Taking Care of the Elderly
If you're a caregiver for senior citizens or the disabled, or if you take care of a senior in your home, using room monitors might be a great help for you. Being a caregiver is very stressful, especially if the person you're taking care of needs help frequently, or if you're afraid that something might happen if you're not very nearby. If that's the case, you probably check on that person every couple of minutes, or maybe you become anxious when you haven't checked in for even 10 or 15 minutes. This is where technology comes in. You can use some kind of monitoring system to help you be a good caregiver.
By using a room monitor, you can free yourself from constantly checking on the person and work on your other tasks while knowing that everything is fine with the patient.
Review: VTech Communications Safe & Sound Digital Audio Monitor
The VTech Digital Audio Monitor is a great choice if you decide to use an audio monitor. It provides great sound quality and allows you to adjust the sensitivity, so you won't hear every noise from the room being monitored. It's a two-way device, so you can easily communicate with the person you're taking care of. If using an audio monitor seems to be the best choice in your circumstances, this device worth checking out.
Review: Infant Optics DXR-5 2.4 GHz Digital Video Baby Monitor with Night Vision
Infant Optics DXR-5 is a video monitor. It's an expandable system - you can have up to 4 cameras. It's a pretty inexpensive monitor that provides good audio, video, and night vision. It has a "White Noise Eliminator" feature, which eliminates some of the background noise.
Please note that this system doesn't have the ability to adjust the camera's microphone sensitivity, but unfortunately almost all video monitors lack this feature. If you find one that has this feature and is a quality product, please leave a comment!
If you're looking for a video monitor, this one is definitely worth checking out. Instead of a video monitor, you can also choose a surveillance camera. It might be cheaper and still provide everything you need. If you're looking for one, check out the Foscam FI8910W IP Camera.
Review: BeClose BC-001 Remote Medical Alert Monitoring System for Family Caregivers
BeClose Remote Medical Alert Monitoring System is a product manufactured strictly for family caregivers. It comes with features such as a bed sensor (to track whether the bed is occupied or not, how long, and when) and an emergency pendant (to connect to an emergency operator by simply pushing a button).
The whole system uses motion sensors placed around the home that collect information about the daily routine of the person that you care for. You can get email, phone, or text message notifications if something unusual happens. You can always log into a web application where you have access to all the data that's collected by the system.
Please note that this is a service rather than a product. If you decide to purchase, you get two months of free service. Additional service can be purchased directly from the manufacturer.
Room monitors for seniors and handicapped - what you need to know
Why people choose room monitors for elderly?
Many people live with their aging parents (often in two-story properties) or disabled relatives and just need a way to monitor them without constantly going to check up on them (assuming they require assistance in some activities). Moving them to an assisted living facility is disruptive, uncomfortable, and can be very expensive, as well. Because of this, many people decide to buy a room monitor to help them with caregiving.
What to consider when buying a room monitor for elderly?
The first and most important thing to do is to talk with the person you're taking care of whether he/she will be comfortable with some kind of room monitoring. If that person doesn't agree on using such a device, I suggest you shouldn't force them to agree. Just show them all the benefits that a monitoring system has and answer all the questions. Remember to avoid the term "baby monitor". If they don't agree, think about other solutions. Installing a monitoring system without the consent of the person you're taking care of isn't a good idea, it'll just make things worse.
Before talking with the elderly/handicapped person you should figure out what kind of monitoring will work the best for your circumstances. For some people an audio monitor will be ideal. If you'll set the sensitivity of the microphone properly, you'll only hear the voice of that person when they'll speak loudly, so you won't hear all the background noises and you'll hear that person only if they really need some assistance.
Sometimes a video monitor is the best choice, especially when the person you're taking care of is disabled, faints sometimes, or if there's any other reason why they won't be able to call you for help. You should also remember that video monitors might be uncomfortable for many people. They won't be fond of being observed all the time, so I'd go for a video monitor only if it's an absolute necessity.
The most important feature to look for is that the system is two-way. This means you're able to speak with the person who is being monitored, so you'll be able to ask them questions when needed, or simply ask if everything is fine every once in a while. Some people choose to use walkie-talkies or intercoms instead of monitors; it all depends on your needs and circumstances.
If you don't live with the person you're talking care of, a room monitor isn't enough. You might buy a monitor with Internet access, but that's not the best solution to the problem, either. Instead, you should look for a more complicated (meaning feature-rich) system developed especially for caregivers that' will allow you to receive notifications on your phone/email and automatically call for emergency should something happen. That's a great solution for people living hundreds of miles away from their parents, but it's a pretty expensive one, too.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
What do you think about using room monitors to care for elderly?
Sara G on August 19, 2016:
I've been caring for the elderly for over 20 years. Room monitoring is not a luxury, it is a vital necessity. The faster you can reach a person means you will most likely lessen the extent of an injury or hopefully prevent it from occurring. This is a device that's useful from zero to 100 yrs of age. A product every home should have.
andrewking on September 11, 2013:
I know how hard it is to take care of an aging loved one especially if you don't have room monitors like these. My grandmother stays with us and she can still move around on her own but just to be sure we bought an audio monitor, so we'll know right away if something happened inside her room and of course for everyone's peace of mind. This product is definitely helpful to those providing informal caregiving at home.
rebecca-mathews1 on June 17, 2013:
i think it is a good idea
mrsztuczkens (author) on February 24, 2013:
@sue826 lm: Thanks, hope you'll figure out the right option.
sue826 lm on February 23, 2013:
We are just at the point where we have to determine what type of care my mother-in-law needs - your lens was helpful
mrsztuczkens (author) on December 20, 2012:
@selecthomecare: Thanks for the comment. You're 100% right ;)
selecthomecare on December 19, 2012:
There's some really good info here. Being able to keep an eye on an aging parent or friend is extremely important and room monitors make doing that much easier, especially when you have other things in the home that pull your attention away from those in your care.