There is no place like home, they say. Taken for granted by most, living at home becomes an increasing concern the older we get – can we care for ourselves, are we safe at home alone and what happens in case of emergency? More than ever before, families are having to make difficult decisions when it comes to the care of their older relatives and while many may think of aged care facilities as the best or only option, many would rather prefer to live at home in their old age.
Almost three quarters of Britons say they want to still be living at home when they are over 75 years old. With an aging population, and the rate of new aged care homes not being established at the same pace, millions will be living at home into their eighties, nineties and hundreds. Already 2 million people in the UK over 75 live at home.
Some families opt to either live in with their elderly parents, or have Mum or Dad move in with them. For many, this isn’t an option for a wide variety of reasons – distance, lack of space or maybe even incompatibility. Advancements in the smart home market have presented more digital alternatives to maintaining a more constant connection and watchful eye over elderly relatives. By using an IP camera, such as the Smartfrog Cam, you can check in on Grandma easily from your smartphone.
The following tips show how an IP camera can be used to assist in the care of older loved ones:
- To preserve their privacy, the camera can be trained on a specific area of a room, such as on the medicine cabinet or the kitchen.
- Night vision allows for checking in on elderly relatives even in low lighting.
- The Smartfrog Cam can be configured to send an alert if there has been no movement detected in 12/24 hours. For example, if Nanna usually goes into the kitchen in the mornings, but doesn’t on one occasion, an alert will be sent to your smartphone so that you can call or go around to her place and check she’s ok.
- Two-way audio means you can speak with those in the room, making checking in quick and easy for you and your loved one.
- If an intruder attempts to break in, for example via the front door or a window, you will receive an alert so that you can check in with your loved one and call the authorities.
Technologies are no perfect substitute for in-person care and attention, and a home surveillance solution doesn’t give Grandma’s hugs or bring chicken soup. But for those with limited time who want daily contact with their parents or grandparents, the smart home provides an extra layer of security and comfort.