DIY Technology Solutions to Things Bothering My Aging Relatives

Written by: Frank Engelman. Posted: September 17, 2020. 

 

Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash

 

My relatives and their friends are in their 70's and 80's and 90's now, and I am finding they have some recurring "problems" that get in the way of life being as enjoyable as I think it should be.

 

The good news is that I have come up with a variety of DIY "Tech Solutions" to these problems that I have implemented for them. I am collecting and describing them here, and I hope they will be useful for you too.

 

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Problems & DIY Technology Solutions

Dementia Patient Wanders (Living at Home)

Your loved one tends to wander out of the yard when you aren’t looking. She has dementia, and you worry she will get lost. 

Although you could get an elderly GPS tracker, they may refuse to wear it, and cell coverage in your area might not be reliable.

 


 

What Time Is It? Dementia Confusion

My Dad is now in a nursing home, and he can't tell the difference between 4 AM and 4 PM when looking at a clock. When he asks his Voice Assistant, and it says, "It's 4 AM", he thinks it said "4 PM," and he better get dressed for dinner!

 


 

"Senior" Finds TV Hard to Use

As older adults develop physical and mental frailties, they sometimes have difficulty using products they want to be able to continue to use: such as the TV.

For example, physical impairments, like arthritis or tremor, may make it hard to press buttons. And cognitive impairments may make...

 


 

Parent's Computer or Phone "Not Working"

Helping family members who are technology-adverse, with their technical problems, has always been tough, but becomes even harder when they are remotely located or in an isolated facility. Part of the problem of remote support is “seeing” what they are seeing and “controlling” what they are doing...

 


 

Lost the TV Remote?

Who is not familar with this experience?

It's time to watch TV. Where did you put the remote control for the TV?

 


 

Parent Keeps "Losing" Their Phone?

Your loved one is frequently misplacing their smartphone while at home.

Many people misplace their phones, but if your loved one has mobility issues or cognitive decline, it’s even more frequent. Wouldn’t it be nice to offer your loved one a solution?

 


 

Hand Tremor: Obstacle to Charging "Devices"

A family friend is having problems keeping his iPad charged as he has recently developed hand tremors and is unable to plug in the power cable.

 


 

Forgets to Put Toilet Seat Down

My brother-in-law forgets to put the toilet seat down causing my sister to almost fall in once during the night

 


 

Mother's Fire TV Cube "Not Working"

The Amazon Fire TV Cube that you set up for your mother, who lives in another state, is sometimes hard for her to use. You wish that you had a way to give her remote help on its usage, other than trying to explain it over the phone.

 


 

Family Video Call: Too Cramped

When my whole family is here, and we want to have an Alexa call with my Aunt who is now in the nursing home, it's rather cramped sitting around my phone or even my Echo Show

 


 

TV Always On in Background: Mind Numbing

If you have visited residents' rooms in a nursing home, you will notice that the resident's TV is always on, although the resident is not paying attention. It's mind numbing.

 


 

TV Noise Drowns Out Phone Ringing

In my Dad’s nursing home everybody has their TV blasting, including My Dad. Sometimes he can’t even hear me calling on a video chat request on his Alexa Show.

 


 

Aging Parent Answers Doorbell Without Looking

My Mom jumps up to answer the doorbell every time it rings. I worry about two things.

  • I worry she opens the door to strangers without knowing who they are.
  • I worry she does not always hear the doorbell and might miss out on someone she actually wants to talk to.

 


 

TV Too Loud Due To Hearing Loss

My Dad’s hearing is getting bad and it upsets my Mom when he blasts the TV. He has a hearing aid and will NOT wear a headset.

 


 

Vision Problems: TV Action When Not Talking

Since my Mom’s vision is failing, she has a hard time understanding what is happening in a TV show when the actors are not speaking, In some shows there are long dramatic pauses or just action noises.

 


 

Reader Comments: "DIY Technology Solutions to Things Bothering My Aging Relatives"

 

from faengelm (member) at October 06, 2020

Hello John,

Thanks for your kind words.

We`are always looking for new problems to solve. If you think of any problems we could work on, please create a Post (if you are a logged in member) or send us an email (use the contact form in footer).

Frank

 

from John Milford (member) at October 05, 2020

Frank, thank you for this treasure chest of solutions to common problems encountered by many, many older adults. I will be staying tuned for more! Bravo!

 

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Last Updated: September 23, 2020.

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