Medical alert system can help long-distance caregivers

Lisa Wurth

January 10, 2011

Some adult children face a daunting commute when visiting an elderly parent. Whether this is an hour-long drive or a half-day flight, the distance can make families nervous for the health of grandparents living alone.

As a result, 83 percent of long-distance caregivers favor the use of technology to help them attend to older parents, according to a study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving.

Multiple devices may be the best way to ensure the safety of a parent. Many families have started using different methods of keeping in touch and one of the most popular methods of keeping in touch with an elderly person appears to be using a computer or phone that is connected with the internet and web cameras.

Medical alert systems were also found to be popular, with 70 percent of those surveyed stating that they would find this device useful. This particular product can be used to electronically monitor and manage medications. It can also sound a medical alarm if pills aren't taken on time.

More than three-quarters of caregivers replied that they would like a way to electronically monitor an older adult's health records, while 70 percent stated that a log for doctor's appointments and other tasks would be useful.