Being an out of the home or long-distance caregiver is incredibly challenging. We want to be with our loved one whenever they need us. We want to be bionic. Limitations of life and distance and miscellaneous are keeping us apart, but thanks to modern technology that doesn’t necessarily mean we are not connected.

It seems like every week someone is releasing a new bit of tech geared toward the caregiver or the home patient – and this is fantastic! Let’s take a look at some of this tech. Some is still in the research stage, and some you can pick up at your local big box store and begin using today.

FIT BIT

Their latest devices can track heart rate, sleep, steps taken, and distance, and integrate with mobile apps to log nutrition and set fitness goals. Fitbits have been around for years and are fun for the entire family to wear and use to monitor and track health.

SMART SOCKS

These socks were created by 15 year old Kenneth Shinozuka who wanted to keep his grandfather safe. The technology has evolved into something he now calls “SafeWander”. This device is a wearable sensor that will alert a caregiver’s smart device if a loved one gets up from a bed or chair.

NUMERA EVERTHERE

This cloud-based platform for caregivers to monitor loved ones in home is still being rolled out.  In a press release Numera claims this will be a health and safety solution for healthy aging, which connects seniors with their loved ones through real-time monitoring and timely notifications.

CLEVERCARE SMARTWATCH

This New Zealand based company was created for two reasons: to give peace of mind to caregivers and to give independence to patients. The wearer of the CleverCare watch is connected to family members and emergency responders at all times.

SILMEE

Toshiba has just announced the release of two activity trackers that can help caregivers monitor loved ones. According to PC World, the “monitor sensors on the bands include a skin temperature sensor, a pulse monitor and an ultraviolet light sensor, as well as an accelerometer. An emergency button on the bands can alert caregivers or loved ones.” Currently the Silmee watches are being used as part of a three year study on dementia. The watches are currently only available in Japan, but are expected to be released worldwide in 2016.

In addition to wearable tech there are also home sensors. The University of Minnesota is currently performing a study on the effectiveness of home sensors in the homes of dementia patients. The Star Tribune shares local families are part of a, “$1.25 million study to see whether remote monitoring systems might help those with Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss stay in their homes longer, reduce stress on family caregivers and potentially avoid costly emergency room visits or hospitalizations by spotting problems earlier.” The technology being used is called Healthsense and it is currently employed by families in over 33 states.

At the end of the day we all want our loved ones to not just feel safe, but BE safe. If we can’t be there with them 24/7 hopefully technologies can bridge the gap. Call Erin McDevitt at Aging Your Way to get caregiver assistance.

Dresden Shumaker is a writer, advocate, and former full-time and live in caregiver to her grandmother. She chronicles her adventures in single parenting on CreatingMotherhood.