MARQUETTE - As parents and other family members age, it is natural to worry about them being home alone and in need to assistance. There are, however, services available that can monitor an elderly family member's home and health and sound an alert when something is wrong.
GrandCare systems can monitor an entire home as well as the biometrics of the person living in the home. GrandCare is an all encompassing system that allows the patient to remain independent in his or her home all the while keeping a watchful eye for any problems that should arise.
"GrandCare is the most trusted, comprehensive, and flexible caregiving technology in the digital health market," vice president of business development Laura Mitchell said. "GrandCare extends throughout the entire continuum of care, enabling residents to manage chronic diseases, receive medication prompts, view daily schedules, and video chat with family. Remote providers and family members can push wellness and social information and be alerted of potential events by wireless, non-obtrusive activity and telehealth sensors."
Patient Ginger Rutgers talks with Upper Peninsula Health Home, Hospice, & Private Duty Social Worker Nicole McGill and IT Coordinator Peirce Desjarlais to set up new techonology in her home. (Photo curtsey of U.P. Health Home, Hospice and Private Duty)
The system comes with motion sensors that can engage the system to send a phone call, email or text message to a caregiver if motion or no motion is detected. The sensors can also be set as an alert during different times of the day, so that seniors don't wonder off during the night.
As a senior's life progresses and additional services and supervision is needed, companies like Lake Superior Hospice and Upper Peninsula Home Health, Hospice, and Private Duty are available with a wide variety of services.
Sharon Fries of Upper Peninsula Home Health, Hospice, and Private Duty suggests looking into services early before there is an emergency.
"Start your planning now even if you only think you will need it once a month," said Fries, who is UPHHHPD director of Clinical Services. "Patients have called us before surgeries to start services or reinstate them because they know they will need help."
UPHHHPD offers a number of services to seniors. They include private duty caregivers, skilled home care and hospice and much more.
Skilled home care includes educating patients on a new diagnosis or monitoring a long-term illness such as diabetes, cancer, or heart and lung diseases, rehabilitation after surgery, and home support like bathing and shopping.
Private duty services include nursing, homemaker, respite, personal and companionship. Private duty caregivers can take care of errands, help with bathing, or taking medication, preparing meals and much more. Private duty services are flexible to meet the unique needs of each patient individually.
Both Lake Superior Hospice and UPHHHPD offer hospice care services. Whether the patient needs help with simple chores, physical therapy or emotional support.
Lindsay Hemmila, who serves as director of Community Services, said, "If someone calls us and asks what services are available we can go over that with them."
"Many people are afraid of hospice and only come to us when they're in a crisis," Lake Superior Hospice clinical supervisor Lynn Johnson said. "We have a team of nurses, doctors, volunteers, chaplains and social workers here to help manage symptoms and provide support in all areas of a patients life and we can manage just about anything in their home."
So whether a senior is still independent or is in need of extra help there are a number of unique services available to meet their needs.