How can I use technology to support an elderly person from afar?

Woman in mask showing an elderly woman something on a smartphone, smilingJuggling the demands of daily life can often leave us with limited time to connect with loved ones who live far away, or some disabled people who might have additional support needs.

Fortunately, smart technology offers innovative solutions to bridge the distance, offer hands-free support and stay connected with vulnerable friends or relatives, such as elderly parents or partners who you care for, without being overbearing.

Download our factsheet about offering support from afar

Our new factsheet Using technology to help elderly relatives from afar offers a glimpse into how smart gadgets can help us maintain meaningful and vital connections with those we care about, even when miles apart.

Topics covered in the factsheet are:

  1. What is "Smart" technology?
  2. Smart Technology using Alexa and Google
  3. Interior cameras
  4. Exterior cameras and doorbells
  5. Movement technology
  6. Smoke and safety detectors
  7. Non-smart technology

Download the factsheet

Woman ringing outside doorbellExamples of tech that can help from afar

Devices such as video doorbells or external security cameras can help provide peace of mind to assess who may be visiting the person you care for.

Several affordable video doorbell options are available, including Amazon's "Ring" and "Blink" brands and Google's "Nest" devices.

These options offer robust security features and can be linked to a screen within your relative's home, allowing them to see and communicate with visitors without opening the door, providing an additional layer of protection and convenience.

What if we aren't technically-minded?

Perhaps the idea of setting up smart technologies in your relative's home, or your own home, is overwhelming.

There are other low-tech solutions available.

If your relative prefers not to have smart technology installed in their home, charities like Age Concern offer medical alarm systems that connect directly to a 24/7 call centre. With a simple press of a button, a trained operator can assess the situation and dispatch emergency personnel if necessary.

These alarms also provide reassurance for family members, who can be confident that their loved one has immediate assistance at hand in case of a medical emergency.

You might also be interested in our factsheet: Technology for seniors

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Free webinar recording: How to avoid the 12 Scams of Christmas

Experts from Greater Manchester Police and AbilityNet advisers Alex Barker and Lucy Walsh shared information about 12 common scams to be aware of, and lots of practical tips to help avoid becoming a victim of digital scams.

If you work in an organisation with clients who could benefit from learning about online scams, please do share this session and encourage them to access the recording. It's also a great session for organisations who provide digital inclusion support to service users. 

Access the webinar recording

This webinar is part of AbilityNet's Digital Skills project with BT Group to support people 65+ with getting online and using technology - sign up for Free BT Digital Skills sessions for people over 65 in your area.

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