2/ Getting Started: Home Checklist
Follow these steps for setting everything up starting with our surroundings.
Make sure home is safe.
Reduce risk of falling including removing small rugs, uneven floors, add grab rails as needed.
Setup broadband internet service that you can control remotely
The best thing you can do for an older loved one is set up broadband internet that allows for you to control it remotely. If the internet goes down, or there’s a glitch, you can fix it from your smartphone from miles away. Don’t make the mistake of sourcing wireless routers from an internet provider. Instead, install simple broadband service and add wireless routers that are super easy to manage remotely.
Install a WiFi router that can be remotely managed and covers all living space.
You want every inch of home covered without wondering whether there is enough coverage and bandwidth for reliability. I can manage this from anywhere and resolve a connection glitch. I choose Eero as the best solution and continue to love it.
Set up a Wireless all-in-one printer with high capacity ink so it requires less maintenance.
When I need to get a document to Bob or a caregiver, I just email to the printer from anywhere and it prints automatically.
I share this printer’s email address with the entire family and close friends that Bob wanted on the list. I use HP DeskJet 2755 Wireless All-in-One Printer. Whenever there is something Bob should see, I text or email the caregiver that it will be on the printer to hand to him. Anyone can email anything to print in an instant.
Set up Devices for Automation, Communication and Surveillance
August Smartlock wins first pick and lets you invite caregivers, friends and family to have access, records each visit and tells you if door is locked or unlocked. You can unlock it remotely for deliveries etc.
Ring video doorbell lets you make sure door is closed, see if stranger is trying to gain access, check for deliveries left outside. The Ring Video Doorbell winner here is the wired version which does not require recharging.
Wireless Smart Cameras keep track of your loved one and those around them is key. I want to see if everything looks okay, if Bob is living well and has not fallen, and if any unexpected faces are suddenly in the house. Almost as valuable is sharing with every person is that the cameras are there because our priority is Bob’s safety and well-being. I like the affordable Wyze Cam v3.
Smart Caregiver Two Call Buttons & Wireless Caregiver Pager allow for easy communication no matter where Bob is at home. Bob’s two story home makes it challenging to hear someone from one part of the house to another. I want to make sure Bob and any on-duty caregiver are connected when he needs them. One goes on the shower wall with a pull cord in case of fall, one on his nightstand next to the new hard wire phone with lighted big buttons and a pager worn by the caregiver. It’s inexpensive and works like a charm.
Amazon Echo in the bedroom. I put this in so that Bob could holler out “Alexa, call Kurt” or “Alexa, call 9-1-1” To help remind him of the command, I printed it out in big letters near it. If he falls on his way to and from the bathroom in the middle of the night, he would be able to get help immediately. I also set it up so that I could intercom in or out to him instantly. Glitches of Alexa starting to talk on her own causes Bob to get startled and unplug the Echo. I’m working on sharing how Bob can tell Alexa to shut up when a glitch happens. His Apple Watch serves as an emergency SOS beacon too.
What’s most important is the reliability, keeping it easy, and managing remotely when possible. Once you have the house as connected as possible, the next focus goes to identifying the medical technology that will help measure wellness and recovery.
I look for affordable and practical solutions that have proven real-life results while avoiding the hype and seeking input from people with hands-on experience and then I ask doctors if the data would be useful to them and my loved one’s progress. Be smart and choose the best affordable technology that can be trusted. You need to be able to get solid data. One glitch is too many for health and medical.