As age creeps up on us all new technologies are helping to keep the elderly safe and give peace of mind to adult children who may not always be around.
Every time Bill and Dorothy, open the fridge, close the bathroom door or open a medicine cabinet tiny sensors in their San Francisco home register the actions and create a digital logbook, which can be monitored on a smartphone.
The system allows the octogenarians to remain independent, yet secure.
David Glickman is the co-founder of Lively the company behind the initiative: “It gives people peace of mind and assurance that mom’s doing okay, without being too invasive. There are no video cameras or anything of that nature.”
Sensors can be placed in all manner of household fixtures and fittings. The system is cheap and uses accelerometers to track the movement of objectives.
However, privacy remains an issue.
Christine Ritchie is a professor of geriatrics at the San Francisco
school of medicine: “I think sensors have great potential in allowing older adults stay independent and at home for longer periods of time, but there are challenges with these sensors, especially in terms of their potential intrusion of privacy.”
The number of older people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is expected to increase in the coming years and with home care costs likely to rise the sensor system will afford the elderly security and independence.