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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 can transform independent living for older people, and give peace of mind to families, particularly for those who live some distance away from their parents. 

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. It is a great way of providing peace of mind for all parties when monitoring elderly parents’ welfare remotely. 

Home monitoring services can 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. 

For many, home monitoring systems offer a cost effective alternative to in-person care. They allow your parent’s to live the same as they enjoy doing at the moment, with the added reassurance that they are safe doing so. This is especially the case if your elderly relative has recently been diagnosed with dementia.

We have also picked out the best home monitoring systems currently available in the UK.

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.

Learns routines and can help catch health issues early

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.

Alerts 24/7 response team in case of emergency

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.

What you need to know

  • 8 sensors included

  • 2 smart plugs included
  • Professional installation
  • Professional 24/7 monitoring
  • Data visible to the family
  • Personal alarm included
  • No mobile app or external intruder alarm
  • Wi-Fi required to work

How much does it cost?

The annual cost of the Taking Care Home Alert system is £479.88 including a one-off set-up fee of £199.99 (so following years will be cheaper). This also includes the monthly cost of monitoring. 

Total first year cost excluding VAT: £679.87. 

This is equivalent to £13.42 per week for year one, reducing to £9.23 per week thereafter.

Book a Free Home Demo

For a limited time

For a limited time, Taking Care are offering free, no obligation in-home demo of their Safe Home Alert system. This is not a sales pitch, just a chance to see how this technology works and to ask any questions that you have directly to an expert.

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. 

Learns routines and provides regular updates

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.

15mins to set-up

You can install the StackCare hub and 4 sensors in your relative's home yourself in as little as 15 minutes, with no tools required. Additional sensors can be purchased if required.

What you need to know

  • 4 sensors included
  • Additional sensors available
  • Easy self-installation
  • Monitoring updates and alerts sent directly to you through the app
  • Visible to multiple family members
  • Wi-Fi is required

How much does it cost?

For the first year StackCare costs £599 - which includes everything (setup, monitoring costs, 4 sensors). Extra sensors are available at a cost of £49.95. From year 2 onwards you can choose to pay monthly at £29.95 per month, or you can get 12 months for the price of 10 by buying an annual subscription at £299.

Total first year cost: £599

This is equivalent to just £11.52 per week.

Something more familiar?

Personal Alarms have been helping reassure families for over 10 years and might be an easier sell to elderly parents if they’ve heard about them. They are little wearable pendants or wrist watches that, in their simplest form, have an SOS button for them to press in case of emergency. 

Find out more about personal alarms here

taking care fall alarm personal alarm

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). 

24/7 Monitoring for safety and security

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.

What you need to know

  • 4 sensors included
  • Additional sensors available
  • Professional installation
  • 24/7 monitored by professional monitoring team
  • Includes an app that displays data and regular updates on wellbeing
  • External security alarm included
  • Does not require Wi-Fi to work

How much does it cost?

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.

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

Taking Care Sense

Taking Care Sense is the simplest form that smart home monitoring can take. All it is is a little box that sits in your relative’s kitchen. It works straight out of the box so there is no set up needed. It can work out when your relative has entered the room, but it also monitors atmosphere changes. The Taking Care Sense is perfect for people worried about their parents leaving the heating on or letting the house get too cold which could cause health issues. It is also just £119.88 a year – making it the cheapest option on this page

Learns routines

For the first couple of days that Taking Care Sense is in the kitchen it will start to learn the general routine of the person using it - when they get up, have their first cup of tea, cook, and go to bed. By learning the routine it can work out when something is wrong and passes the information onto Taking Care's 24/7 monitoring team.

24/7 Monitored

Taking Care's 24/7, TSA-accredited monitoring team will be notified the moment something wrong is detected whether that is the room getting colder than it usually is or no activity being recognised by a certain time in the morning. After 4 hours of a change being detected, the monitoring team will then assess the information, make a wellbeing call directly to the house and if a further call is needed they will contact the nominated friend / family. 

Reassurance without intrusion

The Taking Care Sense provides reassurance to family who might not live close to their older relatives especially when we look towards colder winters and higher fuel costs. It provides this reassurance without intrusion and while maintaining independence and dignity. It can be seen akin to a smoke alarm!

How much does it cost?

For the first 30 days Taking Care offer a money back guarantee, so if you're not happy you can send it back! The device is so easy to set up and doesn't need a Wi-Fi network or any cables to plug in. It has a 3 year battery life and Taking Care send you a replacement when the battery is low. You can also add a personal alarm to the package. 

There is a one-off set-up fee of £9.99 just to get you on the Taking Care systems. You can then either pay £9.99 a month or £119.88 for an entire year in one go.

Total first year cost: £129.87

This is equivalent to just £2.50 per week.

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.