4 Ways to Remotely Monitor the Elderly

Naysayers call it a BIG Brother attempt at a surveillance system to detect worrisome changes in an older person's behaviour.

But in Scotland, where the system is in trial phase, exponents say it's a legitimate attempt to help elderly and vulnerable people living independently at home.

HeraldScotland reported on the ambitious technology developed by computer scientists at Technabling, a spin-off company of Aberdeen University, CaringAide.

CaringAide works in 4 ways as a remote monitoring system for the elderly.

1. A network of sensors is placed around an older adult's home to detect shifts in routines indicative of health dangers, such as a fall or signs of dementia.

2. Electronic messages are emitted for assessment to a remote care center staffed 24/7 by professionals. In case of immediate action the person's care contact or support network is alerted.

3. A computerized infrastructure linked to internet cameras is integrated into the system. CaringAide plays down users' fears they are being watched.

4. Design software to protect privacy through a process of making use of multiple encryption and security technologies. Images are not accessible or visible unless authorized.

CaringAide's pioneering work is being closely watched by North American Assisted Living and Continuing Care residences.