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Knowing that an elderly friend or relative is at home alone can be extremely worrying. Luckily, there are plenty of gadgets that are easily installed to help with this. These will help improve the safety of their property, and allow you to receive an alert when something isn’t right.

In short, your mind will be more at ease, and your elderly relative will be safer in their home.

Some of the devices below (and other smart security devices Safe and Sound: 4 Great Smart Home Security Devices Safe and Sound: 4 Great Smart Home Security Devices Read More we’ve covered before) will need an Internet connection. But just in case this isn’t available, we’ve included a few that’ll still work offline. We’ve tried to select only those that are affordable and easily set up, though there is one device that will require a plumber for installation.

We hope these suggestions will help keep your elderly relatives safe, and reduce the stress of knowing they may be home alone.

Self-Learning Stove Alarms

HomeSafety

The dangers of falling asleep when (or forgetting that) the stove is left on are hard to understate. That’s why a number of stove alarms such as the highly recommended offering from Innohome have come to market. These act as more than simply a smoke or heat detector.

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Innohome’s SA101 model actually learns the usual cooking habits within a specific kitchen. So, if your great-aunt likes to fry her bacon on a super-high heat, the alarm won’t startle her every time she’s at the cooker.

The aim of the alarm is to alert your relative before toxic gases are produced, before a fire starts, and without being a hindrance as many other kitchen alarms tend to be.

Temperature Alerts To Your Phone

La Crosse Alerts Mobile 926-25101-GP Wireless Monitor System Set with Dry Probe La Crosse Alerts Mobile 926-25101-GP Wireless Monitor System Set with Dry Probe Remotely monitors sensors 24/7 using a APP. Perfect for...Backyard temperature and humidity; Plants, gardens and greenhouses; Refrigerators, freezers; Food storage; Sensitive electronics; Outdoor pets and livestock; and so much more Buy Now At Amazon $25.46

There are a variety of temperature and humidity monitoring devices available. These alert the user about unusual or dangerous temperature changes. This tech is often used in businesses to ensure greenhouses don’t get too cold, or server rooms don’t get too hot. It also has useful home uses. Namely, to alert you if your relative’s house is dangerously cold during the winter, prompting you to stop by to make sure everything’s ok.

One reputable option is the La Crosse Alerts 926-25101-GP ($104.99), which sends alerts via text or email to a selected recipient. This model does require a Wi-Fi connection to work, however. If your grandparents don’t have Internet connectivity, you may want to consider the more costly Temperature Alert ($399.99 for the cellular version) which plugs directly into an electrical outlet

To send texts, both of these options will require a yearly cellular plan, which is an extra cost to bear in mind.

Motion Activated Reminders

ElderlySafety

Memo Minder - Motion Activided Message Player Wireless Voice Announcer by NRS Memo Minder - Motion Activided Message Player Wireless Voice Announcer by NRS Memo Minder - Motion Activided Message Player Wireless Voice Announcer by NRS Buy Now At Amazon $38.66

Memo Minder ($39) senses when your relative is walking out of the house (or into a certain room). It then automatically plays a personal message recorded by your relative or a family member, which can run for up upto 20 seconds.

For instance, if they’re about to leave the house, a message could play saying “hey Pops, it’s Dan! Don’t forget your keys and meds”. If they’re approaching the stairs, it could say “Make sure to use your stick”. If door-to-door sales people are an unwanted issue, the message could be a reminder to ask to see ID.

Unfortunately, there are currently no reviews on the Amazon US page, but you can read some on Amazon UK.

The updated Memo Minder Plus also senses the direction of motion to help further customize the message, though this model is not yet available in the US.

Audio, Video Monitoring (And More)

Canary All-in-One Home Security Device - Silver Canary All-in-One Home Security Device - Silver See and Hear: Stream real-time video of your home with Canary's 1080p HD camera, 147 degree wide-angle lens, automatic night vision, and high-quality audio. Buy Now At Amazon $199.99

Canary ($249) is a smart, complete security system that’s controlled remotely, and adapts to your home over time. You can read our full review here Canary Home Security System Review and Competition Canary Home Security System Review and Competition Canary is finally here: "the first smart security device for everyone". Is it the last word in affordable home security and monitoring systems, or just another overpriced and glorified webcam? Read More .

Once installed, you’re can receive a real-time audio and video stream of your home, with an optional motion-activated recording option. This means that when no one is in the house, Canary knows to monitor for unusual activity.

If anyone does stray unwanted into the house, there’s also a 90+DB siren that you can sound, along with humidity, air quality, and temperature sensors built in.

Unlike the temperature alert devices mentioned elsewhere in this article, there’s no monthly fees, contracts or cellular plans to sign up for. Despite a couple of issues some people are having with installation on Android, set-up is largely a painless procedure. This set up issue should be fixed shortly.

Granted, Canary can’t communicate with other smart devices (other than your phone). Nevertherless, this is a fantastic option that allows you to check everything is alright at your relative’s home simply by logging into the (occasionally updated) app. If anything’s amiss, automated notifications can be set up to alert you immediately.

Motion Sensing Light Sockets

First Alert PIR725 Motion Sensing Motion Activated Light Socket First Alert PIR725 Motion Sensing Motion Activated Light Socket Hands-free Light Automatically Turns Light On When Entering & Off After Exiting The Room Buy Now At Amazon $17.00

First Alert motion sensing light sockets ($39.95) sense when someone enters and exits a room, and turns the light on and off accordingly. This saves on energy bills, and means no one needs to stumble around in the dark looking for the light switch.

To install, simply screw the light sensor into the light socket, then screw the bulb into the sensor. The sensor will sense motion around a full 360-degrees, and has a sensitivity range of 12 feet.

iRainy E27 LED Infrared Motion Detection Light Sensor Pir Warm White Light Bulb Lamp Auto Switch Stairs Night Light-5W iRainy E27 LED Infrared Motion Detection Light Sensor Pir Warm White Light Bulb Lamp Auto Switch Stairs Night Light-5W Auto PIR motion detection for light on/off, Low working voltage, secure and reliable, Low power consumption, good color saturation; Buy Now At Amazon $9.99 E27 5W PIR Infrared Motion Detection Sensor & Light Sensor LED Energy Saving Warm White Light Bulb E27 5W PIR Infrared Motion Detection Sensor & Light Sensor LED Energy Saving Warm White Light Bulb Features PIR motion detect sensor and light sensor activated, detects movement but will only light up when it is dark. Buy Now At Amazon $14.50

Other options are light sensing bulbs (rather than just the sensor), including the iRainy E27 ($9.99) and the Mudder E27 ($14.99). If you’re more electrically minded, installing a motion sensing light switch may be preferable.

Easy Access To Keys

Master Lock 5401D Select Access Wall-Mounted Key Storage Box with Set-Your-Own Combination Lock Master Lock 5401D Select Access Wall-Mounted Key Storage Box with Set-Your-Own Combination Lock Value not found Buy Now At Amazon $20.99

A key safe can ensure your relative is always able to enter their house if they lose or forget their keys. There are plenty of options available, with the wall-mounted Master Lock 5401D being one of the most reputable.

These safes are secured with customizable combinations. So, ensure you have access to the combination yourself in case your relative forgets.

Keyless Smart Locks

If you’re uncomfortable leaving a key outside in a safe, you could always use the Lockitron (now open for preorder at $99). This is a smart lock which remotely opens a deadbolt lock from anywhere (provided there is Wi-Fi access). If your relative forgets their key, they can give you a call, you open the Lockitron app (iOS/Android), and click to open the front door for them.

This seems to be one of the best options available, as it does not damage or replace your existing lock, and you can still open the lock with a key. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work with every lock, but you can check from within the app itself, before buying the device.

Prevent Baths From Overflowing

Anyone with a forgetful mind will know the perils that come with running a bath. In response to this, the Flowban (~$180) is nifty piece of engineering that prevents baths from overflowing. The contraption works by mechanically shutting off the faucets when the water level reaches the overflow.

Although you will need to pay a plumber to have the Flowban installed, as the company’s chief engineer says, “Installing these is an insurance policy. It’s not uncommon for a guest to leave the bath running and perhaps take a phone call or watch TV, only to find there is water all over the floor.”

You can get hold of your own Flowban either on eBay, or by emailing the company directly.

Which Other Devices Could Help?

With our lives being so hectic, sometimes we can leave it too long to see an elderly friend or relative. Or perhaps we spend more time than we need to worrying that they are ok. These are just a few of the devices on the market that can help to make sure that when we’re not around, those who are more vulnerable than ourselves are kept safer. This allows us to be more confident that they’re ok both inside and outside Don't Be A Victim - Your Smartphone As A Personal Safety Device Don't Be A Victim - Your Smartphone As A Personal Safety Device Whether you're a man or a woman, visiting new places can introduce a long list of dangers that you are not aware even exists - especially if it's the first time you've ever been there.... Read More of their home.

As the Internet of Things What Is The Internet Of Things & How Will It Affect Our Future [MakeUseOf Explains] What Is The Internet Of Things & How Will It Affect Our Future [MakeUseOf Explains] It seems like there are new buzzwords popping up and dying off with each day that passes us by, and "the Internet of Things" just happens to be one of the more recent ideas that... Read More becomes more ubiquitous, more devices will require an Internet connection. If this is something your elderly relatives are lacking due to lack of technical knowledge, you should introduce them to a Chromebook 5 Reasons Chromebooks are the Perfect Computer For an Elderly Person 5 Reasons Chromebooks are the Perfect Computer For an Elderly Person It's your granddad's birthday — but what should you buy him? You could get him socks (again), some gardening equipment, or perhaps a large bottle of whisky… Or you could buy him a Chromebook. Read More . A basic smart phone with larger icons and displays Larger Icons and Keyboards for a Phone Mom Would Love: Android Can Make the Elderly Tech Savvy Larger Icons and Keyboards for a Phone Mom Would Love: Android Can Make the Elderly Tech Savvy The elderly often feel intimidated by new technology. Smartphones in particular did not catch on among the retired compared to the Facebook generation. And for good reason: Tiny screens and keyboards seem designed for addicting... Read More  could also do the job. This will help them to not only enjoy the benefits of being online, but also ensures that you can always contact them.

What other devices have you seen that could help elderly friends or relatives stay safe?

Image Credits: Senior woman adjusting her thermostat Via Shutterstock, Innohome Stove Alarm SA101 (via Innohome), L98772_2_Memo_Minder.jpg (via NRS Healthcare)

  1. fcd76218
    July 27, 2015 at 11:23 pm

    Not too condescending, are you? You can't be bothered to give your elderly relatives some personal attention so you let machines keep them corralled.

    Why not just lock the elderly up in rubber rooms so that they cannot hurt themselves or cause any mischief?!

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 30, 2015 at 1:44 pm

      The point of the article is to help elderly relatives and friends to maintain their independence for longer, and to do this in a way that's safer than simply 'leaving them to it'. In an ideal world, we could be around our relatives 24/7. This isn't an ideal world.

  2. Fred Schechter
    July 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm

    You should really include the product designed SPECIFICALLY for this market in this post. It's a great solution that exists today. http://www.mylively.com/

    • Rob Nightingale
      July 30, 2015 at 1:46 pm

      Thanks for the pointer, Fred. Looks like a great product :)

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