A Watchful Eye, at Home and on the Road
Need to keep tabs on an older loved one who lives alone — but don't want to be overbearing or intrusive? You're in luck: There's a surge in digital products to make this tough, touchy task a little easier.
The ZOMM Lifestyle Connect uses the latest low-power Bluetooth medical monitoring sensors to provide a convenient, hassle-free health security system. The compact device measures just 3 inches by 2 inches and connects to the Internet via your Bluetooth-equipped smartphone, with downloadable apps available for Android and Apple devices. If your loved one falls or is in danger — or if a rise in heart rate, glucose level or other vital signs is detected — an alert is automatically generated and sent to a live Personal Safety Concierge, who can contact emergency personnel and designated caregivers.
There's also a system for keeping track of important possessions, such as your phone, wallet or luggage. By attaching a coin-sized electronic tag to an object, you can track its exact location using the app. When it ships in June, the ZOMM Lifestyle Connect will sell for $200, with a monthly fee of around $15. Find out more at ZOMM.com.
The SonambaPro from Pomdevices is also coming soon, and adds similar capabilities to its already very useful first-generation predecessor. In addition to tracking activity levels in the home and messaging caregivers via text, email or smartphone app, the new model adds more monitoring devices, including blood pressure cuffs, glucometers and scales. The Pro can also be programmed to remind your loved one when it's time to take a reading or a medication. No price was announced at CES, but information is available at sonamba.com.
Taking the car keys away from an older loved one can be one of the more difficult challenges in caregiving. Audiovox's new Car Connection may offer some comfort for those facing this sensitive issue, providing an unobtrusive means to monitor a loved one's driving habits. Via a GPS device that hooks into a vehicle's on-board diagnostic system, the system can track how fast, slow, well or poorly the car is being driven. It'll monitor vehicle performance, too — and even lets you know when an oil change is required. Car Connection will retail later this year for $129, plus a $14.95 monthly fee for service. Learn more at audiovoxproducts.com.
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