How Home Monitoring Systems Reduce Caregiver StressHow Home Monitoring Systems Reduce Caregiver Stress

For many of us, there’s no place like home.  You may feel uneasy about your elderly loved one living alone, but with the newest technologies available, your worries can be relieved and they can continue living independently.

As the costs of long-term health care continue to rise (currently, the average cost of a nursing home is over $200 per day), it becomes more and more economical for seniors to stay living at home as long as their medical needs allow.

Enter Home Monitoring Systems

Home monitoring systems allow family to check on loved ones at all times of the day with various tracking systems and sensors.  There are also devices available that will automatically turn off appliances such as stoves, and medication dispensers that ensure you take the right amount of medication at the right time.

Typically these systems cost around $100-200 to install and include a monthly monitoring fee around $20.

Monitoring services will install wireless sensors in areas of the home that a senior uses most often, including the bathroom (and medicine cabinet), bedroom, and kitchen. The sensors will track certain kinds of movement, such as when a refrigerator or front door opens.  During setup, the service will take note of regular patterns and daily activities.

The sensors will note any changes in normal patterns and routines. For instance, if there’s an unusual amount of movement in the middle of the night or if the medicine cabinet doesn’t open at the regular times, the systems will send an automated message via phone, e-mail or text message to the caregiver.

Medical Alert Devices

With medical alert systems, also known as personal emergency response systems, users push the button of a pendant alerting a call center should he or she fall or need medical assistance.  The buttons are typically light and do not intrude on daily living.  The monitoring center is available around 24-hours a day.

Along with motion sensors, there are other sensors that allow you to monitor the temperature of the individual’s home.  Representatives are also watching to see if there are any other unusual activities.  You can also see if there is any disruption in daily routines.

Although a sensor in the home can tell you about activity, it will not tell you where the person is going or what happens when he or she arrives at destination.  You may want to consider looking into a wearable GPS system on either a cellphone or wristwatch if your loved one leaves the home.  This will help you track to make sure your loved one does not become disoriented and get lost.

Be sure to discuss this home monitoring system with your loved one before purchasing. Some people may feel uncomfortable with this monitoring and some will feel much more safe and secure.  There are several options available to ensure the system meets you and your loved one’s needs. Browse our network of trusted providers to read reviews of home monitoring and medical alert systems.

Of course, it is always important to check on your loved one regularly.  There is nothing that can replace human contact.

Senior Advisor's knowledgeable writers blog about senior care services, trends and more.

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