Almost 90 percent of seniors want to age in place. Some need to continue living independently or with family for as long as possible for financial reasons.
But staying at home can be stressful for both seniors and their families. If you have an elderly loved one aging in place, you can't always be there in person to make sure they are safe.
A monitoring system for elderly in the home can provide the connection and protection everyone needs to give them peace of mind. Keep reading to learn how to choose the right elderly monitoring devices for your situation, how to set them up, and how your home security system can provide the safety and comfort you need.
The Benefits of Aging in Place
Increasingly, seniors and their families are becoming more aware of the profound benefits of aging in place.
Often the conversation starts with money. Living at home is, on average, at least three times cheaper than assisted living or a retirement community. This is true even when seniors supplement living at home with:
Visits from home health aides and other supports
Third-party services to compensate for things they can no longer do, such as drive or prepare meals
Beyond the costs, however, aging in place can help seniors:
Stay connected to their families and communities
Maintain a positive sense of control and self-determination
Slow the onset and negative effects of memory loss
But aging in place can require accommodations and adjustments if seniors are to continue living safely and independently at home or with family.
Create a Safe Home
So you can continue to enjoy the independence of living in your own home, start this by walking through your home looking for potential areas that are or could become a safety hazard. Pay attention to things such as stairs, loose electrical cords, slippery areas (particularly the bathroom), and dimly lit areas. Although accidents are unintentional, there are still many things you can do to prevent them from occurring and promote seniors' safety.
Tips for Preventing Falls
- Install handrails that run the entire length of the stairs on both sides of the staircase.
- Add automated lighting to light up rooms as you enter.
- Install grab bars in the shower, tub and near the toilet.
- Keep the stairs and open areas clear.
- Use double-sided tape to keep small rugs down.
- Don't leave anything wet on the floor.
- Fix any broken or chipped steps, tiles, or flooring.
Tips to Improve Safety for Seniors
- Lighting: It's easy to think you can feel you're way in the dark. Better, to light the way. Best, use automated lights. Some will turn on when you enter a room. Set them to go on when you're not home to make it look like your home is occupied.
- Monitoring devices: Alarms such as fire, temperature and carbon monoxide detectors, warn you at the first sign of danger. It is important to check them at least twice a year to make sure they are properly working
- Communication: Systems like ADT medical alert let you enjoy the benefits and freedom of independent living, with the knowledge that should there be an accident or emergency, help is just the push of a button away.
Stay active and live life on your terms. To ensure things remain that way, take necessary steps now to ensure you've minimize as many potential risks as possible. And know that ADT products and services are here to help.
How Can I Monitor My Elderly Family Member at Home?
One of the most important accommodations is the installation of a monitoring system within the home. These systems provide the 24/7 connection and support that seniors need even when you are unavailable.
The best place to start is with a customized home alarm system. Standard systems include the following:
Fire and carbon monoxide sensors
Motion detector intrusion alert sensors for windows and doors
Smart home security and video features
Easy-to-use digital control panels
Simple keychain remote controls for when seniors are coming and going
24/7 monitoring and instant response services
Flexible monthly payments
A basic package like this addresses several of the most pressing threats to senior safety and independence.
Fire Monitoring for Elderly Family Members
Seniors are more than twice as likely to die in a fire than any other age group. Mobility concerns, the effects of medication, poor sight or hearing, and many other factors can play a role in this. With a monitored fire alarm, your senior will get the help they need right away even if they cannot or do not respond to the fire themselves.
Similarly, a monitored CO2 alarm ensures that help is dispatched and your senior is safe even if they are unable to respond.
Seniors are more likely to be victims of property crimes than other age groups. They are also often much less able to defend themselves when crimes occur.
Implementing security alarms for elderly residents, such as motion sensors on windows and doors, protects them from this threat. Since the system is monitored, seniors can rely on help arriving quickly even if they cannot get to a phone themselves to report the incident.
As an added benefit, both security alarms and property signs indicating they are in effect are proven to reduce the likelihood that criminals will target a property. When they do, both losses and property damage tend to be lower.
Having an alarm system in place allows you to do more than just know that medical assistance and other emergency help will be dispatched when necessary. It can keep you intimately in the loop.
Easy-to-use control apps enable you to have alerts sent straight to your phone or other devices every time the system registers an alarm. This has numerous benefits.
It lets you know when you need to check in
It enables you to arrange additional support for your senior when needed
It helps you track their patterns and threats to their well-being so you can make informed decisions
It prevents you from missing out on critical information if your senior cannot or does not bring it up themselves
Alerts can give you the best possible peace of mind. Not only do you know that your senior is protected, but you also know that should anything go awry you will find out instantly and be able to respond in real-time.
Finally, an alert-enabled security system can reduce the burdens of communication on your senior. As seniors age, communication can become more difficult. By letting the system do much of the work for them, you reduce their stress and make it easier for them to enjoy their conversations with you.
Staying in Touch
One of the most overlooked benefits of security camera benefits is that they can offer two-way monitors for elderly residents. These camera features allow you to easily check-in and communicate with your senior while they are in their home without the use of traditional devices like cell phones or computers.
This can be more comfortable for them and also avoids the problems and communication gaps that can occur when phones are misplaced, have dead batteries, or are otherwise inoperable.
Easy, readily-accessible communication options can help your senior combat sensations of loneliness and social isolation as well as the negative health effects that go with them. It can also make it easier for them to reach out for help should they feel unwell or need assistance.
Health Monitoring Equipment
In addition to a traditional security system, you can also increase security for your senior by layering health monitoring equipment.
Health monitoring equipment is great for every senior but can be especially empowering for seniors who are on-the-go or who have special medical needs.
Available in a variety of connected devices, health monitoring equipment extends the protection of your home security system to other places your senior may go. Whether this is their back garden, neighborhood social activities, or anywhere else, it can give them confident independence while giving you peace of mind.
Monitoring pendants, for example, can be worn even in the bath or shower, where slips and falls are most likely to occur. Since falls are the top cause of injuries among seniors, building protection against this potential disaster into your system is invaluable.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Monitoring System for Elderly in the Home
What factors are most important to keep in mind when choosing a monitoring system for elderly in the home? While every family will have slightly different needs, a few factors consistently stand out.
You can design the best-customized security system ever, but if it doesn't work when you need it to, it is useless. Don't get taken in by the promises of modular systems that you have to install yourself. Choose a system that comes with professional installation so that you can be sure:
All the work is done safely and up to code
All the devices "talk" to each other and the network the way they should
Product warranty and guarantees are protected
Installation imposes no stress on you or your senior
Ease of Use
Installing a system that is hard or unpleasant to use will:
Frustrate you and your senior
Cause you not to use the system to its fullest potential
Leave you and your senior vulnerable to threats the system should address
Systems and individual devices should support your senior's ability to live independently and fit seamlessly into their lifestyle and yours.
Your Senior's Concerns
The best way to get "buy-in" from your senior and ensure that you are spending money on a system you will actually use is to listen to their concerns and priorities.
Ask them which benefits and perks of aging in place are most important to them. Learn what their biggest fears and challenges are. Then work with your provider to identify and incorporate supports that address those goals and challenges into your system.
When Should You Install a Home Security Monitoring System?
The best time to start thinking about a monitoring system is before you need it. As soon as the senior citizen in your life expresses a desire to age in place, open the conversation about getting an alarm system.
Gently remind them about the many potential threats to seniors' security, and the wide range of benefits and comforts installing a system can have. Be sure to respect their priorities and concerns in the process.
If you are installing elderly monitoring sensors after a health or safety incident has already occurred, make sure that your loved one understands that the system is because you wish to support their independence rather than because you doubt their ability to live independently.
Protect the People You Love
If you are ready to install a monitoring system for elderly in the home, don't wait. Explore our ready-to-go home security system packages or contact us for a free quote on a customized system today.