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Hi, I am looking for the suggestions from the caregivers regarding the existing electronic devices used by their care recipients (or the opinions from the senior people themselves). The electronics devices can be used for anything, like iPad for entertainment, automatic pill dispenser for pill management, smart speakers for news,etc. Any electronic devices used at home can be counted.


In your own case, do you see any shortcomings of the existing products? And what improvement you want to get to better serve your needs?



Thank you!

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My only suggestion is perhaps a clone that walks, talks and looks like the favorite child or a robot of sorts. That would allow the caregiver some time to get away knowing that the elder was well cared for and at least had some comfort level with the situation as they would think the bot was no different than usual.

Another suggestion. Volunteer some time in a memory care or nursing home to see and learn about the people and what is really needed thAt would be helpful that could be developed to solve the problem of behaviors and loneliness that take our elderly from us all while their bodies remain.
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I am from the "if it's not broken, why fix it" group. My parents had a tube TV long after people started buying flat screen TV's. They refused to buy cable because they always had free TV, and since Dad had mastered the DVR, my parents had a lot of old movies they could watch. And my parents could always find something of interest to watch on their TV which had about 10 channels, lot of good shows on PBS.

My Dad was self-taught to write code, back in the DOS world, using floppy disks [to someone young, what is a floppy disk?]. When his old computer started to fail, he hated the idea of purchasing a new one. It was like learning everything all over again. I was finally able to get Dad interested in the Internet, and I remember hearing the strange dial-up sound any time I visited. Dad didn't mind the small monthly fee for Internet. But he missed doing coding.

I am only in my 70's, and I refuse to purchase a newer vehicle because of all the computer stuff, none of which I would ever use. I am happy as a clam with my 25 year old car where I know what every button is for :) I have been able to back up without using back-up cameras for 55 years. Yep, can still turn my neck to see out the back window.

When it came to non-corded landline telephone, I let my Dad try out the phone that I wasn't using. That way he had the telephone on the sofa while watching TV. But Dad wasn't use to charging up a telephone. Never had to charge the wall telephone !!

Now, my Mom did like using a microwave. But how I missed those oven cooked bake potatoes, it just wasn't the same using the radar-range [as my mother-in-law use to call it].

Technology keeps changing at a faster clip then many people can keep up with it. Another reason I won't give up my old flip phone, it does what I want. Another reason why I won't give up my landlines, which are in almost every room in my house, no searching for the cellphone :P

Remember when there wasn't any telemarketing?

Oh, my boss was the only person I knew who would have an argument with Siri.
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I got my mom to learn how to play games on a really cheap tablet, aged 85, but she had no cognitive issues at all. For a while I was her on-call tech person, so every time she touched the edge of the screen and got lost, she called me. Eventually she figured it out, including charging it, etc. But I won't say she has a "command" of it. The issue with aging is you just keep forgetting stuff, no matter how simple it may be. My MIL forgot how to turn on her oven, stove and microwave...things she literally used her whole life. My son got us an Alexa. As simple as it is, my mom forgets to start commands with its name, and doesn't realize that she has to make a clear, single request. Then there's me, calling it Siri. Sigh. I had to put a post-it with it's name on it! One of the takeaways is that we ourselves need to embrace new technologies today because 1) it helps exercise our brains, and 2) it may be helpful to us and our LOs later in our lives.
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I'm in agreement with IsThisReallyReal. My first thought was that this is another student post, for an assignment or term paper, or alternatively, someone who wants to develop devices targeted toward the elderly.

Yhuangece, if you are serious, use the search function to find other posts quite similar to yours. This isn't the first time this kind of question has been asked.

One thing I would add that I think escapes those who ask questions of this nature is that older folk (including people in my younger age bracket) are often focused on the more practical aspects of life, more like getting around w/or without assistance and avoiding falling, than devices like Alexa or an iPad for entertainment or smart speakers for news. Do you have any idea how news can disrupt the equilibrium many older folks seem to achieve?
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yhuangece Jun 4, 2020
Hi GardenArtist, thank you for your advice. I am not fully understand the statement of your last paragraph, and would you give me more insight?
1. you mentioned several elderly focus on the practical side than the mental side. It sounds like you are trying to say mental side is also important, and either Alexa or the iPad can bring positive effect to elderly's life. Is this your point?
2. I do not follow your statement "how news can disrupt the equilibrium many older folks seem to achieve". It sounds like you are against the senior people to listen to news. If this is correct, would you provide more details why news is a bad thing for senior people?
Thank you!
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This is what I found when it came to my Mom who suffered from Dementia and passed at 89.

In the early stages she forgot how to use a TV remote and her cordless phone. She had never understood even the simplest cell phone. But, she seemed to understand how to use her old rotary phone that she still had on the kitchen wall. You cannot teach a person that has Dementia or Alzheimers something new. Their short term memory lose will not allow it. They only retain what they learned before, longterm memory, and maybe able to play a game, do a puzzle. Actually music seems to be what they retain the best. My Aunt was pretty much into her ALZ and they found her in the common area playing the piano.

There are all types of Dementia each with their own problems. Alzheimers, even though classified as a Dementia effects the brain totally different. Like Grandma said, if you were in to technology way before a Dementia set in, then it will be easier to grasp. But those in their 80s and 90s technology will not help them. My DH is in his 70s and has never been into computers and because of his deafness, has never used a cell phone.
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In my experience with both my mother and MIL, there isn't anything slightly 'techie' that they can handle. MIL has a computer, which routinely gets bugged up and she calls my poor beleaguered DH to fix it. All she does on it is FaceBook and maybe one Scrabble game--not sure. But her cell phone is a bust.

Same with my mother. She has her Ipad sitting out where all can see but she has never successfully logged in to it, nor written an email, nor received one she could retrieve. She also has only a cell phone which has been a total loss. She can't dial it, she can't answer it and so she is lost unless somebody happens to wander through her place and she gets them to dial for her.

I don't condemn them at all for not having the skillset to use 'swipe' technology nor to even begin to understand the vastness of the internet.

And, at some point, really? They just don't care. I know how my kids make ME feel when I go to their homes and they hand me 6 remotes to the TV and think I'm actually going to be able to navigate my way to find a movie.

Pretty soon this will be ME my kids are writing about "oh, gosh, my mom can't use the 'fill in the blank'.

Having said that--my DH will work in computers for the rest of his life and stay on top of things, as it is in his DNA, I swear to understand all things technological.

But he cannot cook, or clean, or do laundry, pay bills on time and doesn't remember anyone's birthday, ever. We all have our skills and our 'shortcomings'.
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TNtechie Jun 3, 2020
The problem with seniors and tech is it never really got into their wheelhouse. Whether young or old, when we learn a new skill, it's use it or loose it. As a technical trainer, I learned it doesn't do much good to attend a training seminar if the attendees do not immediately begin using at least some of the content within days.

My mother learned how to program a VCR and play programs back because she had a busy life and wanted to enjoy her TV programs when she rested, not necessarily when they were broadcast. So she used the VCR nearly everyday and retained those skills. The same for the microwave, even when new microwaves had more features. Getting her to learn to use a cell phone was much more difficult. She had a perfectly working land line and did not have any desire/need to use the cell phone except to call a couple of friends on the cell to avoid long distance charges. To get my mother to finally learn how to use the cell phone, I stopped talking to her over the land line. She had to call me using the flip phone, so she used it everyday and it wasn't long until she had it down pat. Even after her MCI diagnosis, Mom learned how to use an Amazon fire stick and she can use the remote to _her_ TV but she's loss with the controller for the living room TV.

If you want to use some new tech, then use the program/app or device everyday.
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This sounds like a sales pitch post.
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@yhuangece...that ship sailed about 3 years ago when he died. He never liked "technology"
This will change however with the generations that have grown up with a phone in their hand instead of a pacifier or rattle. The ones that do everything on the phone, or talking to a box to turn on a light. They will be the ones that will be more apt to adjust to technology.
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Biggest problem I see and had to deal with ..
As dementia progresses one looses the ability to use devices. It was very early in the diagnosis that my Husband would no longer use the phone.
He would not have understood how an "Alert device" would work.
When I had to replace his recliner the "old style" with the handle to lift leg rest was not available, they were all power...he could not operate the recliner.
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yhuangece Jun 3, 2020
Hi Grandma1954, I am very sorry to hear your story. There is some early research showing virtual reality technology may help dementia. You may want to take a look.
If the technology cannot help your husband, do you think something else can be done to help yourself to relieve your cognitive load as a caregiver?
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