The idea of using sensors to track the activities of the elderly is nothing new. But for the most part it’s been done in institutional settings. Those systems that could be deployed in the home were either expensive, or part of more complex home security systems. Now there’s a low cost solution that is easy to deploy from a company called Lively. It is incredibly simple to install. I mean like no-brainer simple. You plug in the hub. You place the half dozen sensors from the starter kit. You sign up. You’re done. The hub accesses the cellular network (the access is transparent and there’s no separate cost). You do not need a home Internet connection.
Some of the sensors have designated uses: refrigerator, pill box (2), keys. Another is designed to go elsewhere in the kitchen, like the microwave door or a pantry cabinet. And the last one can be used anywhere you want. I put it on my reading chair.
You can easily set up the computer dashboard for the service, or use it on your smartphone. People you designate can get regular updates, and over time the system learns your habits. If you’re not doing your regular activities, or not using your pill box, the system will send an email alert.
Lively also provides a twice monthly hard copy of a personalized newsletter from the patient’s caregivers, friends and family, with photographs and notes, and it’s delivered through the mail, so no computer is needed.
Cost for the hub and six sensor starter kit is $149, and after the first two months there’s a monthly service fee of just about $20. Bottom line: this is an affordable, easy to setup and easy to use use solution for keeping track of someone living alone, just to make sure they’re sticking pretty close to a healthy routine, and provides an early warning if something out of the ordinary is going on.