While companies continue to explore innovations in mobility equipment, they are also turning their attention to how other forms of technology can help baby boomers age in place. The latest trend represents a new evolution in home monitoring devices that are designed to gather and share information without being invasive or obtrusive. You may remember seeing commercials for life alert systems that could be activated during an emergency. The monitoring devices and memberships available today are fair more sophisticated and allow family and loved ones to keep an eye on the daily activities of seniors.
For example, some systems include monitors that are placed under the mattress and can track when and how often someone gets up and out of bed. As a family member, this will let you know that your loved one is up for the day or alert you if they are having problems sleeping. Some devices can even monitor vital signs, such as pulse and breathing. If there is any abnormal activity that might indicate distress, you will be immediately notified and able to take the necessary actions.
Motion senors are also being place on front doors, refrigerators, and pill bottles. You can be aware of when your loved one leaves and returns, whether or not they are eating regularly, and when they took their medication. If everything is operating according to plan, these simple monitors will not get in the way of daily activities and won’t even be noticeable. They are meant to allow seniors to maintain their independence and increase overall safety and provide family members with a certain peace of mind.
There are a variety of devices and services currently available on the market and a lot more in the testing phases. While purchasing the actual hardware and paying for the monthly service may seem like a pricey investment, it is a fraction of the cost of hiring a home health aide or moving to a assisted living facility. It is also an invaluable investment when you consider that those who are able to age in their homes experience a better quality of life and typically live longer than those you are forced to leave their homes.
Here is a list of services currently available. I mention them only as a place to start your own research and not as a specific endorsement. Be sure to read customer reviews and look for ratings from consumer advocacy groups and publications before you decide on the right monitoring service for you and your family.