Imagine for a moment that your house is a vast system, connected wirelessly to communicate reminders, messages, and information about your health to your family to ensure continued safety and peace of mind. Imagine that as a caregiver, you can send pictures, calendars, weather information, reminders, or even play games with a loved one, when you are actually several miles away.

Now imagine, as a caregiver, you can assess your loved one’s normal activity, which can lead to quick alerts if something is out of the ordinary. If both caregiver and care recipient agree, health information, such as blood pressure, weight, and medication reminders can be monitored.

Additionally, a trusted caregiver can monitor door openings, eating schedules, wake up times, and movement to ensure his or her loved one is eating regularly, moving on a regular schedule, and waking up normally.

Now a reality, these sophisticated sensor systems are available on the market. As technologies improve and advance, the cost of such technology will decline, making these options more available to families in need. The integrated sensors can detect anything from a door opening, and vital signs, to failure to take prescribed medication.

This technology gives seniors the tools and support needed to continue to remain safe and secure in their own homes. Caregivers and seniors have the comfort of knowing that if something does happen, a family member will be informed.

Technology can keep us independent longer and while there will never be a substitute for in-person caregiving, the more we develop these new ideas and grow our knowledge, the more tools we will have to support and assist caregivers.

If you have any questions on technology that assists seniors and caregivers, call Council on Aging Silicon Valley at (408) 350-3200, option 1.