Inexpensive high tech tools are allowing seniors to live more independently at the very moment they might otherwise need the care of a costly nursing home. Adult children are increasingly turning to web cams and other home gadgets to help their aging parents stay in familiar surroundings as long as possible.
Judy DeHass lives more than six hundred miles from her father Ken, but she sees him every day. From her home in Denver, Judy logs onto a website connected to a camera in her father's home in Dallas.
He has trouble walking after suffering a heart attack and two strokes. The 77-year-old does have help from his wife and caregivers but that doesn't stop his daughter from worrying.
Judy and her father are part of a low-cost, high-tech trend. After an upfront cost of a few hundred dollars for the equipment, they pay a monthly charge of less than $15.
Some families rely on a system of wireless motion detectors to check in on mom or dad 24 hour a day. These devices can find out if a parent gets out of bed, whether they take their medicine, or even if they open their refrigerator for a meal.
Viola Carroll lives alone in New York. The sensors notify her sons or social worker via the internet if there's a change in activity that might be a sign of a health problem. She doesn't mind the monitors.
Again after the equipment is in place, the system costs a modest monthly fee. Viola says it gives her an added sense of security.
Back in Denver, Judy says the video link to her father delivers more than peace of mind.
It's a picture worth more than thousand words - a priceless way for this father and daughter to stay close.
More information about the camera system in the piece is available at http://www.tendertidingsseniors.com.
More information about the sensor monitors is available at http://www.quietcare.com.