Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Kiplinger provides detailed report on home monitoring and alarm devices for elderly parents living alone

The subject of home monitoring devices for elderly living alone with adult children living away comes up in on Kiplinger, with the article “Keep Your Eye on Mom from Afar: Monitoring Technology Gives Peace of Mind.” The essays was posted July 23, 2008 but had been included in print in the May 2008 “Kiplinger’s Retirement Report.” The link is here.

The article supposes that a typical situation could be an elderly parent living in a less expensive senior apartment (or “age restricted apartment”) without attached assisted living facilities, and exposed to inattention should he or she fall. The particular product discussed is called QuiteCare. Another company mentioned is Alarm.

Some monitoring systems are more sophisticated, and detect motion and contact with specific household objects, like the medicine cabinet, to determine if the senior is taking medication. The article suggests that typical installation runs from $200 to $1000 and monthly monitoring from $40 to $90.

There are factors that make depending on monitoring devices more problematic. One is the senior’s having dementia or serious short-term memory problems. Another could be the size of the residence. A smaller unit, where the resident spends more time in common elements for socializing, may be safer than an original house, with stairs and less secure means of entry. In general, the public media is creating the appearance that in many smaller families with adult children (perhaps childless themselves) living in other cities, this is often a practical solution.

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