Caring for an older adult is never easy, and it sometimes can be a concern if they live alone. It’s not always possible to be by your aged parent’s side all the time.
To help promote peace of mind, there are a few ways you can monitor your parents remotely:
- Monitoring Devices/Systems
- Professional Adult Caregivers
- Informal Adult Caregivers
- Community Care
- Adult Day Care
There are many reasons you may be concerned for your elderly parents, whether it’s making sure they’re taking medications on time or to keep an eye on their safety. Here we’ll discuss a few options for home remote monitoring and the benefits that it can offer you and your loved ones.
How to Monitor Elderly Parent at Home?
As adults age and live alone, it is essential to take all the necessary precautions to ensure they are safe from potentially life-threatening accidents. You may want to put your mind at ease and monitor your parent’s daily routines to make sure they are not hurt.
Here are a few suggestions on how you can monitor your parents while they are living alone.
Remote Monitoring Devices
The most accessible and most affordable way to monitor your parent’s activities during the day and night is by buying technological devices that monitor seniors. These devices allow you to monitor your elderly parents while they are living alone and without the need for a caregiver.
This is an excellent option if your parents don’t need too much care and if you just want to make sure they haven’t had an accident throughout the day. It is also a much more affordable option than having a caregiver. It’s great if they don’t like the idea of going to a community center or an adult daycare and would much rather stay in the comfort of their own home.
How Do Remote Monitoring Devices Work?
Having an in-home monitoring device can let you know when there is a problem with your loved ones. There are different systems designed for other instances.
For example, some technologies can monitor any health problems or an incident such as a fall. The device will alert your smartphone device and let you know if there is a problem.
Other devices can monitor your loved one’s home, such as what appliances are left on or if someone is approaching their door.
What Behaviors Can Be Tracked?
There are many different monitoring devices out there that can be used to track various activities of your elderly parent throughout the day.
Here are a few examples of the behaviors that can be tracked with remote monitoring technology:
- Sleep habits
- Eating habits
- Body temperature
- Accidents such as falls
- Any serious medical emergency
- Medication administration
- Bathroom use
- Entering and leaving the house
Tracking these behaviors can give you the peace of mind of knowing that your parent’s regular daily needs and routines are taken care of and that they are staying healthy.
Benefits of Remote Monitoring Technologies
Remote monitoring devices are convenient for both you and your elderly parents. Not only is it a cost-effective option for senior care, but it can also make your parents feel more comfortable without the need of a caregiver or a senior facility.
Here are a few benefits for using technology to monitor elderly parents:
Remote Monitoring Devices Are a Cost-Effective Option
Using a device to monitor your parents can be much more affordable than hiring a professional caregiver or paying for an adult daycare or senior center. If the care needed is low maintenance, this is the perfect option that can save you money and give you peace of mind if you’re living far from your parents.
Monitoring Devices Can Make Everyone More Comfortable
In most cases, older adults like to feel independent or don’t require much assistance from a nurse or a professional caregiver. Monitoring devices are non-intrusive that won’t require the care of another person to give you peace of mind.
Monitor your Parents Throughout the Day
Monitoring devices such as cameras and trackings will allow you to check on your parents and see if they are eating and sleeping well, if they have fallen, or if they left the house and returned safely. You will be able to check on them even if you live far away.
You Can Supervise Their Health
As adults age, they are more susceptible to serious medical conditions. There are bound to be some health problems, so being able to track whether your parents are healthy can be a great weight lifted off your shoulders. There are now many devices that can track body temperature, eating habits, or any serious medical problems.
Make Sure They are Safe
Unfortunately, in today’s world, some people want to take advantage of seniors and prey on their vulnerability. With monitoring devices, you will track who visits or calls your parents and ensure that they are not getting caught up in any scams.
Talk to Them Through Video Calls
You can still be close to your parents, without having to be close to them physically. Setting up a device that will allow you to talk through video chat will let you see each other and feel closer.
You Can Continue to Fulfill Your Daily Duties
It can be stressful to have to perform your daily responsibilities like going to work and taking care of your children and worry about your older parents on top of that. You can save yourself time and trouble when you set up remote monitoring devices to check on your parents without the need to see them physically.
Have Complete Peace of Mind
Having complete access to your elderly parent’s daily routine will help you feel more at ease to know that they are safe and taken care of throughout the day. Even if you live far away, you will have fewer worries about them regarding their health, safety, and well-being.
Keep in mind that there are many remote monitoring technologies out there, and each senior adult’s needs will be different. However, there is no doubt that you have to be proactive and make sure they are taken care of.
Devices to Monitor Elderly Parents Remotely
There are many options for how to monitor your parents while they’re home alone. This will come down to what you and your parents will be comfortable with. We will talk about how to bring up that conversation further in this article, but let’s go over the types of technology available.
Sense Energy Monitor
A sense energy monitor can help you track your elderly parents’ home appliance usage. This not only allows you to make sure that no energy is being wasted, but it also can help avoid disasters that can happen from forgotten appliances left on. You can also set up alerts to track standard everyday patterns, which will let you know if everything is okay with them while they’re at home.
Wyze Cam with Two-Way Audio
The Wyze Cam v2 is an indoor WiFI intelligent home camera with night vision and two-way audio. It works well with Alexa and Google Assistant. This will allow you to see inside your parent’s home from anywhere in real-time using your mobile device. You can also live stream and use two-way audio to speak with your parents through the Wyze app.
This camera also has night vision, in case you want to make sure your parents do not fall as they get up in the middle of the night to go to the restroom. This is a great way to keep an eye out on your senior parents, but you will need to make sure that they are comfortable with this, so you don’t interfere with their privacy.
Tovala Smart Steam Oven
The Tovala Gen 2 Smart Steam Oven has five programmable modes and can connect to WiFi. In addition, this oven is smartphone-controlled, so you can join the oven to your phone to check on your parent’s food and make sure everything is cooking properly. This is easy to use and can notify you or your parents when their food is ready to eat.
The oven also automatically switches between steam, bake, and broil to cook every meal to perfection.
VTech Wearable Home Sos Pendant
Wearables like the VTech Home Sos Pendant is a great device that can give you peace of mind knowing that your loved ones can reach you even if they don’t have a phone in their hands. An SOS button with a handset and base speakerphones will dial up to five numbers in sequence. Once it dials, it will allow them to talk into the nearest speakerphone, or they can set a pre-recorded message to play.
This device is water-resistant, so they can bring it into the shower or use it near a sink without worry.
Another useful wearable device is the MorePro Smart Watch that monitors heart rate, blood pressure, fitness activity, low O2, and sleep health. This device can give you peace of mind knowing that you can monitor your aged parent’s essential health performance from anywhere at any time.
Remember, these devices can seem intrusive to your loved ones’ privacy. However, you will need to be proactive and have a conversation with them about why these options are critical for their health and well-being.
Telehealth has been becoming extremely popular, and it is a great way to get medical attention conveniently from the privacy of one’s own home. Not only can your elderly parents see their doctor online, but some devices are part of the telehealth system, which can monitor health conditions such as
- Blood pressure
- Blood oxygen
- Blood glucose
These devices can automatically lay the information for yourself and your doctor to check, and they will send alerts if anything is going wrong.
In-Home Monitoring Systems for Elderly Care
An in-home monitoring system is taking the monitoring devices a step up. The company usually sets up these systems, but sometimes you will have to set it up yourself. Some systems also have operators that monitor your elderly parent’s behavior. Then, if any emergency were to happen, they will respond to it and contact you.
Some systems offer 24/7 monitoring, while in others, you will have to take care of the emergency yourself.
Here are some options of in-home monitoring systems:
GrandCARE is a Telehealth system but does not provide 24/7 monitoring centers. You will have to monitor your loved ones, and they will have a medical button and a tool for contacting you in case of an emergency.
This system allows you to:
- Share videos, letters, and photos
- Set appointments and reminders
- Make video calls through a “Care Portal”
- Has activity and environmental sensing
- Has telehealth monitoring devices to track health and wellness, such as blood pressure, scales, pulse oximeters, glucometers, and thermometers
GrandCARE is a great platform that offers HIPAA-compliant video conferencing and remote home care monitoring for seniors
Walabot Home by Vayyar
Walabot Home by Vayyar is the best radio-wave 3D imaging technology on the market. It has fall detection and medical alert system which can alert you if there are any falls or accidents. Unfortunately, this one also does not have a 24/7 monitoring center, but you will be contacted immediately if the system detects that something is wrong.
Another great thing about this system is that there is no camera, wearables, or buttons. This may add comfort to your parents.
This system includes:
- Wall attaching device
- Two-way voice call
The Walabot Home system by Vayyar is ideal for those who want to detect any health deteriorating patterns or accidents.
TruSense is a 24/7 emergency monitoring system that can track falls, health issues, and car GPS. You can even add a tracker in your loved one’s shoes in case they leave the house.
This system includes:
- Smart socket
- Door/window sensor
- Four motion sensors
- Amazon Echo Dot
- GPS tracker with fall detection
- An app that provides real-time data
- Allows you to set rules to send alert notifications
- Health monitoring devices – blood pressure, blood glucose, blood oxygen level, asthma, COPD, medication adherence, weight management
- Car tracker
- Shoe tracker
- Leak sensor
Trusense is a great option for smart home monitoring and will allow your loved ones to live independently while giving you peace of mind.
Wellness Insights and WellCam by Alarm.com
You can purchase Wellness Insights and WellCam’s security system from Alarm.com, and it will monitor any emergencies that occur in your loved one’s home.
This system has a 24/7 emergency response for any medical or fire emergencies and if any intruder enters the home. The contact will receive an alert, and it will call the 24/7 monitoring service.
This system includes:
- Web portal to check on loved ones data
- Automation setting for heating, lighting, and security
- 24/7 emergency response for medical emergencies, fires, or home intrusion
- Monitors behaviors such as eating, sleeping, sitting, walking, bathroom use, cooking, and medications
Alarm.com is the perfect solution to empower safe and healthy independent living for you and your loved ones.
SimpliSafe is another security system with a 24/7 monitoring center. This will send alerts to the operator, and it will also send you an alert.
There are three main ways this system will alert you or the operator in case of an emergency:
- Panic buttons on the wall
- Key fobs
- Main keypad
SimpliSafe is an affordable and easy-to-use system that is ideal for small living spaces.
Zanthion SMART Senior Care Platform
Zanthion is an in-home system that uses an app to allow you to monitor your loved ones. It has a medical alert button and automatic fall detection.
This system senses:
- Window and doors
- Bed exit
- Toilet flush
- It has a medical alert button
All of the above are great options if you want to install something that can offer a bit more protection and surveillance than technological devices. Although these are all great ways to have peace of mind about living far from your parents, you will still need to convince them to let you install this technology.
‘The Conversation’ to Install a Remote Monitoring Device?
Sometimes older parents can be stubborn or resistant about being monitored every day by their children. That’s why it’s crucial to have a patient and respectful conversation with them and let them know why you think it’s necessary.
Set a planned time to talk to your parents
Setting a planned time to talk to your parents about installing monitoring devices can be helpful, so you don’t come at it from a panicked or highly emotional state if something concerning has already occurred.
For example, if your mom or dad just fell in their house, coming at them with the idea of installing a monitoring device in their home may lead to an argument since you are arriving at the situation from a stressful place.
Explain the Benefits of Installing Remote Monitoring Devices
Sometimes simply telling your parents that installing a monitoring device in their homes will help you worry less about them, may convince them to do it. Most of the time, elderly parents don’t like to be a ’burden’ on their children, so letting them know that this will give you more peace of mind to go about your daily life will probably make them inclined to listen.
Let them know your concerns
If they do want to continue living at home alone, let them know your concerns and that you worry about not being there for them in case something happens. Then, you will be able to check up on them at any time of the day without the need to call or give them a visit constantly.
Make sure to get consent
Always make sure you get their consent to set up these technologies in their home since it is illegal and an invasion of their privacy if you do it without their knowledge.
Be respectful and understanding
Remember to be respectful and address any concerns they may have when discussing this topic, and it might help to be patient and have several ongoing discussions about this matter.
It’s never easy to have this conversation with aged parents since they don’t feel the need to be closely watched or taken care of. However, if you follow these simple steps above, it can make that conversation go a lot smoother and even convince them that it’s a great idea for everyone involved.
Do Remote Care Technologies Replace Human Care?
Remote care monitoring devices are a convenient and easy way to monitor your loved ones while they are home alone, but they cannot wholly replace human care.
There may be instances when your aged parents may require a bit more attention, depending on their health needs or ability to take care of themselves. If you are looking for something more hands-on, there are a few options that you can take into consideration.
Professional Adult Caregivers
If your loved one needs more assistance with performing various tasks at home, you may need to search for a more hands-on long-distance caregiving solution. A professional caregiver can be a great option if you need someone to visit your elderly parents at home each day and assist them with their daily routine.
The average cost for a professional caregiver can range anywhere from $20-$30 per hour, depending on where you live and what type of care your loved one requires.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional Caregiver
Sometimes your loved ones may need a little more assistance, and that’s where hiring a professional caregiver can be a good option.
Here are a few benefits of hiring a professional caregiver:
- Peace of mind knowing that someone is coming every day to check on your loved ones
- Professional care is less invasive when it comes to not having to install cameras and other devices around the house
- They will get hands-on care
- Professional caregivers can get help with daily tasks around their house
- Professional caregivers are great for those that need more medical attention
Not only will your loved ones get the correct care they need, but this will also give you relief that your parents are being checked on and have help around their home.
Informal adult caregiver
If your elderly parents don’t need too much hands-on care, but you’d like to make sure that someone is at least checking on them, even if it’s for a short amount of time, then an informal caregiver can be a great option.
An informal caregiver can be anyone you trust, like friends, family, or even a trustworthy neighbor that lives close to your parents. They can help assist them with anything from getting groceries to driving them to any doctor appointments. It can even be as simple as knocking on their door to make sure they are doing well.
Benefits of Hiring an Informal Caregiver
Informal caregivers can help your elderly parents by doing the following:
- Informal caregivers are a cost-effective way to ensure your loved ones are getting checked on
- Informal caregivers are the perfect option if they only need short term assistance, such as getting groceries or getting driven to doctors appointments
- Informal caregivers can give you peace of mind knowing that there is someone close by to get to them in case of an emergency
You can find an informal caregiver either in your loved ones’ community centers, or you can ask a trustworthy relative or friend who lives in the area.
Volunteer Community Caregivers
If there aren’t any family or friends living close to your loved ones, you can always check around for community care volunteers. These volunteers can provide services like helping them with grocery shopping or preparing their meals. In addition, you can ask to see how often they can visit your elderly parents and even provide help with doing some light housework.
Benefits of Volunteer Community Caregivers
Here is why you may want to consider a volunteer community caregiver:
- Excellent option if money is tight, but you still need someone to help your elderly parents
- Great if your elderly parents need help with daily tasks
You can find volunteers in your parent’s local community centers, churches, or local online groups.
Adult Daycare Facilities or Centers
Finally, adult daycare facilities are a great option if your loved ones enjoy getting out of their house and being surrounded by others for the majority of their day. These facilities can be a safe environment to ensure that they are taken care of, so you don’t have to worry about them being at home by themselves all day.
It’s also a great option if your loved ones tend to get bored alone as these facilities can provide fun activities like games or exercise.
Benefits of Adult Daycare
Here is why you may want to consider an adult daycare for your loved ones:
- Great for socialization or if your loved ones tend to get bored home alone
- Excellent option if they need extra care
- A safe environment where they are being watched and taken care of
All of these options will come down to your loved one’s needs and your budget. It’s always a great idea to sit down and discuss what type of care your elderly parents may need. If they have health issues, it also would be a great idea to discuss these types of care with their primary care doctor.
As parents get older, it can be stressful to figure out how to monitor them and make sure they are safe. It can sometimes be overwhelming to figure out how you’re going to monitor your parents, especially if you’re living far away from them.
Hopefully, this guide gave you some ideas for how you can conveniently monitor your parents at a distance.
With the help of apps, gadgets, professional services, and systems, you can help your parents live a comfortable and healthy life while still living alone.
Remote home monitoring can be a crucial component for aging parents. It can give the caregiver and the aged adult more peace of mind and maintain a quality of care.
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this Blog article are not intended to amount to advice, and you should not rely on any of the contents of this Blog article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this Blog article. OccupationaltherapyBlog disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this Blog article.