker. At the same time, a burden is lifted off of them. You can make sure that your parents are doing fine without being overbearing, and your parents can live their lives without losing so many freedoms or feeling like they have to burden you all the time with you checking in.

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Rob Boirun

CEO The Reviewster Network

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Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

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    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

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          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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