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Monitoring Elderly Parents Remotely: What To Know

We can’t spend 24-hours a day with our loved ones, but with the help of a few wisely chosen senior home monitoring tools, we can come close. Because in the right circumstances, effective home monitoring for the elderly makes it possible to quickly respond in a fall situation, medical problem, monitor those with cognitive decline, or otherwise provide an invaluable service.

But what kind of things do you need to think about when choosing a monitoring system for the elderly in the home? Below we’ll look at some of the considerations you’ll need to explore while solving these kinds of issues.

Senior Home Monitoring Devices

First and foremost, what is it you’re concerned about monitoring? Emergency alert bracelets are a solution that most people are already aware of – and they can be quite handy for some circumstances. But they’re far from a panacea.

Proving real-time location data that’s accurate within one meter, GPS services are especially useful for dementia home monitoring and similar circumstances. GPS enabled devices can provide mobile alerts when an event requires your attention, and you can often find a simple wearable movement monitor for elderly individuals on Amazon for as little as $25.

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How Can I Monitor my Elderly Parents at Home?

Apart from GPS services, one of the best ways to monitor elderly parents at home is with a camera system. They can be a sensible precaution for keeping an eye on someone who’s had a few slips recently, and there are numerous circumstances where people with dementia or other cognitive disorders may endanger themselves without monitoring.

Similar to GPS, cameras can be equipped with motion detection sensors to give you highly customizable alerts. But this does take some planning: you’ll need to think about what areas are being monitored and which areas you cannot view. Some good options for placement often include stairways, kitchens, front/back doors. Cameras can also provide built-in companionship via opportunities for two-way communication, which you might have to think about during installation.

Things to Consider when Monitoring Elderly Parents Remotely

Using a camera to record without someone’s consent is illegal in various circumstances; the same is generally true for recording audio. Even where legal issues are no concern, recording, or monitoring someone without their consent can be a severe violation of a person’s privacy.

You should always seek consent from anyone who you intend to record. In cases of severe cognitive decline or other instances where consent may not be possible, decisions about recording would typically fall to the legal guardian.

Some other things to consider while picking a system for monitoring elderly parents remotely include:

  • Is there a fall detection system to help with monitoring older adults?

  • Does the system monitor for fire or smoke?

  • Can other family members connect with the system?

  • How’s the range/sensitivity of sensors and their connectivity to other equipment?

  • Are there components that need to be charged daily?

  • Are there monthly fees or contracts associated with the service?

Monitoring Older Adults for Safety

Caregiving from a distance can be challenging. But in this era of new technology, there’s no shortage of interesting and innovative ways to take advantage of senior home monitoring devices. Smart-locks can make it possible to open/close doors from a distance, and more advanced systems can integrate a range of different data points: from room temperature to individual sleep patterns.

As with so many other things, picking the right solutions is a matter of matching circumstances and solutions. Taking a moment to look at your options can be truly invaluable and surprisingly cost-effective.

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