Technology Allows the Elderly to Stay in Homes

PHOTO The Safe-T-Element Cooking System is shown here.

Nine out of 10 people older than 65 aim to live in their homes independently for as long as possible, according to Nancy Thompson of the AARP, and those who move do so to be closer to their friends and families.

Most caregivers often support their parents' or loved ones' desire to stay there but the burden to look after them often becomes hard to bear. But there are many services and products that allow seniors to live on their own without sacrificing their safety.

"More than six in 10 caregivers are willing to use a variety of home-safety devices for the people they assist," Thompson said.

Here are a few that anyone can use to make life easier for both parties.


For some families, being constantly present in their elder loved ones' homes can be difficult. That's where telecaregivers such as those at ResCare HomeCare come in.

The service, called Rest Assured, includes a constant link that's set up in the home with an operator who's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to monitor the users. Several cameras are set up throughout the house to be able to see entryways to watch who is coming in, to see if someone has fallen and can't get up in any room or if someone has simply taken too long in the bathroom. Sensors are used throughout the home to track any unusual activity.

The operators are also in constant communication with the users and their loved ones: They have the ability to speak to them at any time through a computer and have contact information for those close by in case there is an emergency. Loved ones can also monitor their parents through the same feed the operators do at any time.

"We think ours is unique, we emphasize the human over the technological ... without the human presence of trained caregivers, it isn't the same," Nel Taylor of ResCare said.

The service starts ar $450 per month, with a $250 installation fee.

Watch "Families on the Brink: What to Do About Mom and Dad" for more on ABC.

In-Home Monitoring

Home security system company ADT unveiled its companion service several years ago, but the Personal Emergency Response System has helped seniors and others with disabilities stay in their own homes.

"The idea is you want to live independently in your home, but still need the protection and peace of mind that someone is only a phone call away," ADT's Bob Tucker said.

The personal security system involves a wearable device that is connected to a base up to 300 feet away. If the user falls or is in need of any assistance, they can simply press the button to be immediately connected to an operator who's available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The installation fee is $49 and the monthly fee starts at $34.95. Seniors can get a special discount through ADT's partners, AARP and the United Services Automobile Association.

"Just $1 a day to have someone looking out for you," Tucker said.

Special Phones for Seniors

Jitterbug cell phone from GreatCall.

While cell phones are an everyday staple for today's generations, the elderly have a hard time navigating the small buttons and complicated applications.

GreatCall has changed that with the Jitterbug, a classic, no frills flip phone that features bigger-than-normal buttons, an extra-powerful speakerphone and access to GreatCall's numerous features that give seniors the opportunity to live independently and give their loved ones peace of mind.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...