Where to find a monitoring system with a camera that I can view from a mobile device? - AgingCare.com

Where to find a monitoring system with a camera that I can view from a mobile device?


I am taking mom home from rehab to begin hospice care. She was recovering great and then a UTI that resisted cure sent everything in the opposite direction. She is 87 years old with Alzhiemers. I am wanting to get a monitoring system with two way audio. Something where I can put a camera in a couple of rooms and monitor her from a mobile device (i.e. Phone, I pad or the like). Does anyone have a recommendation of a system that has good night picture and would allow me to have it next to my bed and hear her if she is waking up and restless (she talks to herself a lot at night when she can't sleep). Also I would like two way audio so I can tell her I am coming. There will be an alarm on her hospital bed for if she tries to get out of bed. But I want to be able to check her without constantly having to go to her room. I may be having a night sitter, it depends on how well she sleeps when we get home. I will want camera access for during the day too (when I am cooking, when she is napping and I am in another room etc.)

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Jeffrey, thank you so much for the info on Dropcam. I wanted info on tools that people knew first hand performed well, so I really value your infomation
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In addition, Wittm1, you can also use Dropcam Wi-Fi Wireless Video Monitoring Camera. This requires Internet Wi-Fi service in your house. If you have this, you can plug in a camera(s) near mom, and leave a laptop (or iPhone) near your bed with it on. The video image will adjust to low-light conditions. You can have "two-way" communications through the camera as well, or at least a calming voice. When my mother was very early in Alzheimer's, I used it to see what problems she was having with her television, with the camera behind her chair.
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K3kerr thank you so much for the in depth. information. I was going to have hospice supply the bed alarm but yours offers so much more than just an alarm. Thank you for supplying the brand names, I will investigate each today. You and Churchmouse have both pointed out that the two way audio might cause more alarm than comfort, had not considered that, thank you each for giving me another view point.
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My 79 y/o MIL moved in with us about 12 months ago, and over the months, we have finally found 3 solutions that work great for us. She has COPD and Alz dementia, and uses a wheelchair for mobility, though she is currently able to self-transfer from bed to her chair with a few steps.

We have a standard baby monitor for audio (the base is in her room, and I have one mobile receiver by my bed and may carry it to other parts of the house or outside, and the other one stays in my kitchen). We opted to not have a 2 way audio system, as we thought it would spook mom to hear a voice and not see a face.

We purchased a Canary which is a mobile video/audio camera which uses wi-fi. We had previously used a security system camera, which forever failed, only gave me a 30 sec record of when she first moved (she may move her hand, foot, head several times before "really" moving), and NEVER seemed to work when I needed to quickly monitor her remotely. The Canary has an incredible image in daylight and night modes--I can watch it for a period of time--several minutes, etc. It has been helpful for me to be able to go back a few minutes prior to see something that happened, as well. The benefit of the Canary is that I can move it throughout the house, as needed, with only an electrical plug needed. I can monitor it via my iPhone, iPad or PC. It looks like a little black speaker, and she has yet to ask what it is. If she does, we will just say it is a speaker or nightlight (it has red lights at night for the night vision to work). I have blended it in with the items on her dresser, so it is not obvious. It has about a 30 second delay, which is where the baby monitor is helpful for instant audio. If I am out running errands, I can check on her and the caregiver that is with her, which can give me peace of mind, as well. The Canary can also monitor the temperature and humidity levels of the room, and if there were an emergency, it is linked to my local 911 with our home address and at the press of a button, I can contact 911.

The 3rd item we purchased is a Kerr bed pad monitor. There are different models, but we purchased the one that has a 300 ft range (and yes my husband and I have tested it for accuracy!!). This allows me to be anywhere in the house, the garage or even in the backyard, and I know if she has gotten out of bed. The first 5 months, I slept so lightly because I was afraid that I wouldn't hear her get out of bed, and I was absolutely WORN OUT!! She is quiet as a mouse at times and could be down the hallway without my knowing it. This monitoring system allows me to sleep soundly, knowing that the monitor will go off immediately when her weight is lifted off of the pad. It has a remote monitor that I can carry with me to the yard, etc and stays by my bed at night. The central monitoring unit is on the top of my fridge (along with the above noted baby audio monitor) and can be heard throughout our house, as well. I did purchase 2 silencer buttons (one for her room, so that if I am assisting her to get out of bed, I can silence the monitor, and one for beside my bed so if the alarm goes off, I can silence it without waking the others in the house). The alarm is also silenced by the central monitoring unit.

The approximately $500 we spent for all of the above equipment allows us to rest and go about the daily routine in the house, and the blessed rest we are able to get at night is unmeasurable. We do not have monthly expenses with this system, other than our current home wi-fi which we already had in place.

I hope you find the solution(s) that work for you and your family. Just know that there is probably not an all-in-one solution, from the extensive research that I have done. 
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Er... how will your mother react to a disembodied voice that sounds a bit like her child saying "I'm coming, mother!" when she can't see anyone in the room? Are you sure that isn't going to freak her out completely?

In our largish house, I used a common or garden variety baby monitor connected from my mother's bedroom to my bedroom for night times. Later on, once mother needed 24/7 monitoring, our OTs provided us with the Tunstall alarm system - one wireless monitor which the caregiver carries around, plus a call button, chair alarm and bed alarm connected to it (there were also options for doors, floor pads and so on).

I don't know whether there's a type with visual as well as audio capability, but I expect so. I'd just pause before you buy, and think whether it's really going to be that much more helpful - you can't stand and stare at it all day long.
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