Taking Care of Aging Parents

Worrying about your aging parents can be a hassle for both you and them. Our top app picks and products for their home will make it easier for your parents to age in comfort.

Tips To Keep an Eye on Aging Parents 02:55

These tips will help you keep an eye on aging parents without being a pest.

As parents sail into their golden years, and kids turn into adults, the tables turn — it's the kids who want to keep an eye on their parents' well-being. While our missed curfews were once the cause of their late nights spent pacing the house, we now worry how they're getting by on their own. We have some high- and low-tech remedies for keeping track of Mom and Dad while they live independently.

8 Ways to Stay in Touch With Aging Parents

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Stylish Cuff

Move over, "Fallen and I Can't Get Up" pendant — this stylish, smart jewelry is digitally connected. Mom can press it to send an instant alert to your phone if she's in trouble or lost, and it will send you and everyone in her cuff network her whereabouts. Photo courtesy of Cuff


If your parents have mastered computer basics, Skype is one of the best and easiest free video conferencing methods. You can set it to launch whenever their computer is open, so all you have to do is call — no smartphone necessary.


For moms and dads who feel overwhelmed by digital everything, Presto lets you send emails, photos and online stories straight to a proprietary printer without a computer or Wi-Fi network. It works similarly to a fax, but in color and with layout options. Photo courtesy of Presto


Lively is a set of sensors that keeps you posted on your parents' activities around the house, such as when the front door opens and closes or when a pill box is used. Lively also has a program called LivelyGram, a printed newsletter that compiles emails and photos and delivers them by snail mail. Photo courtesy of Lively

Wi-Fi Cameras

Especially for moms or dads who live alone, this easy-to-install camera offers secure HD video sent to your computer or phone, so you can always see what's going on in real time. They also sport two-way audio communication, so you can talk back and forth in an emergency or on any given Sunday morning.


Wish your digitally disconnected parents could see your Instagram or Facebook photos? Connect your accounts to Piccolo, a subscription photo service, so you can print your favorite photos each month and snail mail them to Mom and Dad. Photo courtesy of Piccolo


For the ultimate peace of mind, this app can be automated to send you or a circle of family members and caregivers check-in notices whenever Mom and Dad come or go. In case of an emergency, it offers a private social network just for your family, so you can all communicate and locate each other. Photo courtesy of Life360


If Mom or Dad lives in an old house that's prone to mold or that basement hot water heater springs a leak, you will need to check on the house often. With Wally, you have around-the-clock monitors checking on water leaks, humidity and temperature. Place sensors under a sink, next to the washer and in other key places, and you'll get a message before a little leak becomes a major issue. Photo courtesy of Wally

Bugging parents about their health and happiness can be a hassle for you and them. So, set them up with an activity tracker that lets you know their basic whereabouts and activities, while also maintaining a sense of privacy. There's also practical safety issues you'll want to consider, like ensuring medications are being taken as prescribed. Use your smart gadget, so you never have to worry about accidental double-doses or forgetting a pill. And for moving around the house at night, motion-sensing lights are so helpful you might want to install them in your own home. Learn how to install a motion-sensing light switch at Made + Remade.

Universal Design for the Home

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Light Sensor

Whether it's challenging to switch lights on and off or you have a habit of forgetting to turn off the lights, light sensors automatically turn on when entering and off when leaving a room — saving you both effort and electricity. Photo courtesy of Home Depot

Rising Bathroom Wall

This soaking tub has a side wall that rises and lowers, so you can step in easily yet still get a spa-like bath. Photo courtesy of Kohler

Hands-Free Faucet

This hands-free, battery-operated faucet means no more wrestling with knobs. And there's no find-the-sensor dance — it will detect you within four inches, and shut off seconds after you step away. Photo courtesy of Delta Faucet


Touch Drawers

These touch-controlled drawers and cabinets mean no pulling or hefting at all. Photo courtesy of Blum USA

Different Drawer Pulls

Replacing hard-to-hold cabinet and drawer pulls with D-shaped handles or lever pulls is a simple way to make any drawer easier to access. Photo courtesy of Bubbles Bathrooms

Cabinet Plate Drawer

Put frequently used plates and bowls in a large drawer instead of on a shelf so you don't have to reach. Photo courtesy of Mullet Cabinet

Door Lever

Replacing hard-to-hold, knob-shaped handles with levers is a simple way to provide easier access to any room in your home.

Photo By: Thinkstock

Pull-Out Bathroom Drawers

Groping around in the back of a lower cabinet can be tough even with a healthy back. Add sliding shelves to keep the items at hand. Photo by Crown Point Cabinetry

Electric Jar Opener

Kitchen products like this electric jar opener make everyday tasks easy for everyone, especially those with arthritis. Photo courtesy of OXO

Your parents always have a mildly embarrassing story to tell about your childhood. Why not create a record of all those stories with a clever service that prompts them to spill all of history's greatest hits? With these solutions, you can help your parents age in place and relax in their own home.

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