SmartThings is a DIY home automation system that connects sensors and smart devices with a wireless hub. In addition to sensors, the system can loop in smart thermostats, smart plugs, door locks, and surveillance cameras. Now there isn’t a constant need for someone to always be there. Victims of Alzheimer’s can have their independence without being completely alone. SmartThings is very customizable and works easily with third-party sensors. It also doesn’t require a monthly fee, unlike many other systems.
CNN reports that, “Wearable devices can also track health and behaviors, and built-in accelerometers can pick up on physical changes or tell when a wearer has fallen. Tempo is a wristband for seniors that picks up on lapses in routine or changes in gait that might indicate mental or physical deterioration.”
These incredible new technologies primarily focus upon the safety of our loved ones as well. “Often, decisions about care are made when safety becomes an issue” said Beth Kallmyer, vice president of constituent services for the Alzheimer’s Association. Tools like these sensors “can allow people to feel more comfortable” and help to make sure the transition is easier.
Along with safety, they need to be allowed to have their privacy.
A man named Phil D’Eramo chose to tell his parents about the system he set up in their senior housing. He uses sensors to make sure they take their pills and tracks how many times his father goes to the bathroom at night – information that gets passed on to his doctor. His father, who has Alzheimer’s, said it makes him feel more comfortable to know his son is monitoring him.
We are only at the ground-level of this kind of sensor technology. These sensors are by no means a replacement for the human component, but it is giving Alzheimer’s patients the opportunity to have a degree of extended freedom and independence.