We Have to Talk About More than Money

Look back at your life and you will realize something. We’ve been independent for way, way longer than we’ve been tethered.

For most of us, Mom and Dad were our rocks – our everything – for our childhood.

But then came adolescence and life. While we obviously love our parents dearly, for most of us, once our teenage brains starting working their magic we tested independence. High school, college, work and families of our own brought us complete independence.

It therefore shouldn’t be a surprise that when we ask our aging parents to do something to make things easier on them and us, they may not be too receptive. They, like us, have spent decades living independent lives.

That's why we see commentary like this recent article in the Washington Post that shares how important it is to speak to our aging loved ones about money. But we definitely have to go further!

We have had a few interesting recent events take place at Caregiver Smart Solutions that shed light on the need more greater dialogue Adult children were ready to go with our product. We were setting dates to install our sensors and ready to “white glove” our clients on how to utilize the app. The adult children were excited. They got it. Our technology would provide them with peace of mind and provide unmatched insight into how their Mom or Dad was doing. At the same time, their parents would benefit from the security that their child “had their back.”

Unfortunately, in four straight instances, the adult child ran into an unmovable object. Mom or Dad. They wanted nothing to do with anything in their homes. Their children tried every rational explanation:

· “Mom, it will only take an hour and you don’t have to do anything. Just live your life.”

· “Dad, no one sees you. It’s not a camera!”

· “Mom, no one will see the information on the app but me!”

· “Dad, I know you won’t wear the pendant. This isn’t a pendant!”

Sure, we have all heard examples of how much our aging parents don’t like wearing alert pendants. But we hadn’t previously heard such parental objections to CSS.

These failed efforts showed us something. We - the adult children - will have to explain things differently about the coming boom of technology and how it will help.

We can’t expect someone who has been independent for 77 years to all of a sudden be comfortable with their adult children trying to pull the reigns back in. Even for the right reasons.

We took the lesson a step further and created an FAQ to help the adult children easily answer the concerns their parents may have. We now include it in our onboarding package.

Our goal is to help the adult children help their Mom or Dad to understand that while they may not have adapted to technology, we have. We also want them to understand that CSS technology is non-invasive. Mom or Dad do not have wear, charge or do anything. At the same time, CSS protects their privacy while enhancing their independence.

Mom and Dad’s desire to maintain their independence has led to the Aging in Place phenomenon. But the aging population remaining home has created added stress on their adult children and on in-home providers. The post-acute and medical community too, as they will need greater and greater insight into patient behavior and recovery.

Obviously, the younger generations see technology as a plus. But clearly some of our parents see things differently. They don’t need or want innovation.

The key, therefore, has to be that all of us must understand their fears and concerns and be able to address them clearly. We have to make Mom or Dad comfortable.

And we have to help them understand that the tech revolution in eldercare is just as valuable for us as it is for them.

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