Story Collection

Getting Older - For Families

Getting Older  

Stay home longer, make life easier, and be closer to those you love. 

Lately, we notice Mum's slowing down.  My brother and sister and I, worry. It doesn't matter how much time we spend together, every time I drive away she's still on my mind. 
We talked with her, and started thinking, 'what exactly, are we worried about?' Once we identified, ok, it's a health condition that might get worse, or what if she falls, or how many times do we drive over to check she's ok because she didn't answer.. Then we just started to find choices to specifically address that.

We want to spend as much time together as we can, but some things are even better this way, like measuring her health. 
 
Phones  

Make it easier to hear, talk and call.

Mum couldn't hear the phone ring or hear us properly. She stopped answering.  We'd call around the family.. 'have you spoken to mum today?' 

To be honest, we're the ones who miss talking with her. This is for both of us.
Though it's common to experience hearing loss as we age, it can have a bigger impact than we think.  Not hearing the phone ring, not understanding what's being said, not knowing how she is? It leads to withdrawal and isolation.
"I love the phone. I can hear, see and dial. There's an emergency button. They used to drive over to check on me, just because I didn't answer." 
Getting Reminders  

Remember do what keeps you well.

Mum doesn't remember everything she needs to these days...  like medication and appointments.  Sometimes she simply forgets, other times she just "didn't think what day it was. Tuesday already?".
On average, 65% of us don't take medication as prescribed, which can cause symptoms to worsen, falls, or health conditions to decline.  
"I'm pretty good with my memory, but there's a lot to remember and sometimes I just don't think what day it is.  These reminders are a good backup. I like that they don't worry, and I can tell the doctor, "yes, I sure did".
Health Tracking

To see what's happening with your body, detect trends and share it.

Dad has a heart condition, but it's more than that.  Some days he's really tired or feels out of breath. 

It's helpful when we go to the doctor to show what's happening. "Dad seems a bit tired" - was pretty unhelpful.
92% of us over 65 have a health condition. 77% of those have at least two conditions.  Monitoring helps with trends, data for better diagnosis and medication, and sending alerts we may need help. Up to 70% of chronic disease, is preventable.
"Monitoring health allows me to see what's happening, share it with my doctor, and have an informed chat with my family to make decisions on what I need.  If they're worried, we switch on remote monitoring and alerts. Ah, peace of mind."
Getting Help & Being Found

To get help or be found.

Here's what we worry most about with Dad..

First, if he falls.  Second, he's in the early stage of dementia. The people at the local shops have found him wandering and confused. What if he needs help and we can't find him?
6 in 10 people with dementia will wander. Most more than once. 30% of people over 65 will experience a fall at home. 
"My wife doesn't want to go out because she's worried I'll fall, or leave home and forget where I am. Yes, most days, I do remember I'm in the early stages of dementia."
Safer at home

To stay home longer, be safe and closer to others.

My parents were adamant they weren't leaving their home. 

For a long time I was trying to get them to agree to go somewhere with more care. Now, I'm actually an advocate for them staying at home.

 
Checking there's been movement, seeing who's at the door, remotely helping with lost keys, letting in a carer or checking all is good with lights, smoke, air quality and leaks.
"I don't mind at all. We just want to stay in our home. I like the lights coming on in the night. We have people from the council come in to help and it feels safe my daughter knows who's coming and going.  She's even helped let me in a few times! "
Video drop-in and photos

To see those you love, across the miles and generations, for all your sakes.

" I can't believe how good this is for mum and dad.  Since they retired they have more time, but we don't live close.

I call most nights while I'm making dinner.  My kids video call and send photos when anything happens at sport or school. We love it. There's a deeper connection between them and the kids.
Beautifully designed devices in the kitchen or living room with voice-activated video call via Whatsapp, google, Facetime, or Zoom and photo sharing. 
" I didn't really get all this video technology, but I'll never give it up now.  The kids set it up with all the contact details. We help with homework, get to know what's going on with the kids, and meet them on their turf, you know? If we don't answer and my daughters are worried, they just drop into the room."
Engaged & Growing

To help you laugh, explore interests and go out.

"My Mum is totally awesome. But her friends have moved away and she doesn't drive. I start thinking... there must be new things she'd love doing." 
 
Depending on what suits your ability, products like trikes and scooters, voice assistants for news, information, music, books, or brain games. Tablets to connect with friends and the neighborhood,  learn a language or do a class.
"I like that I'm learning again,  I found a local group of ladies my age, and I ride my trike to the library. I'm doing our family history, and I joined a volunteer group. It's not people helping me that I miss - it's helping other people; being part of something bigger.

Getting help

What can I do now?