A Technological Alternative to Moving a Senior From Their Home
Category: Elder Law
This article In Elder Care, Signing on Becomes a Way to Drop By from the New York Times describes a technology based alternative to home health care, assisted living, or nursing home care for seniors - instead of moving a senior to a safer location, why not make their home safer for them to live in alone?
CONNIE ARAPS, 57, of Delray Beach, Fla., thought that her father, Tom Araps, 87, was managing just fine on his own. But when he came to stay with her for a few months in 2005, she found that he was skipping meals, sleeping all morning and not taking daily walks.
To satisfy her father’s desire to live alone, but to ease her mind about his safety, Ms. Araps found an apartment for him less than a mile from her home and had it equipped with QuietCare, a home health alarm system provided by ADT Security Services.
She drops by his apartment often, and logs into a Web site several times a day to check on him. Motion sensors track how often Mr. Araps opens the refrigerator, when he gets out of bed and how long he stays in the bathroom. If his normal patterns vary, the alarm company alerts her. One day, the company called her to say that no one had entered or left the apartment all day. It turned out that a home health aide had failed to show up, and her father had not received his diabetes medication. Ms. Araps rushed over and made sure that her father took his pills.
The article does recognize that this technology is no a cure-all - who will monitor it? can they respond effectively if a change is shown? what about privacy concerns? But for some families, this can be an effective and economical solution to satisfy both the parents and the children's concerns.