Smart Technology to keep your home (or your parents) secure from a distance

Joe Borges
Techno Joe

My 80-year-old mother lived alone in the family home when she had a mild stroke in 2018, and it revealed an area where smart home technology could be invaluable.

My mother was observant enough to realize that she was having a stroke and was able to call me just before the symptoms worsened. I immediately called 911 and got into my vehicle. I lived more than 40 minutes away so I was certain that the paramedics would arrive before me, and they would use whatever means necessary to gain access to the house if the door was locked. My mother’s health was my main concern, and I did not want the ordeal of re-securing my mom’s house to stop me from being at the hospital with her right away. Thanks to the smart door lock I had previously installed; I was able to unlock the door remotely before the paramedics arrived. No need to break the door down.

Technology offers up some helpful options for Seniors living on their own.

Fortunately, my mother only suffered some mild paralysis but retained all her faculties. After some time at the Riverview Health Center, she was able to return home. But we knew that for my mother to remain in the family home, things were going to have to be different and she would require some supervision and assistance.

We subscribed to Victoria Lifeline and created a unique code for the smart lock that they could pass along to any emergency services personnel they might have to dispatch.

Even prior to the stroke, my mother frequently forgot to hang up the telephone when she finished a call. She used a cordless phone and, on many occasions, would not press the off button hard enough, leaving the phone in a busy state. Not being able to reach my mother to check up would usually result in me making the long drive to her house in the evening to make sure that everything was alright, and to properly disconnect the phone.

I installed some cameras with intercom capabilities inside the house so if my brother or I could reach her if we couldn’t get through on the phone. We wanted to balance security with respect for my mother’s privacy, so we agreed that the cameras would give us views of the kitchen and living room only. This gave us the ability to ensure that she was alright and that the stove was turned off, without having to drive across town to check regularly.

I was also concerned about home security. We already had the remote door lock, which allowed me to make sure the door was locked at night. In addition, we installed a camera outside to capture any activity in the driveway and front yard. This camera was a compliment to the alarm system already installed in the house and was set up to record and send out notifications whenever motion was detected so we could ensure that nothing nefarious was occurring around the premises. I was also able to see when the neighbours occasionally cleared her driveway, so I would know who to thank for saving me the trip.

These additions allowed us to respectfully watch over our mom and gave us all huge peace of mind.

If you have an elderly family member in poor health who wants to stay in their own house or would just like to know more about how home automation and video technology can let help make your house or business smarter and safer, contact Techno Joe at Joe@TechnoJoe.ca or 204-479-3913.

Techno Joe provides exceptional IT solutions, such as automation, surveillance systems, network reconfigurations, PC repairs, and data recovery for residential and business in the city of Winnipeg and surrounding areas. Joe Borges, the company founder, has been in the technology industry for over 35 years with more than 20 years’ experience in surveillance and home automation.