Savvy Senior: How to keep a watchful eye on an aging parent | Life

QUESTION: Are you able to suggest any expertise or service that may assist me monitor my aged mom, who lives alone? For the reason that coronavirus pandemic began, my sister and I’ve seen that my mother’s well being has slipped a bit, so we want to discover one thing that helps us preserve tabs on her once we’re not round.

ANSWER: Relying on how carefully you need to monitor your mom, and what she’s snug with as properly, there are check-in name providers together with some new monitoring expertise units you’ll be able to flip to for assist. Listed below are a number of to contemplate.

Verify-in calls

In case you simply desire a easy examine to ensure your mother is OK day by day, think about signing her up with a every day check-in name service program. These are phone reassurance packages run by police or sheriff’s departments in tons of of counties throughout the nation and are normally supplied freed from cost.

Right here’s how they work. A pc automated telephone system would name your mother at a delegated time every day to check-in. If she solutions, the system would assume every thing is OK.

But when she didn’t decide up or if the decision goes to voicemail after repeated tries, you (or her different designee) would get a notification name.

In case you are not reachable, calls are then made to backup individuals who have additionally agreed to examine in your mother if obligatory.

The fallback is, if nobody could be reached, the police or different emergency providers personnel shall be dispatched to her residence.

To seek out out if this service is on the market in your mother’s neighborhood, name her native police division’s nonemergency quantity. If the service will not be provided, you’ll be able to flip to different organizations or firms that present related providers.

One which I really like that’s additionally free is Mon Ani, or (650) 267-2474. It provides a volunteer telephone financial institution that gives telephone or video calls every day, weekly or something in between.

The volunteer will join together with your mother, present companionship and ensure every thing is OK. And the individual will let you understand if there’s an issue.

Monitoring expertise

Know-how additionally provides a wide range of methods that will help you control your mother when you’ll be able to’t be there. One nifty new possibility is the Digital Caregiver’s ( “Premier” product, which is a wearable wrist system that gives exercise monitoring, a 24/7 emergency assist button, remedy reminders and a GPS locator so you’ll be able to decide your mother’s whereabouts when she’s away from residence.

It’s additionally linked to a household caregiver app to maintain you and different family members within the loop. The system is free with a month-to-month subscription that prices $40 to $60 a month, relying on the extent of monitoring.

In case your mother is primarily homebound, another choice to contemplate is a sensor monitoring system like Caregiver Good Options ( This makes use of small sensors (not cameras) positioned in key areas of your mother’s residence to trace her actions — every thing from whether or not she used the coffeepot to how a lot she’s watching TV — and can let you understand if one thing out of the bizarre is occurring. As an illustration, if she went to the toilet and didn’t go away, it might point out a fall or different emergency.

You can also inspect her patterns anytime you need by the system’s web site or app.

And for extra safety, it provides emergency name buttons that may be positioned round the home.

Caregiver Good Options begins at $99 for the exercise sensors, plus a $29 month-to-month service charge.

Jim Miller is editor of the Savvy Senior. Ship your senior inquiries to Savvy Senior, P.O. Field 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or go to

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