Keeping An Eye On The Folks
TELUS SmartHome Security’s advanced technology can keep you or your parent independent at any age.
On an average morning, you rush out the door, drop the kids off at daycare and get ready to brave the commute to work. By the time you get to your job, answer emails and deal with the latest crisis, you realize you haven’t had a chance to check in on your elderly mother who lives alone.
The number of seniors in Canada is growing dramatically. This year, for the first time ever, it’s higher than the number of Canadians under 14, according to Statistics Canada. That means middle-aged adults today are part of the sandwich generation: they’re squeezed between caring for kids – who are living at home longer – and looking after the wellbeing of their own older parents.
Most Canadian seniors live in their own homes or apartments, and more than third of women over age 65 live alone, according to Statistics Canada. For seniors, particularly for those with health problems, monitoring combined with TELUS SmartHome Security’s LifeCall system can help provide peace of mind for themselves and for their children.
“We see a lot of people wanting to put indoor cameras in the home where their elderly parents live so they can make sure no one has fallen or injured themselves,” says TELUS SmartHome Security residential sales representative John Soulos. “It really provides a sense of comfort.”
For those who might recoil at the idea of having their movements constantly captured on camera, TELUS SmartHome Security’s Zoe Yin says not to worry. The sophisticated technology is there when you need it, not when you don’t.
“It’s not like a traditional camera that keeps on recording all the time,” explains Yin, who is based in Vancouver. The system can offer comfort while respecting privacy by using motion-sensor cameras that are only triggered when someone walks past them. She suggests setting them up in riskier areas such as stairs, where devastating falls and broken bones are more likely, and installing sensors that can provide alerts for unusual activity – or lack of activity – that may indicate trouble.
For example, Yin says customers can set up routines around their loved one’s activity patterns, such as what time they get up each day. “Because they have the system in the home, the sensors will be able to catch their movement – so if there is no movement for a long time, or if they never opened the bedroom door or went into the living room like they usually do, there may be something wrong.”
At that point, TELUS SmartHome Security will reach out to the people on their contact list “and say you might want to check in,” she says. It’s also possible to set up alerts if the security system detects the resident leaving the house at odd hours, like in the middle of the night.
Yin says many of the seniors she works with don’t have cellphones, making it harder to check in on them if, for instance, they have fallen down. That’s where TELUS SmartHome Security’s LifeCall pendant and Two-Way Voice panel can help. The LifeCall pendant is a waterproof panic button that communicates immediately with an TELUS SmartHome Security monitoring station in case of emergency. Once it’s triggered, TELUS SmartHome Security can call the home, or communicate with the customer through the two-way panel. “We can ask if they are OK or need help and dispatch an ambulance if necessary,” Yin says. If there is no immediate reply, help is sent at once.
Yin says the panel can help offer peace of mind to people with a myriad health conditions. “One of my customers has heart disease and moved several times from one home to another. Each time she would call and tell me, ‘Zoe, I want the talking keypad.’ Like her, a lot of seniors with disabilities really appreciate the Two-Way Voice Panel.”
All of the system’s alerts and cameras can be monitored and seen on a smartphone app that grants access to up to 10 people. “If we have family members concerned about how seniors are doing in their home, they can be given login and can get a notification, for instance, when someone is going up the stairs,” Yin says.
It all takes a load off much-squeezed sandwich generation caregivers. So have a coffee while checking those emails, glance at the app to make sure all is okay at home, and give your mum a call later in the day, when you have time for a good talk.
Call 800-664-5526 to get a free quote or fill out the ‘Get a Free Quote’ form to the right of this page.