Use of two-way radios in elderly care
Seniors make up a whopping 12.9% of the total U.S. population, according to data from the Administration on Aging. Additionally, the percentage is expected to increase to 19% by 2030. The best way to care for this segment of the population is to stay connected to them while helping them stay safe and independent. Advances in technology have led to the development of several unique communication systems that allow the elderly to connect with their loved ones at any time. One of them is a two-way radio.
These days, more and more seniors prefer to spend their retirement days in the luxury and safety of their own homes instead of nursing homes or nursing homes. This is made possible by upgrading their existing homes to include the latest communication systems that facilitate communication with the outside world, along with other amenities designed specifically for the elderly or infirm. Two-way radios have become a very popular communication product that allows seniors to stay in touch with their caregivers and loved ones, whether they are spending time gardening, relaxing in the living room or playing golf, two-way radios provide security and piece of mind. Two-way radios are also equipped with special features that can be useful for these tasks.
Need for two-way radios for seniors
As a person ages, their physical health deteriorates and many of their vital organs may not function at their full capacity. Impaired vision, weak muscles and inability to move quickly are some of the common problems that can hinder the elderly person’s daily activities and free movement. This makes them prone to accidents and illnesses that require timely attention. Speed becomes a matter of life and death. Although the caregiver may devote their full attention to caring for the elderly, the latter may not want to lose their independence. The best way to care for the elderly while allowing them to remain independent is by using an effective two-way communication system, such as walkie-talkies. This ensures that both parties can contact each other anytime they want. The caregiver can even go about their routine tasks without worrying about the elderly person if he/she knows that there is an effective two-way communication system between them.
Use and purchase of two-way radios for seniors
Caregivers’ time is usually spent attending to the basic needs of the elderly, and this task can be simplified by using two-way radios as an effective communication channel. A simple push of a button allows you to communicate with your loved ones while doing other household chores. One may ask – why not use mobile phones? A major advantage offered by two-way radios over cell phones is that they do not have to rely on a cellular network and communications are instantaneous.
Based on the concept of radio frequencies always present in the air, two-way radios work almost anywhere. This means that seniors can take them wherever they go, with the confidence that they can contact anyone in an emergency or even when they want to convey a simple message. Seniors often want to engage in a variety of activities, such as gardening, going for walks, visiting the library, or simply pursuing their hobbies. Having a two-way radio will encourage them to undertake these activities freely without worrying about how to contact their caregiver in times of need. Quick communication is very important in emergencies and accidents.
The two-way radio has a built-in transmitter, antenna and speaker. These radios can be supplied with an internal rechargeable battery that can be charged by plugging into electrical outlets, or with standard replaceable batteries that can be easily purchased from the market. You can choose which one is more convenient for you. These radios use two types of frequencies:
- Family radio service – In this case transmission is possible up to two miles. In addition, no license is required and the cost of use is very low.
- General Mobile Radio Service – Such two-way radios are designed for long-distance communication. However, you must obtain a license to use this service.
Advantages of two-way radio for seniors
Some of the advantages of two-way radios are:
- These radios are very robust and continue to work even if dropped, exposed to rain, dust or sand and operate in extreme temperatures.
- They are very easy to use and only require the push of a button to speak.
- Hand models can be easily attached to your belt or other accessories, leaving your hands free for other work.
- They can be used anywhere, so you can carry the device with you at all times.
- They are not expensive. You can communicate at very low rates without relying on any type of mobile phone service. You don’t have to pay any monthly fees, any roaming charges or choose from different monthly plans.
- Some two-way radios also provide you with regular weather alerts and warn you of potentially hazardous weather.
- You can choose from a variety of designs and models, such as handheld units or wireless base station intercoms.
- The two-way function of these radios allows caregivers to regularly check on the well-being of the elderly. This is very useful as elderly people who often have hearing problems may not be able to hear your voice from across the room.
- These radios also have built-in features like an LED flashlight and LCD display.
- You can use them for both short and long distances depending on the type of model you choose.
- Some models can easily be submerged in water for about half an hour without any damage, thus allowing older people to wear these radios while swimming or bathing.
- These two-way radios are even ideal for use by people with physical disabilities.
In addition to household use, two-way radio systems are also very useful in nursing homes. Here too the emphasis is on providing timely attention to the elderly and this is possible through instant communication.
There are various models of two-way radios on the market, and many of them offer several unique features. When choosing a two-way radio system, you study the various features and their usefulness for elder care. You should choose one that can be easily carried and operated by the elderly in your home. Before you buy a system, check its intrusion or IP rating. The IP rating means the two-way radio’s resistance to foreign objects and moisture. Look for a radio that is easy to grip and carry and includes buttons that are clearly visible. These two way radios come with a variety of price tags that range from under $50 to hundreds of dollars.
Once you purchase the system, you must take certain precautions to ensure that it works effectively – ·
- First you need to check that the antenna is firmly attached and working.
- Always make sure the batteries are fully charged. This will ensure that communications are clear. ·
- Test the signal quality from time to time to ensure that the two-way radio is working properly. Signals must be loud and clear for effective communication. This is even more important as older people may not be able to speak loudly.
- Always end your messages with “over” when the last message is sent. This is an indication to the listener that your message is complete and that they can continue their work. ·
- Teach the elderly how to use the two-way radio communication system.
Caring for the elderly can be taxing on the caregiver, both mentally and physically, but can be simplified with the use of two-way radio communication systems.
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