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Product Listing – Remote Home Monitoring & Communication System



Miscellaneous Sensors & the GrandCare Dedicated Monitor
(Existing TV can be also be used)




GrandCare Touchscreen Communications Unit (Optional)


MANUFACTURER
GrandCare Systems

Sales & Customer Service
Caregiver Systems by Home Controls

COST
Basic system (installed) $ 6,000 - $8,000

VENDORS
GrandCare Systems

Sales & Customer Service
Caregiver Systems by Home Controls

DISCLAIMER
The listing of these products is for informational purposes and individuals must use their own caution and judgment when using these resources. Functional levels and changes in judgment and reasoning are highly variable in people with dementia. Interventions must be individualized and continually assessed because those that are effective for some individuals may only work briefly and may not work at all for others.

DESCRIPTION
Today's smart technology can monitor the activity of a loved one who's living alone so you can check in on them from a remote location and offer support as needed. It helps to identify problems as they occur so you can intervene before they become full-blown crises.

These smart systems can be very helpful for the right person who can still safely live on their own, but who needs daily monitoring and some back-up support.

This monitoring system and communications package from GrandCare combines smart home technology with an internet connection to provide continuous updates to you, the caregiver, via the internet or via telephone or email (including text messages). This system can be used at a simple, basic level or expanded to include additional features, including telehealth, if appropriate for the person you care for.

The system works by:

Using the internet connection in the home

Connecting a small control box to the existing TV (or using a touchscreen and dedicated monitor from GrandCare)

Receiving information from discretely placed sensors around the home, where activity should be monitored (doors, bed, kitchen, medicine cabinet, refrigerator, etc.)

Learning the person’s normal routines and sending alerts to you or another designated caregiver if an unusual activity pattern occurs

Following setup, family members and caregivers with the required password can monitor the person’s environment and activity patterns from any internet browser. If the person is able to use the necessary equipment, you can also monitor wellness (blood pressure, weight, etc.).

SPECIAL FEATURES AND OPTIONS

1. Remote Monitoring

You can log on to a password protected website anytime to check the person’s recent activity level or wellness readings, as well as the indoor temperature, depending on what the person needs.

You can also receive automatic alerts by email or phone (including texts) for conditions which you feel you need to know about.

Possibilities include using activity and temperature sensors that can automatically send designated caregivers alerts by email, text, or phone if the person departs from normal routines, such as:

Opening an outside door in the middle of the night

Getting out of bed at night & not returning

Not getting into bed

Not accessing medications

Not realizing the indoor temperature is too hot or too cold

2. Environmental Controls include:

Turning lights on/off at dusk or dawn

Turning lights on/off when the loved one gets up during the night

Indoor temperature sensors alert you to extreme temperatures

3. Family Communication and Reminders



Family members and friends can post important information to help the person stay in touch and to orient them to the day’s events. For example, on the person’s TV, dedicated monitor, or touchscreen, they could see:

Photographs and emails from loved ones

Daily news and local weather

Doctor’s appointment reminder

Trivia or quotations to stimulate the person’s memory

No special skills beyond those required for watching TV are needed. A person in the early stages may be able to use the optional touchscreen unit that will allow them to interact with the above information.

What the Person with Dementia Needs

Internet connection (wired or wireless)

What the Caregiver(s) Need(s)

Telephone (landline or cell phone)

Internet access

WHAT WE LIKE
No wearing or pushing of physical devices is required (essential for a person with dementia who will often forget to do so)

Valuable real time information on status of the person you’re caring for without video cameras

Capacity for constant communication between person cared for, caregiver(s), and other family members, which can help to reduce isolation for person with dementia

Ability to detect problems before they become crises

The person can still watch other TV shows by changing the channel (but they must remember to change the station back to the GrandCares station or you’ll need to get a separate monitor)

POTENTIAL CONCERNS
Communication Systems

If the person has a problem remembering to watch the TV, locate it in a prominent place so the person will see it easily.

If the person has difficulty using the TV controls, consider getting a dedicated monitor, so the person doesn’t need to turn the unit on/off or change channels.

Monitoring

Sensors could be removed by person or unit unplugged

Limits of motion sensors: for example, motion sensor may indicate that medication has been accessed in the pill box or medicine cabinet, but cannot verify the medications were actually taken.

There must be someone who can respond to alerts (though several family members and even professional caregivers can share this responsibility if you have the budget).

General

Cost is beyond the financial means of many caregivers.

This product has not been tested by Thiscaringhome.org.


Product Selection Criteria

Our goal is to teach you how to be a good consumer and to help you learn about specific products and unique product features that may enhance your safety and the safety and function of the person with dementia. The products shown in This Caring Home serve as examples only. Manufacturers continually change product specifications and the products represented may be different from those now on the market.

We realize this is not an all-inclusive list. Products featured in This Caring Home were chosen for one or more of the following reasons:
  • Affordability
  • Attractiveness
  • Availability
  • Color selection
  • Ease of use
  • Quality
  • Safety
We encourage you to discuss product selection with other caregivers and health care professionals.


How We Tested

"ThisCaringHome.org tested many products that are commonly recommended for best practices to identify the best use of these products and any potential problems in their use by caregivers and individuals with dementia. Each product included in an Expert Review was tested in a home environment, either an apartment or a single family home (or both), by at least two people. Rosemary Bakker, interior designer, gerontologist and dementia specialist, was one of the testers for every product. Whenever possible, we tested the product over time, sometimes days, weeks, or months, for:
  • Ease of use
  • Reliability
  • Potential safety issues
As a result of our testing, we're listing the pros and cons for using these products and including safety precautions for various products. These products were not tested by persons with dementia. We hope in the future to do case studies to learn more about what works and what doesn't work in a larger variety of caregiving situations and home environments."

Products listed on our website but not tested by ThisCaringHome.org are referred to as "Product Listings".



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