Personal alarm devices for the elderly are increasing in popularity as more older Australians are living at home for longer. Modern technology plays a significant role in helping our senior population maintain independence, though monitoring systems that can detect emergency situations.
Betty Hartley from Jacana who recently turned 91 has been living on her own for the past 20 years. Three months ago her daughter Carol Warren arranged for a SOFIHUB home to be installed in her home.
“My daughter Carol came over to my place one day and said she wanted to talk to me about something. We sat down over a cuppa and Carol started talking about this new thing that can remind me to take my tablets and would let her know if I’d had a fall. I’m not up with technology so I wasn’t sure what she was really talking about at first but it sounded like something that might help me.”
What is a SOFIHUB home?
SOFIHUB home is one of the most popular personal alarm devices for the elderly on the market, that monitors daily patterns, alerting family members if something appears out of place. Sensors are placed throughout the home that track simple routines.
For example, if your elderly parent has woken up later than their usual time, or not opened the medicine cabinet to take their medication when it’s due, this personal alarm device will detect changes outside of the normal activity. It will then send a message to the carer/family member to make you aware something may be wrong with your loved one.
Three months on and we take a look at what Betty thinks of her SOFIHUB home personal alarm device.
“Once I agreed with Carol to have the SOFIHUB home installed in my unit, a lovely gentleman came to put the sensors throughout my place. He sat down and explained in detail how it all worked. I was a bit worried at first that he would use all this technical language that I wouldn’t understand but it wasn’t like that at all.
It was very easy and I really didn’t need to do anything except go about my normal routine once my daily activities and times were recorded.
What they called the ‘hub’ would speak to me to remind me that it was ‘time to take my medication’. When we had those 30 degree days it told me to ‘drink more water’. It even reminded me when my optometrist appointment was! My grandson would even leave messages to see how I was going and remind me to watch the tennis which we both enjoy.
I even gave her the name ‘Gretel’. When she would remind me of something, I quite enjoyed saying ‘thanks for that Gretel’ even though I knew she couldn’t hear me”.
“A few months down the track and I was still talking back to my SOFIHUB home or ‘Gretel’ as I call her. It was a nice feeling to think I had a companion and in a strange way, like someone was looking out for me.
I’d been telling my neighbours about the SOFIHUB home and almost felt like I was one of these ‘trendy people’ who had the latest technology on the block. My daughter had some device that was part of the system that could tell if I’d had a fall, so I was glad she’d be able to come and help me if I ever needed her help.
“It was at this time I really became aware of how important this alarm device was. I was at home watching the TV and I’d fallen asleep in the chair. I hadn’t taken my blood pressure tablets at the usual time.
The SOFIHUB had sent a message to my daughter Carol and let her know that I hadn’t taken my tablets at the usual time. Carol came over to see if I was ok. I thought at this time, imagine if I had this device when I had my fall a few months ago? Carol would have known and been able to come and help me straight away.”
Final Thoughts from Betty
After three months of living with the SOFIHUB home Betty tells us that she is so pleased she listened to her daughter and got the personal alarm device.
“It’s not only given me peace of mind that someone will know if I’ve had a fall. It also gives my daughter and grandson comfort knowing that if I am in trouble they can come and help me”.
Betty goes on to say that “it can be lonely living on your own at times and I don’t want to be a burden on my family. I’ve actually become very fond of ‘Gretel’ and even though I know she’s not a person, I feel safer knowing that someone is looking out for me”.