Best Monitoring Systems for Elderly in the Home
Most people think of medical alert systems when searching for senior safety devices for their loved ones. But aging-at-home technology has advanced exponentially in recent years to meet the growing demand for services and the need for more specialized monitoring. These systems are no longer one-size-fits-all devices. They offer special services, and some can even be customized to older adults’ specific needs.
For example, depending on the home monitoring system one uses, caregivers can be alerted to risky behaviors such as confusion, medication adherence, bathroom usage, or other fall risks.
When considering monitoring systems for elderly individuals at home, “It’s best to do lots of research and speak to representatives from each company as all systems have their pros and cons,” said Gareth Mahon, CEO of The CareSide, a home care and nursing service for the elderly and disabled.
To help you narrow your search, our team of experts at AgingInPlace.org looked at several home monitoring systems, determined which were best for certain individuals, and selected our top brands. Here’s what we found.
- Monitoring systems are not one-size-fits-all devices. Different types offer specific solutions, depending on an individual’s needs.
- Some home monitoring systems for the elderly can alert caregivers about health or cognitive issues.
- Other home monitoring systems can detect falls and provide a rapid emergency response if needed.
- Not all home monitoring systems are connected to outside sources. Some are more private and only alert assigned caregivers via an app
- Newer technology has created virtual caregivers that can learn a user’s behaviors. These services usually come at a higher price.
How Monitoring Systems Work for the Elderly in the Home
Home monitoring services are designed to give caregivers and their aging loved ones peace of mind while also enabling them to age in their homes as long as possible. Since senior adults can have a wide range of health and mobility issues, these systems work differently depending on the type of service. Some alert first responders in the event of an emergency. Others notify caregivers if risky behavior is identified. Some provide medical data to the user’s healthcare team. Read on as we explore the different monitoring systems for elderly individuals in the home.
Different Types of Monitoring Systems
Monitoring systems for the elderly offer a variety of features. These systems can be used alone or paired with another monitoring system depending on your loved one’s needs. Common types of monitoring systems include:
- Voice-activated services
- Movement sensors
- Video monitoring
- Personal emergency response systems
- Medical monitoring
- Comprehensive artificial intelligence home systems
Benefits of Monitoring Systems for the Elderly in the Home
Monitoring systems for the elderly provide numerous benefits beyond helping individuals age at home. These include:
- Early detection of cognitive and medical health issues
- Peace of mind for caregivers and their loved ones
- Heightened home security and monitoring of safety issues, such as room temperature spikes or drops
- Reduced healthcare costs
- More opportunity to connect with loved ones further away
Top Monitoring Systems for the Elderly in the Home
Here are our top elderly monitoring systems, which include personal emergency response systems, voice-activated services, movement sensors, video monitoring, medical monitoring, and even comprehensive artificial intelligence (AI) home systems.
Type: Personal emergency response system
Best for: Seniors at risk of falling
Price: $29.95-$34.95/month for at-home systems. Cellular plan requires a one-time $124.95 equipment fee
- 24/7 monitoring that links users directly to emergency operators.
- On-the-go option available for an additional cost.
- Fall detection available for an additional monthly cost.
- Wearable devices are water-resistant.
- Two-way communication on most devices.
- Jewelry accessories available to disguise wearable pendants.
- Smartwatch model available, but it doesn’t include fall detection.
See our full Medical Guardian Review.
Type: Voice-activated service
Best for: More independent seniors
Price: $19.99/month or $199/year. (Free six-month trial offer going on now). Plus the cost of an Alexa device for the user and caregivers.
- Keeps up with users’ activities via the activity feed.
- Can alert caregivers to specific activities, such as when door sensors are activated.
- Alexa will notify caregivers if the user hasn’t communicated with the device within a certain period.
- A user can ask Alexa to call for help, and Alexa will immediately contact assigned caregivers.
- Enables caregivers to “drop in” on loved ones to visit or assess worrisome conditions.
- Can hook up to third-party fall detection devices, which will alert caregivers to falls.
Type: Movement sensors
Best for: Seniors with cognitive deficits
Price: $399 for starter equipment package with eight sensors and a hub. $99.99 monthly service charge. Additional sensors can be purchased for $29.99 each.
- Uses discrete sensors to track behavior: no cameras, microphones, listening devices, GPS tracking, or wearable technology.
- Sensors can be placed on front doors to monitor when someone opens the door.
- Bathroom sensors can detect toilet frequency and duration.
- System enables remote unlocking of the front door for first responders.
Type: Video monitoring
Best for: Discreetly checking on loved one’s home care from home health aides and senior sitters
Price: $44.99 one-time cost (currently 10% off standard $49.99 price)
- Equipped with dual-band Wi-Fi security camera with full HD video and motion detector.
- Cameras allow for two-way audio.
- Cameras have night vision for improved visibility of nighttime videos.
- Cameras can do a 355-degree pan and 50-degree tilt.
- Remote live view available anytime to check on loved ones.
- Can be used to discreetly check on the care your loved one receives from home health or other caregivers.
Type: Medical monitoring
Best for: Elderly with health problems that require regular monitoring
Price: $59.99/month and one-time $25 activation fee. Most add-ons require an additional $55 one-time fee.
- 24/7 emergency response.
- Physician-on-demand services.
- 24/7 medication reminders.
- Works with add-on devices from Pro Health system such as glucose monitor, blood pressure monitor, and pulse oximeter.
- Non-contact thermometers and weight scales are also available to track temperature and weight.
Type: Comprehensive AI home service
Best for: Those with larger budgets who want the most innovative option
Price: About $400/month (company estimates cost at $13.30 per day)
- Interactive virtual caregiver is programmed to recognize users and can learn their behaviors.
- System can also give memory stimulation exercises, medication reminders, or rehab for agility and strength.
- 24/7 emergency response available.
- Vitals monitoring available.
- Certified professional installment of Addison touch screens within home.