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11 Technology Options for Monitoring Elderly Parents Remotely

11 Technology Options for Monitoring Elderly Parents Remotely

Many elderly people are still capable of living alone but they might just need a little help. Learn how to use technology to check in on your parents without being obtrusive. I've also included a guide on how to have the conversation with your parents about these monitoring options.
smiling elderly parents
smiling elderly parents
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Caring for aging parents, relatives, and seniors often becomes just another burden on working parents that are possibly caring for their own kids and working full-time along the way.

Your parents probably want to stay in their own home as long as possible rather than just get shifted into a nursing home, but they might still need some oversight. Fortunately, modern technology makes monitoring elderly parents remotely a possibility.

Sadly, the common perception of the public in terms of monitoring elderly parents remotely might take their minds back to the infamous commercials of an older lady who was screaming about having fallen down and not being able to get up.

While that was an early innovation in this kind of technology, things have evolved quite a ways better since then, especially in terms of how conspicuous the technology can be.

Monitoring elderly parents remotely is a godsend for anyone who can’t physically check in on an elderly relative or parent daily.

The general upside of remote monitoring technology is that it has made this simpler.

However, it can still feel intrusive to those seniors that would rather not give up one iota of the independence they’ve enjoyed for so long.

Options For Monitoring Elderly Parents Remotely

Many working adults might immediately think of baby monitors and video cameras for keeping tabs on their elders. In certain cases of dementia, this might actually be appropriate. However, it’s a tremendous invasion of privacy and possibly even illegal for anyone who still has their mental faculties together. Still, starting your eventual ‘conversation’ is a great option.

Fortunately, you can pitch many other options to your parents or older loved ones that might suit them just fine, especially if they don’t even know such things exist yet.

You can also consider Housing Association Software used by many nursing homes to manage multiple things and build a community of friends for your elderly parents. They’ll have access to food, healthcare services, transportation options, and social engagements with other seniors – all from the comfort of your computer!

Keep reading to learn about using monitoring video cameras with elderly loved ones, wearable body tech, and many other potential options for remotely monitoring your elderly parents remotely using modern technology and possibilities:

Wyze Video Cameras With 2 Way Audio

WYZE Cam v3 with Color Night Vision, Wired 1080p HD
  • Live-time Wi-Fi feed lets caregivers check-in online and view what’s happening anytime.
  • Privacy concerns, especially in bathrooms and bedrooms, where accidents might happen and not get noticed.

Businesses have been using these for decades, and many assisted living facilities, and nursing homes use them to monitor traffic in public spaces. However, where to install one in a private home is a complex decision. A front entry might be normally acceptable, but what about a kitchen or living room?

Instant Delivery Services

smiling elderly woman opening a delivery she just receivedPin
  • Voice recognition means visual and manual dexterity aren’t issues preventing shopping for necessary items.
  • This does mean strangers coming to the door.

Between your job, kids, life (if you have one), and caring for older family members, you just don’t have many hours left in the day, if that. Now, it’s possible to schedule deliveries of things ranging from medications to groceries in under an hour. Amazon has paved the way with urban centers that do same-day delivery, but Google Home and Alexa can also help seniors.

June Life Oven

  • Alexa-based voice control helps out anyone visually impaired with their cooking.
  • Remote-control abilities don’t give caregivers much data about the current health status of their loved ones.

This device is an air fryer, slow cooker, convection oven, and toaster oven simultaneously. An in-built camera lets users check on their food even from the couch, while other ‘smart’ tech includes phone alerts when food is nearly ready and basic touchscreen controls.

Caregivers can check in with the June Oven to be sure it’s off when necessary and even turn it off by remote.

Also Read: Electric Cookers for Seniors

Sense Energy Monitor

  • You can see if your parents are making their morning coffee as usual.
  • If their TV is on later than expected, you might be tempted to shut it off remotely, assuming they fell asleep in front of it. Then you get a late-night call demanding to know what they missed in their show.

This energy-monitoring device hooks up to the home’s electrical system. With the right connections, remote app controls let a caregiver see what devices are on and off. Alerts can be set up to ensure a resident follows their normal daily activity pattern.

RELATED: Remotely Monitored Thermostats for the Elderly

Nutrition Tracking

senior woman standing next to a smart refrigeratorPin
  • Make sure they have fresh fruit and vegetables on hand.
  • If the food volume isn’t dropping much when the grandkids are over, there’s probably a lot of freshly baked cookies getting munched on you’re not supposed to know about.

Smart refrigerators sometimes come with Wi-Fi-connected cameras. Options include the Samsung Family Hub or the LG InstaView ThinQ.

You can use these to look into your elder’s fridge and see what they do and don’t have on hand regarding food.

Ride-Sharing/Booking Apps

senior woman waiting for a ride share carPin
  • An effective way to get around without access to mass transit or having friends available for rides.
  • Seniors can be susceptible to scamming by unscrupulous strangers.

Uber and Lyft spread like wildfire among the younger generations initially, but older generations find them useful for getting around. Many older adults start losing their capacity to drive or just don’t want to hassle with it anymore. Getting driven around by others is a lifesaver for appointments, errands, and social activities. If an app is outside the comfort zone of your loved ones, consider a concierge service, such as GoGoGrandparent, which sets up rides through a toll-free number.


senior couple talking to doctor on tabletPin
  • No trips to the doctor’s office, no waiting rooms, no getting sick from being around ailing patients.
  • Some caregivers might start overly relying on this instead of in-person interaction, which can be detrimental to the social needs of an older loved one.

If your elder has the right devices at home to track their overall health and specifics like glucose levels and vital signs, then many doctors and nurses can do this via telemedicine. For that matter, a daily video conference lets you chat with your elders in live time and see with your own eyes how they are doing. This lets you read their body language and learn things other technology just can’t tell you. This option is pretty simple to set up with a laptop computer, a senior-friendly tablet, or smartphone through apps like Skype, Zoom, and many others

Medical Alert Systems for Seniors

  • A-la-carte pricing means customizable and flexible contracts; detects falls indoors and out; shower-proof bathroom buttons to press in bathing accidents.
  • The base station range won’t extend past the home property, so not useful when out and about.

Remember the company that spammed TV airwaves with someone who fell and couldn’t get up?

They’ve been on the receiving end of cruelty from comedians for years, but that’s also a testament to their success. They’ve been offering emergency alert services to people who need them, and they’ve been doing it 24/7 for over three decades. There are now wristband options on top of the classic pendant, and emergency activation will trigger a response, even if the patient doesn’t verbally respond to the incoming call from an operator.

Adobe Home Security Solution

  • Extremely handy in the event of an emergency; fast response times are possible.
  • Installation can be complex and expensive if the various devices in the home aren’t already compatible with tech.

There are other manufacturers alongside Adobe, and they all do install alarms to motion, windows, and doors. Caregivers and authorities can be notified when there are issues. This includes flood sensors, smoke alarms, and thermostat controls.

Fibaro Homekit Motion Sensors

  • Sensors can even tell a caregiver when elders are in or out of bed and how often their medicine cabinet is accessed.
  • Installation is very complex, often requiring professional specialists.

These were originally designed for detecting intruders. However, if they are connected to the right smart home hub, they can turn lights on when people walk down the sidewalk or even inside rooms. This prevents fumbling for a light switch and dramatically reduces the risk of falling or tripping in the dark or low light.

Having ‘The Conversation’

None of these options, no matter how well-intended, are even possible without having ‘the conversation’ with your parents. Installing technology into their homes without consent lands between rude and downright illegal.

Set a Planned Time for the Talk

You have to talk to them. It’s best to have this conversation in advance instead of during an emergency. In a crisis, major life decisions might fall to just one or two people, but doing things ahead of time, intentionally, can bring everyone on board.

Sadly, no one wants to do this. Working adults might not feel like they have the time, actual grandparents and seniors don’t want to give up any independence or burden to their kids, and younger generations just might not understand what aging and end-of-life are all about.

Still, if you want to be ready for your parents’ future needs, you need to get everyone involved on the same page. A planned meeting is best, given how easy it is to kick this can down the road. Don’t bring this topic up casually at a birthday party or holiday dinner. If you can’t get everyone together at one time physically, then you need to make arrangements for a Skype call or something similar.

Set Attainable Goals for the Discussion

The goal of your family conversation is to have everyone talk about the wishes and needs of your parents or other elders and seniors as they age. Where would they want to be if they can’t live on their own any longer? How will options be paid for? What are they willing to do to adapt to their current residential circumstances? Can your family do anything to help them now? Just a little bit of positive and productive conversation can go a long way.

Be ready to pitch some of the ideas and options this article presents. They might not even know they exist, and anything that can help them stay in their current home safely might delight them.

Be Respectful and Address Their Concerns

During this meeting, you might need also to address current concerns as much as you cover what could happen in the future. Ask if they have fallen lately, whether or not they’re losing weight, if their vision is failing, and how current they are on bills. The most difficult thing to ask them about might be whether or not they should even still be driving.

Honor their wishes as much as you can, and always be respectful. Luckily, they’ve already got plans in place of their own, and you can support and improve them with what you know from this content and other sources.

Offering choices and the right technologies to prevent falls is a great way to keep the conversation going without them getting too defensive. Remember, ‘the conversation’ might be ongoing over many individual compromises and discussions.

In Conclusion

Your parents cared for and cared for you in your younger, formative years. It only makes sense that you would want to try and return the favor when they need you. Having said that, giving up their independence or admitting they need help is probably something they don’t want to hear, much less even talk about.

Many elders also don’t want to be any kind of burden on their kids or grandkids, preferring to let them live their own lives. Still, modern technology and options let parents stay in their residences for many years in ways that weren’t possible even a decade ago.

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Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

Scott Grant, CSA®, SHSS®

With over 20 years of experience and certifications as a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)® and Senior Home Safety Specialist (SHSS)®, Scott Grant provides reliable recommendations to help seniors maintain independence through informed product and service choices for safe, comfortable living.

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1 thought on “11 Technology Options for Monitoring Elderly Parents Remotely”

  1. Louise Reed

    I truly appreciate this straightforward article! My mother turns 81 soon, Dad’s in late 70’s. I live less than an hour away, but of course I can’t be there all the time. Dad’s very frail and sickly, yet he still drives himself to dialysis and doctor appointments. Mom has cataracts and arthritis in her hands, is otherwise in good health. My siblings live in 3 different states. So, I will plan to have “the conversation” virtually ASAP. Thanks again!!!

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