Monitoring a house with an elderly person living there.

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My mothers house already has many items fitted to monitor her activities to ensure she comes to no harm.

Now it seems I need similar for my father-in-law, I have made mistakes with my mother, I don't want to repeat these errors.

The camera a Motorola used the Hubble web which goes down a tad too often. The idea is good, we can look in the room to see if all is OK, we can hear anything said in the room, see the temperature, and speak to anyone in the room, however the delay between sound send and receive means can't use it for a chat, and the camera is not that wide of an angle so it has motors to move it around, but jumps quite a bit, so one little touch and it moves too far.

The alarms are on a remote socket so it auto switches on and off to allow carers to come and go with setting off the alarms, however found the Mihome Energenie sockets limited to three times a day, and we have four sets of carers a day, can use IFTTT to get another, but it had to be on the hour or half hour so ended up being for too long of a period.

The alarms were fitted by social services, however not what one would call user friendly, since designed to wake us up, they have to be upstairs, that is also where the reset button is located, however during the day when some one comes to the door, running upstairs to switch off alarm then down again to open door is not really convenient. Hence the remote control socket, to start with I tried using a plug in remote but too often it did not reset pushing the button, and also tried a timer but there were callers in the on time which were not catered for the socket combines both and so worked better.

For my father-in-law we have a few problems including setting central heating far too high, and switching off sockets supplying the phone. Daft tricks like cans of coka-cola and eggs in the freezer. Regular visits is really the answer, but at the moment social services will not visit and my wife also has my mother.

So looking for ideas, I think first thing is to get internet set up again. But then what to use I am not sure.
 
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Daft tricks like cans of coka-cola and eggs in the freezer.

Short of 24/7 supervision you are not going to be able to stop that happening. And that would not be possible without a live in carer or moving the person into a care home.

Total monitoring can be seen by an elderly person as a serious infringement of their liberty and/or privacy. That infringement can create hostility which creates more problems to deal with.

What exactly do you need to achieve and what response time is possible ?.

For some people at risk a flow detector in the water supply and a 12 hour timer is all that is needed. If no water is used for 12 hours then the alarm is raised. Latency of 12 hours before detection may be too long for a person prone to falls or other incidents.

Shorter latency can be achieved with PIR sensors that the person knows are for a burglar alarm. ( which may be there as well ) but are connected to timers which raise an alarm if a couple of hours go by without any motion being detected. Covert motion detection may be mecessary of the person oblect to being monitored.
 
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Some good ideas, we all realise there is nothing like 24/7 care, but can't do two parents in two separate houses at the same time. We tried over Christmas bringing the two together, but father-in-law went on walk about although asked not to, while mother was being washed and changed. So we have 7 miles between houses, that's from mothers to father-in-law 1 hour plus by public transport, 20 minutes to 1/2 hour by car, 40 minutes on push bike. The other direction push bike 15 minutes. And in middle of night by car is quicker but of course we must dress.

There are two other people for my father-in-law, however distance is a problem, they both tend to visit other countries so being in German or Huston USA is common for them, so not an even split on caring duties, however they have done things like remove internet as they said he does not need it any more, which now it seems he does so we can monitor.

A PIR with hub will detect him moving, however until you actually buy one and pair it to a hub not really a clue as to how it can be used. This was the problem with the socket, we already had the eTRV which allowed us to program in as many events as we wanted, we thought the socket would be the same, but once installed found limited to three timed events without using IFTTT. Hence asking questions, some one may come up and say either this make was great or don't use these because etc.
 
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Have they got alert bracelets? It's a good start. I installed a descent alarm system, integrated it with alert bracelet, fire and flood sensors. Visitors all have a fob or code and the system notifies me of visitors etc. I have a IP cam integrated in the porch to monitor comings and goings. At a look on my phone I can see activity in all rooms and it pushes alerts to me. What it doesn't do is monitor for an event happening, but as previous comments, if it gets to that stage they probably need alternative care arrangements. You can get fall detectors but frankly I'm not convinced of their effectiveness/false positives. Sorry can't help you with 2 way video comms.
 
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We are pushing to get a monitored alarm for my father-in-law. We have one for mother and to be frank they are not that good, but once they have the pendent or wrist unit it does mean they can call for help. The two women who decide what needs fitting and fit it all are untrained DIY'ers in real terms, they know how to cope with a straight forward job, but anything out of ordinary and they are out of their depth, how they got the jobs I don't know.

My mothers house like most I am sure had telephone extensions galore, in the main no longer used, however they were still there, they are suppose to fit the alert unit like a fax machine in that once activated it auto disconnects all phones, so it does not matter if a phone is off the hook it will still work. However this was not done, there were four hard wired phones still in circuit. Carer had used a phone to call for help earlier in the day and it was not replaced correctly, so call button failed.

Internet can also fail of course, but it is less likely to be disconnected in error than a simple phone. The whole system is hit and miss, they were quick enough to tell me what I had done wrong when I switched off an alarm because it was waking me up 5 times a night for no good reason, then took over a week to repair it. They were told, either it is only an aid and we can decide to switch it off, or it is essential and they need to get it fixed same day when it fails.

However we can't be considered as my father-in-laws carers as we are already looking after my mother, all we can do is try to monitor what is going on and alert others. So using the internet would seem the best option. However short of buying units and trying them it is hard to find out what will do the job. With mother we have used MiHome Energenie as the main control system. I had a problem knowing when the alarm was armed, the socket will work with three remote controls and the internet with phones and PC plus three built in timers, in the main this works, but to activate we click or press a button, but have no idea if it actually has switched on or not. So I bought a plug in unit called a smart plug advert states:- "Combines the functions of a monitor and control in one socket." great we can see if switched on or not, however when it arrived found it will not work with remote controls it will only work with PC or phone. I have had this again and again, until you actually try to use the device you don't know what it will do. So the Smart plug is just a toy, OK having fun seeing what things use, but didn't get it to do that.
 
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See this thread, I got the lifeline 24, not cheap on an annual basis but works out of the box for all of the scenarios you describe. Good service.

For your automation setup MiHome Energenie, I've not yet found a robust high quality system to do what you describe and I've had a few. Typically the sensors are cheap and ineffective, or the bridge via the internet unreliable. Closest I've got is the smart things hub which allows you to select a range of devices, personally I've chucked too much money away and decided to buy a high quality alarm system (Texecom) I could build upon. So far so good, very much install and forget.
 
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