Using Technology to Keep Seniors Safe

safety alarm for elderly

Australia’s population, like that of the majority of developed countries, is ageing. Over one-quarter of the elderly live alone.

While some of them are fortunate to have family members check in on them regularly, others are not.

And, while many of them prefer to live where they feel most at ease, which is often in their own homes, they must receive care when it is needed.

Elderly people are more likely to become ill, and illnesses such as hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease are common. Forgetting to take their medication can easily result in serious complications.

A consistent decline in memory is another cause for concern. It is common for seniors to forget to turn off stoves, heaters, and other potentially dangerous appliances.

safety alarm for elderly

Seniors with cognitive impairment could even wander off by themselves and fail to return home.

A new approach is needed if we have to meet their needs. One that allows the elderly to live in their own homes for longer and in an empowered way.

But while there have been attempts to create solutions that help, most of them don’t work.

For example, safety alarms for the elderly, such as pendants or smartwatches, can easily be removed, and seniors may forget to put them back on.

Until now that is.

Unveiling the Home…

safety alarm for elderly

Home is an ambient assistive technology for the elderly that allows them to live independently in the comfort of their own homes, knowing that help will be dispatched as soon as they need it.

Using smart technology and spoken reminders, Home encourages positive living and adherence to health-related routines.

The system comprises of a hub that’s generally placed in the lounge or kitchen and eight motion sensors.

These sensors are placed in commonly accessed areas around the home and monitor movements throughout the day in a non-invasive manner.

Home is Powered By SOFIHUB, a cloud-based, state-of-the-art interface that provides security and real-time access for carers and other users of these solutions.

During set-up, three key routines are programmed into the system via the portal: the time window of going to bed at night, the time window to rise and time spent in the bathroom at any one time.

The programming could look like this:

Time to sleep – 11 Midnight
Wake-up time in the morning – 7 am to 8 am
Time in the bathroom – 45 mins

Home monitors these routines and ‘prompts ’ the resident with spoken messages if one of these routines is missed.

Let’s take a quick look at what the system can do now that we’ve personalised the device to the residents’ needs.

Behavioural Insights

Here’s an illustration:

If a resident spends an hour in the bathroom instead of 45 minutes, or if they wake up later than usual, Home prompts them to press the device’s top button to confirm that they are fine.

If there’s no response after a couple more cloud-based reminders, Home sends a text message to carers and family members asking them to check on the person.

Medication reminders

Home reminds the resident of missed medications verbally, making it nearly impossible for them to forget.

Motion/Fall Detection

As people advance in age, they develop mobility and gait issues, which can lead to a tendency to fall.

Increased memory loss may also lead to seniors not completing normal activities or doing something completely out of the ordinary, such as walking out the garden door and not returning.

Anomalies such as falls or changes in routines trigger an alert to caregivers and assigned family members, ensuring that assistance is delivered as soon as possible

Text to Voice Messaging

Home allows carers and family members to stay connected by leaving text messages via the SOFIHUB Cloud Portal. These messages are read aloud instantly or at a scheduled time.

See what Gay Ochiltree (from the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne) says:

“It’s just this feeling that someone’s keeping an eye on you. I do feel safer. I know that someone will be aware that suddenly I’m not doing anything. I think it could benefit people living alone a great deal.”

Home is like a safety alarm for elderly people that helps them get on with their lives and live independently without the technology getting in the way.

Visit SOFIHUB to know more about the Home.