Aging in place has become a popular term to describe an older adult’s wish to age in his or her own home and neighbourhood. Numerous studies have shown that this option is preferred by a large majority of North Americans.
For those who plan to age in place, technology has the capacity to provide support for them and for their caregivers. For example, home monitoring devices allow an individual’s family/caregiver to keep track of their activities and well-being. Listed below is a small sampling of home monitoring devices and what they have to offer.
Evermind for family caregivers tracks an individual’s routine, such as brewing a morning cup of coffee, by detecting when electrical appliances are turned on and off. This system maintains an individual’s privacy by allowing caregivers to detect changes in activity that may be cause for concern without the use of invasive cameras.
BeClose uses sensors placed around the home to keep track of normal routines. When something is out of the ordinary a caregiver is notified by text, email or phone call.
Live!y uses sensors attached to movable objects around the home such as the refrigerator door and the front door to collect data on behavior patterns, detect abnormalities and alert caregivers.
CarePredict offers a wearable sensor called Tempo that tracks small changes in daily routines. Since the sensor is worn by the individual it has the ability to track the time spent doing certain activities such as laying down for an afternoon nap. If more time is spent doing this activity than normal it will alert a caregiver of a possible change in well-being.
Medical Alert Systems can also provide peace of mind but as with all purchases it is important to do your homework. An article in The Senior List entitled Medical Alert Systems: Everything You Need to Know offers some good advice.