A growing sector of the alarm installation market is focused on providing solutions for those who plan on aging in place or working with clients that manage assisted living facilities. We are seeing some very innovative applications in this area, such as IBM Research’s trial run using lidar from self-driving cars in seniors’ homes to help watch for falls or trouble walking in a less invasive manner than a video cam.
If you are working with aging in place or assisted living projects today, there are a number of technologies currently on the market that it’s beneficial to understand and potentially recommend to clients with specific concerns: Let’s go over a few of them!
A key aspect of aging in place and related solutions is remote monitoring. In other words, seniors are interested in ways for their family or caregivers to keep an eye on them and help out quickly if it looks like something has gone wrong. This is particularly common for in-house apartments where elderly family members may be enjoying their independence, but who also need a way for family to monitor their wellbeing.
This concern is typically balanced against privacy worries: Companies can walk clients through security cam solutions that are easy to use and keep video data offline and out of the cloud if necessary (either through local storage or limited to live streams). It’s important to emphasize that only family members with the right permissions will be able to watch through security cams, even if there is a broader home monitoring plan in place.
As for placement, there are plenty of options. Family and caregivers may be particularly interested in watching the living room or bedroom so they can quickly spot falls, trouble sleeping, or other potential issues in these areas.
Motion sensors are a less invasive way to help monitor living situations. They are one of the most versatile devices for aging in place and can help do everything from alert seniors that someone is at the door (easily paired with a video doorbell, for example) to monitor in-house activity and alert caregivers about exactly where people are in the house. More traditional contact or glass sensors can also be used as part of security systems for seniors that are specifically worried about break-ins, and with compatible platforms more devices can be added in the future as the need arises, allowing the system to be customized as aging in place needs shift.
In assisted living situations, motion sensors can also have more health-related purposes: For example, a non-invasive way of tracking visits to the bathroom can help uncover conditions like a urinary tract infection.
Mat Alarms – Alarm Installation Solution for Seniors
Mat alarms are a unique device specifically designed for aging in place. They are placed under mats and carpet in areas like the bathroom, living room, or kitchen, where they detect vibrations and impact. These alarms can send alerts if it appears someone has suffered a fall in that area. A growing solution for assisted living facilities, mat alarms are also becoming a part of aging in place upgrades.
Note: Aging in place renovations strictly avoid placing rugs over hard flooring, as this can increase the risk of a fall and associated problems. Mat alarms are used on non-slip mats designed to stay in place – such as the kind used in a senior-friendly bathroom – and similar surfaces.
Smart Speakers and Displays
Smart speakers and displays are in an interesting place right now. They are primarily consumer-led, DIY solutions that are versatile enough to fill some security roles. Echo devices, for example, can enable Alexa Guard or Guard+ to listen for alarms or sounds associated with a break-in. Seniors may also prefer voice assistants for their ability to remotely control systems or the option to call for help at a distance if something goes wrong. If a smart display in particular is part of the picture, it’s a good idea to recommend compatible security platforms that the smart display can connect to, show live video feeds through, and so on.
Life Pendants and Other Medical Alert Devices
Many major platforms – ADT, LifeFone, Philips Lifeline, Medical Guardian, etc. – also offer life pendants or other medical alert devices that can be worn and used for seniors to report health crises. These devices can often integrate with security systems and alarms for full support without needing to rely on multiple platforms and finding a platform compatible with medical alert devices may be a priority for many clients.
Alarm Installation Services for Seniors and Aging in Place Solutions
Alarm and security installations are only part of a comprehensive aging in place strategy – but they represent a rising part of the industry that could be a valuable new source of revenue while also helping clients reach their goals for growing older in a comfortable situation. If your business is interested in expanding more into this field, we suggest you make it clear on your website that you provide installation services for seniors and aging in place solutions. Before long, you can start providing winning testimonials as well!