It’s tough to stay connected with aging parents who live out of the area. Whether that’s across town or across the country, finding time to have a meaningful exchange with a family member can be a challenge. If you find yourself talking about the weather and the price of gas every time you call, it’s time to up your connection.

Being connected means more than an exchange of readily accessible data. (“It’s been cold here for a week.” “Gas prices went up again!”) The best connection comes when you can look the other person in the eye and feel present. Gone are the days of relying on the words “I’m fine” – now we can see our family members in real-time and connect in a more informed way. Welcome technology to the family; it’s about time these gadgets got a seat at the table.

aging parents connecting

3 Gadgets to Bring You Closer



Ring cameras

1. Add video to your regular chats with aging parents.

Whether you use an iPhone or an Android, Facetime is a wonderful option for putting your eyes on an aging parent. It’s hard to hide the black eye that surfaces after a late-night fall when you are front and center in a video. Phone calls can conceal a host of issues – video reveals the challenges and allows good communication to take place.

What Can Be Seen in Video

Cleanliness of person and environment

Struggle with following the conversation

Injury from a fall

While you are on Facetime, ask your parent(s) for a tour of the house. If you see dishes, food, and unopened mail covering the surface of kitchen countertops that have always been uncluttered, that could be a sign of a problem. When laundry is piled up and household tasks appear to be a struggle, it’s time to talk about the challenges and put a plan in place.

Also note: how is their gait? Are they walking steadily as they move about?

If you don’t know about it, how can you fix it? With a video, you can see if your mother is looking unkempt when she is usually very pulled together. Or if your father’s face is gaunt from weight loss. Don’t wait until the annual trip to visit over the holidays reveals shocking changes in a loved one’s condition.

2. Keep the family updated on aging parents with regular Zoom chats.

Sometimes it is hard to get other members of the family on the same page. Perhaps when you describe the changes you are seeing in your parents, your siblings respond with “It’s not that bad” or “No way, I just saw them.” Regular Zoom chats ensure that everyone sees and hears the same thing, so no one is caught off-guard.

In a family with multiple siblings, each adult child may perceive their parents’ situation differently. One calls in the morning and says mom sounded pretty good, while another calls in the evening and says mom is extremely confused. And yet a third may call once a month and say they just talked to mom for an hour about the weather and gas prices and she’s doing great! Everyone must get on the same page to move forward.

connecting with aging parents

Chat with the Medical Provider Over Zoom                                                               

Mobile medical providers are an invaluable resource for families living far away from their loved ones. Instead of the hustle and bustle of office visits that run late and are over much too fast, enroll with a mobile provider who can focus on you rather than hurrying on to the next patient. Schedule a Zoom call during the home visit and loop the whole family into the in-person observations of the medical professional.

A Zoom call with the mobile practitioner provides everyone with the opportunity to hear an in-person perspective and discuss suggestions based on those observations. Whether the concern is frequent falls, cognition, or medication management, everyone is aware of the observations and can participate in a solution-oriented plan of care. Even if you live close to your parents and can participate in these in-home visits, the ability to create a Zoom chat with other family members is a great way to keep communication flowing.

3. You can two-way chat on indoor security cameras.

Indoor cameras may feel like an invasion of privacy to some, but what a versatile problem solver! Beyond monitoring who comes in and out of the home, you can have a spontaneous chat with your parents at the touch of a button. It’s six o’clock and you want to remind your dad to take his pills? Do. It. And you can chat him up about the day’s events while he gets it done.

Indoor cameras are inexpensive and can be placed in inconspicuous locations. The newest models are sensitive to sound, catching conversation even as far away as 18 feet. Are they worried you will listen to their private conversations? Not possible with the television turned up during those rousing episodes of Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune! Schedule a time to chat, turn down the television, and connect as if you are all sitting in the same room.

When Your Aging Parents Prefer a Personal Touch

If you are concerned technology may be a little out of reach for your aging parents, add the personal touch of a private duty caregiver. The addition of a private caregiver offers peace of mind with eyes on a parent you believe is struggling. Also, they can help with the technology that connects you with your parents, creating a win-win scenario.

private duty caregiver is an excellent conduit between an adult child living in another state and their parents. They can help schedule the times the family will connect and have the technology in place. This relieves an older person of the burden of figuring out how to take Zoom off mute. (We’ve all been there.) A private duty caregiver is an extra pair of eyes – and hands – when you need them most.

aging parents

Every journey is unique. With a little creative thinking, you will find there is a solution for every situation. If you think your aging parents won’t like the idea of new technology, tell them it is really for you. Most parents will bend over backward to make their children’s lives easier – tell them how much easier it will be for you to see them more often.

Private Duty Home Care is a dynamic resource that helps families fill the gaps in care that aging loved ones need. Their flexibility and connectivity are two of the reasons Private Duty Home Care is a Resource We Love. For seamless connection with your aging parents, consider integrating technology like Facetime, Zoom, and indoor security cameras. Champion Home Health Care in Brevard County, Florida, offers private duty caregivers who can assist with technology setup and provide personalized care, ensuring your loved ones stay connected and supported.

(321) 608 – 3838