Social Connectedness is a Critical Priority for Caregivers
Guest article by Jamie van den Bergh
America is aging and it is affecting more than just those growing older. Thanks to advances in healthcare and technology, millions of Boomers are living longer. This brings a new and unique set of challenges, for families including caregivers.
According to a 2011 AARP study, as many as 42 million Americans take care of a family member at any given time. For many, the word caregiving brings to mind critical duties that range from managing finances and shopping for groceries to providing medical support and assistance to family members who are seniors.
The good news is there are a variety of technologies designed to help caregivers meet these unique needs. However, one area has, until now been mostly put on the technological backburner– social connectedness.
The importance of staying connected
As people age and their health deteriorates, they often experience negative feelings, such as loneliness and isolation. These emotional states are a serious matter for seniors and have been shown to affect physical health negatively.
Clarity, a division of Plantronics, has launched an innovative new senior-to-caregiver communications platform called ClarityLife.
This integrated lifestyle system is designed to target those health risk factors and strengthen both physical and social well-being, primarily for older seniors living alone.
Promoting family togetherness with technology
Many people, under 65, stay connected through social media and smart phones, while elders often miss real-time family updates.
ClarityLife not only brings seniors into their family’s social world in real-time by allowing them to access photos, videos, text messages and email directly on their home phone via an eight-inch tablet display on Ensemble – one of Clarity’s amplified home phone options – but it also keeps family members and caregivers abreast of the senior’s daily activities through medication reminders and appointment notifications.
For family caregivers, ClarityLife provides peace of mind by knowing their loved one is okay and staying connected during the important moments in life. For the elder family member, the technology keeps them in the loop with their families and the larger world despite their physical absence.
Whether relying on Clarity to communicate at home, at work, and throughout their lives, ClarityLife is transforming the home phone and existing communication devices, such as tablets and cell phones, into life-changing solutions for those who are unable to keep up with the latest social media platform. By engineering innovative and advanced devices and services, Clarity provides greater options to help people maintain fully independent, active, and engaged lifestyles – no matter what their age.
Jamie van den Bergh is the president of Clarity, a Division of Plantronics Inc. (NYSE:PLT) and a leading supplier of amplified telephones, notification systems, assistive listening devices and other communications devices for the aging population.