When Rosanne asked me to write a guest blog on her website “Hey Roe”, I felt honored and excited to write about this important topic - how to offer support to all the dedicated caregivers out there!
I am Nathalie de Vazeille, the Marketing and Sales Director for StackCare, an innovative remote monitoring system for older adults and I am passionate about this wonderful tool which can help the “sandwich generation” (that includes me personally by the way!) as we juggle the care of our families, our work and the care of our elderly loved ones. And yes, it’s even installed at my own Mom’s house!
Primarily, StackCare helps ease the worry about whether mom or dad is doing ok when they are on their own. “Will I know in time if Mom needs help?”, “I live far away and can’t reach Dad, what is going on?”, “What if Mom falls and nobody finds her until hours or days later?” The questions regarding our elderly loved ones’ safety and wellbeing are manifold because we realize that age has made our parents more vulnerable, even if they vehemently deny this. Their wish for independence and privacy is significant and it makes sense - why would anyone want to feel needy after having lived a full life?
The beauty of StackCare’s innovative remote monitoring system is that it is completely passive. StackCare only looks at motion and uses small infrared motion sensors (same technology as the one that opens supermarket doors) which get installed in bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and favorite room to collect motion data 24/7. Our Data Science analyzes the data in real time and anything out of the ordinary gets highlighted and sent via push notifications to family/caregiver’s mobile devices. There are no cameras and no microphones, ensuring that the privacy of the older adult is respected. Mom or dad doesn’t need to wear anything, push any buttons or change any batteries. You don’t need to wonder if mom or dad is actually wearing the pendant and pressing it when help is needed. You can feel reassured that when a potential fall or possible health issue is detected, StackCare will send you an alert. StackCare also sends out a Daily Update every morning, reassuring families that mom or dad is up and has been following their typical routine. This allows families to go about their day and when they do call mom or dad, conversations can be more fun and not circle primarily around their health and wellbeing.
Just to illustrate a few scenarios, here are some examples of how StackCare can help families:
Mom lives on her own and is still fairly independent. However, if something should happen and for some reason she wouldn’t be able to call for help, StackCare would sent out an alert.
Dad lives on his own and has a caregiver coming in daily for a few hours. So while he is not alone 24/7, there are still many “alone” hours during his day and night where he might need help quickly. StackCare will let you know and we even offer a Help button so that if wants to, he can call someone within his circle of care.
Mom and Dad live at home together but they worry that if one of them has an issue or a fall, the other one wouldn’t know about it in time. They can both have the StackCare app on their phone and get an alert even while out or asleep if something happens to the other.
Mom lives with her eldest daughter and has her own bedroom suite. Were she to fall in the bathroom during the night for instance, her daughter would get an alert on her phone and go help her
While the detection of potential falls is an important aspect of StackCare, it’s even more important to identify the patterns that typically show up before a fall so StackCare has many additional features and benefits to help detect developing health issues. Sleep patterns, bathroom visits, activity levels, temperatures, kitchen/refrigerator activity or lack thereof, exit door sensors, all key indicators of health and wellness and StackCare enables families to detect changes early on.
StackCare helps you become aware that your elderly loved one might need additional care which in turn helps reduce the risk of hospital visits and more dire consequences. As we like to say at StackCare “Early intervention is better than emergency response!”