Smart monitoring technology for the elderly that supports caregivers, friends and families

How smart technology can bring the elderly the dignity and independence they need both at home and in care home settings

Gone are the days when care homes would be the automatic living choice for those reaching a certain age.

For the most part, the elderly have always wanted to stay in their homes independently for as long as possible. In recent years, a range of smart monitoring and telecare systems have become available. These are increasingly empowering people to achieve this goal. In this article, we’ll look at some of the devices and technologies that are available. And explore why they’re so valuable in helping the elderly to live independently.

These systems are designed to send a notification to a professional monitoring centre, should an incident occur in the user’s home. Such an incident might be a fall, a fire, a flood or a gas leak. Even inactivity can frequently be a sign that something’s wrong.

The whole purpose of these systems is to prevent many problems before they occur. Or at the least, stop them from getting worse.

12 invaluable smart monitoring devices for the elderly

Here are some of the most popular devices available within smart monitoring to protect the elderly:

  1. Wearable alarm pendants:  pressing a button sends an alert to a monitoring centre or carer. The monitoring centre can then make a phone call to the elderly user. Alternatively, send a professional to the person’s house to check on them.
  1. Medication dispensers and reminders: These are devices that help to remind an elderly person to take their medicine, dispense the correct pills and keep track of what they’ve taken.
  2. Movement sensors: motion sensors detect if an elderly person has had a fall, such as falling out of bed. They can also track if that person has been immobile for too long. Which can be a sign that something serious has happened.
  3. Bed or chair sensors: these are positioned over or under a mattress or on the seat of a chair. They can detect if an elderly person moves or falls from their bed or chair, or fails to get out of bed.
  4. Door sensors: these sensors track when an elderly person has left or entered their home. An alert could be sent if this happens at an unexpected time of day, or if the front door has been left open.
  5. Fall detectors: fall detectors specifically send an alert if they sense a sudden jolt or downward movement. This means health professionals and carers can quickly check on the user to make sure they’re OK.
  6. Wearables: wearables are typically bracelets with SIM cards installed. They can track an elderly person’s health, heart rate, sleep patterns and physical activity. Wearables can also sync with the devices of staff or carers so that the person’s health and activity can be seen at a glance, and alerts can be sent if there is a problem.
  7. Flood detectors: these sensors, installed in the kitchen or bathroom, can identify if water is overflowing or a tap has been left on. They can send an alert, or even turn off the water supply.
  8. GPS tracking devices: GPS devices are designed to keep track of an elderly person when they are out of home. They can be attached to clothing, or even built into a pair of shoes.
  9. Voice assistants: increasingly, the elderly are making use of voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa to perform simple tasks around the home. With just a few words they can switch lights on and off, change the TV channel or volume or play music.
  10. Heat/temperature sensors: these sensors work by detecting extreme temperatures in the home. In this way, they can spot fire as soon as it happens or monitor the ambient temperature to avoid the risk of hypothermia.
  11. Smoke or gas detectors: just like standard household alarms, these detectors emit a loud alarm when triggered by the presence of some or gas, but they can also be set up to transmit an alert to a monitoring centre.

Smart monitoring, and how OV can help

Many smart monitoring systems require mobile network-enabled technology to function. Health and social care providers face a number of obstacles in rolling out these connected systems. The greatest of these is the reliability issue. Providers can only offer a network of smart devices to the elderly if they have complete confidence that both data and voice devices will operate correctly every time they’re needed.

OV provides a multi-network platform that can access all of the UK’s mobile networks, meaning that reliable, consistent connectivity is guaranteed. This provides both the elderly and their carers with the reassurance of knowing that both data and voice devices will always do the job they’re designed to do – keeping the person connected and safe, and able to enjoy a full, independent life, wherever they’re based.

Let’s talk

If you’re a health or social care provider who’s looking to roll out smart devices for your elderly service users, OV can help. Just get in touch and we’ll get together for an initial chat.