It’s good to be home. Familiar surroundings, memories of family, a comfortable neighborhood, and a sense of freedom are just some of the benefits of staying put. However, life does get harder as we get older. Those things we used to do without effort become more difficult and can even become dangerous.
Technology has made it easier than ever to keep an eye on things even when you are not there and recognize when it might be time to intervene. There are a range of monitoring devices and caregiver alert systems ready to meet your needs.
Here are a few.
Begin by creating a list of activities that your loved one performs using their Amazon Echo device. You’ll be alerted when they ask Alexa to do one of these activities. You’ll also be notified if no activity is performed for a designated period of time, prompting you to contact your loved one to make sure they’re okay. If they ask Alexa for help, an alert will be sent to you via text or phone. Caregivers can also set up reminders, shopping lists, and other routines on the Echo device. Amazon offers a 6-month free trial.
Have a loved one who’s prone to falls? This single camera provides a 360-degree view and 3-second motion detection sensor that records a 15-second video when triggered. The video is sent immediately to your smartphone. The system’s two-way audio allows you to check in with your loved one after receiving a notification and talk with them in real time to assess the situation.
Nest Cam Indoor Security Camera
This indoor security device provides 24/7 livestreaming and built-in speakers and microphone so you can see and hear what your loved one is doing in real time. Personal alerts sent to your smartphone are customizable and available through the Nest aware app. Installation is quick and easy.
Aeyesafe Senior Monitoring System
This system uses wall and pressure sensors around the home to provide around-the-clock monitoring. Thermal artificial intelligence sensors track movement throughout the home and can detect falls or other changes in behavior, alerting caregivers of any potential problems or emergencies.
Sensors placed under bedposts can monitor sleep habits, track vitals (heart rate, breathing), and alert you to any abnormal conditions. Real time alerts include location, time, and detailed information on behavior and risk.
The web-based system offers real-time, interactive in-home care support services. Electronic sensors, cameras, speakers, and microphones are placed throughout the home to safely monitor activity. The system is linked to remote skilled caregivers who provide immediate services when needed. Caregivers will watch for falls or dangerous behavior, provide reminders for medication, meal preparation, and personal hygiene and give extra support for dementia care ensuring your loved one doesn’t wander. Systems are highly customized to meet individual needs.
Before choosing and installing any monitoring system, be sure to have a conversation with your loved one. You don’t want them to feel like they’re being spied on. Explain that this device will allow you to make sure they’re alright and provide help if they need it. They should understand this will allow them to remain at home safely and independently.
Is A Home Monitor Right for You?
While home monitoring systems do provide a sense of security, they’re not foolproof and they do require cooperation from your loved one. If they don’t want the device and are going to disable it or avoid the cameras and sensors, it just won’t work.
Older adults must be able to take care of their basic daily needs. The systems won’t prevent dangerous activity, only alert you that it’s happening.
Monitors might be a good first step if you’re debating the next step in care. They will allow you to observe your loved one’s daily activities and get a better sense of where they need help.
By Kym Voorhees Raque
P.S. Using Technology to Communicate with Friends and Family
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