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Smart Home Monitoring Systems for Elderly Care

Smart Home Monitoring Systems for Elderly Care

Smart home monitoring services for the elderly are going to transform independent living for older people, and give peace of mind to families, particularly for those who live some distance away from their parents. The word ‘monitoring’ might not fill you or your parents with joy – but really they’re non-intrusive services that can allow your loved ones to live in their own homes, more safely, for longer.

Elderly home monitoring works through passive sensors placed around the home. These send updates about the user’s activity and wellbeing to designated friends and family, as well as monitoring centres in some cases. Home monitoring services let you know when something is wrong — for example, if your relative hasn’t got out of bed in the morning. It is a great way of providing peace of mind for all parties when monitoring elderly parents’ welfare remotely.

Home monitoring services can also identify changes in your relative’s usual behaviour. If your Mum is a stickler for a cup of early morning tea at 7am, then if she doesn’t use the kettle one morning – for whatever reason – a sensor will let you know. With any luck she will just have had an unheard of lie-in; but it could also signal a medical problem or a fall in the night. 

The systems listed below range in cost from under £300 to almost £840 per annum. While these prices exceeds that of basic telecare such as personal alarms, each of these monitoring systems provide significantly more intelligent and comprehensive care insights. When you compare these prices to the cost of a care home, it is notably inexpensive – particularly when you consider that they may be the key to your loved one remaining in their own home.

We have picked out the best home monitoring systems currently available in the UK. It is worth noting that these systems can be particularly helpful for people living with dementia.

StackCare

StackCare is a smart home monitoring system that allows families and carers to monitor older individuals living in their own home. StackCare works by monitoring a person’s movement, behaviours and home environment. The hub will send daily & instant notifications along with other reports to a number of nominated recipients via the mobile app.

stackcare remote monitoring

StackCare uses machine learning technology to provide personalised reports. It will learn the routines of the person you care for, and be able to rapidly detect when your relative’s behaviour is out of the ordinary. You also receive a daily wellbeing update every morning which ensures you know your loved one is up and about, and covers sleep patterns, number of trips to the bathroom, and the temperature of their property.

You can install the StackCare hub and 3 sensors in your relative’s home yourself in as little as 15 minutes, with no tools required. Additional sensors can be purchased if required.

  • 3 sensors included
  • Additional sensors available to buy
  • Self-installation
  • Professional 24/7 monitoring: No
  • Data visible to family: Yes
  • Personal alarm included: No
  • Mobile app: Yes
  • External intruder alarm: No
  • Wifi required: Yes

The StackCare setup costs £149, which consists of the hub, 3 sensors & the power supply. Extra sensors are available at a cost of £49.95. The monitoring subscription costs £29.99 per month, or you can get 12 months for the price of 10 by buying an annual subscription. 

stackcare home monitoring sensors

Total first year cost excluding VAT: £508.88.

This is equivalent to £9.78 per week for year one, reducing to £6.92 per week thereafter.

SECOM CareTech Care Alert

Care Alert by SECOM CareTech is a smart home monitoring system cum intruder alarm. It allows you to monitor your loved one’s welfare while protecting their property from would-be intruders.

The Care Alert system works by monitoring movement, door activity and temperature changes using four discreet sensors placed around the house (more sensors can be added to your package if required).

SECOM Care-tech

The sensors feed back to an app and SECOM’s 24-hour Alarm Receiving Centre. If the system detects an extended period of inactivity while the user is at home, or the alarm is triggered by an intruder while the user is out of the house, the system will alert friends, family and a trained team of security experts, giving multiple emergency contacts the opportunity to respond.

You will receive an alert if there is any unusual activity in your loved one’s home. This could be an emergency such as a fall, a break-in attempt, or a specific event such as your loved one forgetting to take their medication.

CareTech’s Care Alert system includes 24/7 professional monitoring. If you’re ever unavailable during an emergency, SECOM’s resolution team will provide the practical support and reassurance your loved one needs.

  • 4 sensors included
  • Additional sensors available
  • Professional installation
  • Professional 24/7 monitoring: Yes
  • Data visible to family: Yes
  • Personal alarm included: No
  • Mobile app: Yes
  • External security alarm: Yes
  • Wifi required: No

The SECOM CareTech Care Alert 4 sensor package costs £879.40 for the first year. There is then a monthly subscription fee starting from £29.78 in the second year. 

Total first year cost excluding VAT: From £879.40.

SECOM CareTech Home Monitoring for Elderly

This is equivalent to £16.91 per week for year one, reducing to £6.87 thereafter.

Taking Care Safe Home Alert

Taking Care’s Safe Home Alert is a smart home monitoring service for the elderly which is monitored 24/7 by Taking Care’s expert team. The Safe Home Alert includes 5 motion and room temperature sensors, 2 door sensors, a fridge sensor and 2 smart plugs for the kettle and microwave. The Safe Home Alert also includes a personal alarm and professional installation.

Taking Care Safe Home Alert

Safe Home Alert is powered by Anthropos’ powerful Artificial Intelligence platform, which understands your relative’s usual routines and provides you and your loved one with valuable insights about changes in their behaviour. For example, a smart plug can measure how often the kettle boils. If your relative is boiling their kettle much less than usual, they may be dehydrated. If they are boiling it many times in a row, it could be an early sign of memory problems. You can use these insights, viewed on a secure website, to manage your relative’s health and care needs.

If an emergency alert is detected by the Safe Home Alert – or the alarm is activated – the Taking Care Emergency Resolution team will be automatically notified. They will provide reassurance and support to your relative when called, notify relatives, and escalate the alarm to emergency services when necessary.

There are no microphones, cameras, wiring or electrical work necessary.

  • 8 sensors included
  • 2 smart plugs included
  • Professional installation
  • Professional 24/7 monitoring: Yes
  • Data visible to family: Yes
  • Personal alarm included: Yes
  • Mobile app: No
  • External intruder alarm: No
  • WiFi required: Yes

The Taking Care Safe Home Alert hardware and set-up costs £299.99 excluding VAT. The subscription cost is £69.99 per month excluding VAT.

Total first year cost excluding VAT: £1139.87. 

Taking Care Safe Home Alert

This is equivalent to £21.92 per week for year one, reducing to £16.15 per week thereafter.

Frequently asked questions about elderly home monitoring services

Q.

Do home monitoring services for the elderly use cameras or microphones?

A.

None of the home monitoring products and services listed here use cameras or microphones. They all offer an unobtrusive solution for monitoring elderly parents remotely.

Q.

Are elderly monitoring services expensive?

A.

The price of smart home monitoring services and systems has to be considered in comparison to alternative care options.

Home care monitoring is a more expensive solution than for example a personal alarm due to the hardware costs. However, it provides a service beyond that of traditional telecare.

When compared to the cost of a care home, day care or live-in care, home monitoring is considerably more affordable.

Q.

Is there funding available for a monitoring system for elderly in the home?

A.

There is funding available for elderly home monitoring in some circumstances. Telecare can be offered as part of a package of funded care for people living at home. 

Find out more about paying for elderly home monitoring from our guide to care funding. 

Q.

Can anybody other than the family access the information?

A.

The beyond-basic telecare companies listed here are all fully compliant with privacy regulations. Data is stored in the cloud and encrypted.

Nobody other than the family or relevant assigned authority bodies can access the information. When home monitoring services are used by home care providers, their carers will usually also have access to the information.

Telecare monitoring services do not pass the data from their elderly monitoring devices on to third parties. 

Q.

Are home monitoring services helpful for people with dementia?

A.

Elderly home care monitoring can be very helpful for elderly people living with dementia.

If you have worries about your relative with dementia remembering to eat, turning the heating on, or wandering in the night, then passive home monitoring can let you know immediately if they require support, or a phone call to remind them.

Q.

Do elderly home monitoring services require WiFi?

A.

Some monitoring systems for the elderly require WiFi, and others use 2G.

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