In-house Cameras and Sensors Keep Protective Eyes on Seniors

New technology is helping seniors stay at home. Independence is the number one concern of many older adults and their caregivers, so the advancements made with cameras and sensors connected to computers and smartphones makes the situation possible.

Two cities in Alberta, Canada - Grande Prairie and Medicine Hat - are utilizing sensor systems to emit alarms to relatives through smartphones or emails if their loved one falls or fails to get out of bed. The pilot project is getting a great response.

Ben Krzysik from Grande Prairie has Multiple Sclerosis and can have his every movement tracked by wife Donna. She can monitor him through video that is streamed online, even when she leaves.

Ben told CBC News: "I can live with the MS — it's my illness." He added, "But it makes it extremely difficult on the caregivers. It's not fair that my wife has to be here, or feels like she has to be here, all the time," he told the media source.

Tracy Raadik-Ruptash, the project co-ordinator for Alberta Health Services told CBC News: "If you have parents who live in Nova Scotia, for example, but you're here in Alberta, it's a really good way to monitor how they're doing, make sure that they're up and about, making sure that they are into the fridge to get their meals."

Funding will run out in March and users will need to make decisions to purchase the system at cost that could run several hundred dollars a month.

Cameras and sensors are often used in Nursing Care and Alzheimers Care Residences.