In these times of accelerating advances in technology, the world only becomes gradually more alienating to people as they get on in age. Communicating with your family members requires knowledge of several types of ridiculous phone apps, shopping for gifts can be like navigating a minefield of online scams, and sometimes new technologies you have never even seen before are turned against you. All of this stress just adds to the health problems that already accompany old age. As we see in the Hieronymus Bosch depiction above, elderly people were targets for criminals even in 1502, although over the centuries technology has replaced the magic from that painting. As much as I have now denounced technology as an enemy, let us turn the tables, and investigate how we could instead embrace modern technology to help elderly people. Isn't the easiest way to eleminate an enemy to make it your friend? Here are some spy gadgets that our elderly customers have found useful.
A Miniature Tracking Device
There are various memory issues we may encounter in our lives, at any time, but they become much more common as we age. These memory lapses are usually remedied by a loved one taking over certain tasks, like making sure medication is not forgotten, and such. There is a much more difficult problem when the person with the memory issue is mobile enough to get lost. The solution would either be to limit their mobility to keep them safe, or provide them with a tracking device, in case they do end up lost. Our tracker not only allows you to locate the person when they have wandered away, but it even has a SOS button, so the lost person can notify you when they feel they are in danger, probably before you even realize they have gotten lost.
A Granny Camera
One of the biggest issues for the elderly is that they are targeted constantly for crime. Over the decades, our customers have been buying various types of hidden camera for this exact application. Capturing some kind of video is especially helpful in cases where the elderly person has trouble communicating or remembering. Whether it captured an abusive nursing home worker, or some thieving relative, the video footage allows the victim to put an end to the activity much quicker than would be possible without any hard evidence. You can check out our previous blog about "granny cameras in retirement homes" for more details.
A Telephone Voice Recorder
If modern technology has made communication easier then the awful side effect is that it has made fraud easier as well. Today, con artists can work their magic from a safe distance, contacting more and more potential victims with every new generation of technology. A loved one will usually step in to try and secure the elderly person's communications, report phishing emails, and block some of the shadiest social media contacts. In many cases our customers have purchased a home phone recording device as well, to document any suspicious telephone communication. It can help to have a record of all phone conversations in case there is any kind of claim of a verbal contract. You can simply replay the conversation and check if the details are accurate. Consequently, you may just end up with recorded proof of a telemarketing scam!
Home Security Devices
Humans have known forever that dogs are the greatest security device. However, these dogs require a lot of care, and that isn't good for elderly people who may find it harder to move around freely. Instead of walking a dog every day, and lugging around 20 pound food bags, we like to suggest simply plugging in an electronic dog in a box. While not as effective as the real thing, it is obviously less physically demanding than a live dog, and possibly less messy. Of course, various types of home alarms, and a decent quality door lock, would all add security to any home as well.
If your situation is not addressed by any of these gadgets, or if you need to talk to somebody who specializes in the problems of elderly people, then here are a few suggestions.
Elder abuse resources:
Senior fraud resources:
Suggestions about wandering seniors: