A new generation of Elderly Monitoring Systems are allowing adult children to keep tabs on their aging parents from afar, but how do you convince your Mom or Dad that watching their every move from your iPad is a good idea? Monitoring your mother’s daily movements, habits, and medication compliance from your mobile device may be a no-brainer for you, but what will your mother think about it? It’s one thing to be a helicopter parent to your own kids, but micro managing your aging parents is a different animal all together. After all, independence and privacy are two things we all hold dear, even as we age.
So how can you talk with your parents about your interest in using Remote Monitoring System in their home? How can you persuade them it makes sense without offending them or making them feel like you’re trying to control their lives? Here are some helpful tips:
- Use a “Collaborative Problem Solving” approach. First, make sure you clearly identify the problem (i.e. “I’m worried about Mom’s safety,” or “I’m afraid that Dad my overdose on his meds.” Have a discussion with your parent/s about the problem. Frame it in a way that shows them that you want and value their input: “Mom, I’m worried about your safety and I’m wondering if we can come up with some ways that would help me know that you’re okay.” Getting buy-in from your parent/s and including them in the discussion is critically important and can avoid destructive family feuds down the line.
- Start the discussion early. The best time to start talking about installing a monitoring system is before there is a problem or a crisis. It can often take some time for an elderly parent to come around to the idea and to see the full value proposition.
- Focus on their goals. Most elderly folks would prefer to stay at home. Discuss Remote Monitoring as one possible solution that can help keep Mom or Dad home and out of an assisted living facility or nursing home.
- Talk dollars and cents. A Remote Monitoring System is far less expensive than most alternatives and can help save money and preserve assets. Plus, your peace of mind, knowing that your parent is okay, is worth more than anything money can buy.
- Recognize their fears. The biggest fear for most elderly parents is not death, it’s becoming a “burden” on their children. Let them know that a remote monitoring system can help you take care of them and keep them safe while allowing you to manage your busy life.
- Acknowledge their concerns. Many elderly parents may feel that such a system is an invasion of their privacy. Let them know that you understand this, and that your goal is safety and independence, not intrusion. Show them how the system works and give them examples of how it will help you keep them safe and autonomous without invading their privacy.
- Focus on the positives. Having a remote monitoring system can provide a host of benefits to you and your family. Make a list of them and focus on those. Here’s an example of one: If every time you talk with Mom on the phone, you spend half of the conversation bickering over whether or not she’s been taking her medication properly, you can tell Mom that the monitoring system will stop you from nagging her because you’ll already know that she’s taken her meds properly thanks to the system. Now you can spend your phone time talking about important things like the kids or your plans for the holidays!
- Don’t give up. if you run into resistance at first, keep trying. Ask Mom or Dad if you can give the system a 3-month trial to see how it goes. If everybody likes it, you keep it; if not, you get rid of it. Once most seniors get used to the systems, they realize the benefits and decide to keep them.
To see a list of Elderly Monitoring Systems and other Aging-in-Place Technologies, visit our sister website Assisted Living Technologies.