Technology for Seniors Who Won’t Give Up Their Flip-Phones
It’s true. Many seniors hate technology. Yet, technology for seniors that’s useful, fun, pre-programmed, convenient and simple-to-install exists. Our VetAssist Companion is the latest technology for seniors that allows them to make voice-activated calls and video chat with friends and family. Here’s why Erika Hilliard decided to give it a try.
About five years ago Erika got a life-changing phone call. It was dreaded news that no one wants to hear. “Something is wrong with your mother. You better come check on her.”
Erika was her mother’s only child. Erika was living in Texas while her mother, Margaret Turner, was a widow in her 70s living in Louisiana. The call came when Erika’s husband had just retired after 26 years in the military and two of their three children were grown up and independent. She and her husband were planning for their next stage of life as empty nesters.
A Desperate Situation
Luckily, Erika got to her mother to the emergency room in time. Soon Margaret was medically stable and discharged from the hospital, yet she was still recuperating and fragile. Erika was concerned about her mother’s safety living on her own. Erika knew this was a turning point.
Taking in Mom Didn’t Work Out
“We decided to take in my mother. It was a lot to deal with. I had to sell her house and consolidate her things. We had to move,” said Erika.
Sadly, the new living situation with three generations under one roof put stress on everyone in the family. Then luckily, Margaret’s health and situation began improving.
VA Benefits and A New Home
Erika found a 55-and-over community for her mother. She learned about Veterans Home Care’s VetAssist Program. Margaret was married to an Air Force veteran who served during Vietnam. Although he passed away, this qualified her for both the VetAssist Program and a little-known VA benefit. The VA benefit, known as “Aid and Attendance” covers an in-home caregiver for meal preparation, shopping, light housekeeping, medication reminders and help with personal care such as bathing and dressing. VetAssist arranged for a personal care assistant with Visiting Angels. Her personal care assistant also took her to the store and doctor’s appointments. The new arrangement was a safe place for Margaret and better for the entire family.
Caring for Mom Remotely
Still another hurdle emerged. Margaret wanted more of Erika’s time than Erika could give. While living apart had its advantages for both mother and daughter, there were disadvantages. Staying in touch was difficult.
“My Mom has a phrase, ‘I just want to put my eyes on you.’ She wants to see her grandkids and me but she doesn’t drive. Mom is not a tech person. I can’t even get her to give up her flip phone for a more advanced smart phone,” said Erika.
Then an email arrived from Veterans Home Care about a new service called VetAssist Companion.
VetAssist’s Unique Alexa Technology for Seniors Keeps Mom Connected
The VetAssist Companion is Alexa-driven technology to enhance the hands-on care her mother was already receiving. It is a breakthrough hands-free phone and video calling system and a medical alert system combined into one. “I knew it was worth a try for Mom because we have an Alexa in our house and I knew how useful it was.”
Now with the pre-programmed VetAssist Companion, Margaret is making video calls and seeing her family. The system was customized for her and ready to go.
“I thank God for the VetAssist Program and the VetAssist Companion. My Mom can play her Gospel songs. It brings her joy and peace. I have videos of her dancing and singing using her VetAssist Companion.”
“I’m so thankful. It’s helped me keep my sanity. I know she has 24/7 protection in case of another emergency,” said Erika. “My husband says it became a gamechanger. A video chat is all she needs. It helps her but it also helps the family.”
Technology to Keep Seniors Safe
“The VetAsisst Companion is just a start,” says David Laiderman Veterans Home Care CEO. “It can extend care when caregivers and family can’t be there.”
Initially it’s replacing traditional medical alert devices. Other additional services can be layered onto the system. Because the Companion system is HIPAA compliant and secure, other apps and assistive software can be added. For example, our new VoiceHealth app helps seniors and their families monitor health conditions. Nurses can remote into a home for wellness checks.
To learn more about this new technology for seniors contact Veterans Home Care 888-314-6075 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Certain wartime veterans or the surviving spouses of wartime veterans may qualify for VA benefits to cover the cost. The system is called SmartCompanion for those who don’t qualify for VA benefits.