Beyond Gadgets & Gizmos: Technology for Safety

For seniors with cognitive impairment – and their families – high-tech safety devices have evolved into user-friendly must-haves.


“Today’s seniors can live full, active lives for several years following a dementia diagnosis,” says Jillian Castellano, Community Relations Director at YourLife™ of Coconut Creeka Memory Care community in Coconut Creek, Florida. “Technology helps them do it safely.’”

In this post, we’ll consider different types of technology that can increase your loved one’s safety and independence – and your peace of mind.

1. Location Tracking Devices

Location tracking devices are peace of mind in a watch, fob – and even a shoe insert – for families and people with early- to late-stage dementia. Most personal tracking devices will transmit your loved one’s location to your smartphone, tablet or computer; have SOS buttons the person can use to summon help; allow you to communicate via voice or text with your loved one; and alert you if your loved one has left a designated area.

Others can track your loved one’s driving speed and route, allow them to set medication reminders, alert you to a fall, and let you know if they missed a doctor’s appointment.


Note: GPS trackers typically require a data plan, but if your loved one is still driving or wanders frequently, the monthly service fee may be worth every penny.


2. Your Smartphone

Keep a recent picture of your loved one in your cell phone and, if your loved one has a smartphone, keep these items in both of your phones.



Doctors’ contact information


If possible, download your loved one’s insurance carrier’s mobile app for quick access to their current policy information


If you can’t download the insurance app, take photos of insurance cards with your phone’s camera


A list of your loved one’s current medications and dosages


A list of your loved one’s food and drug allergies


Contact information of someone to call in case of an emergency



3. Tech for the Home

Consider these technologies to help keep your loved one safe at home.



Security Locks, Alarms & Motion Detectors. If your loved one lives with you, these travel devices can also be used in your home or your loved one’s room to deter wandering and alert you immediately if they are trying to leave the home or are active in the middle of the night.



Electronic Bed and Chair Alarms. These pressure-responsive devices will alert you when your loved one is on their feet and may need assistance.


In-Home Cameras. Having another set of eyes on medication, entryways, in the main room and hallways can help you monitor your loved one’s safety. Some cameras are equipped with two-way communication and will monitor movement, alerting you if no movement has been detected for a defined period of time.

If your loved one lives in their own home, it’s important to respect their privacy and independence. Ask their permission before installing cameras and agree on where they will be placed. If they resist, explain why you feel cameras are necessary and how this type of “check-in” system can help prolong their independent lifestyle while giving you all peace of mind.


Motion-Activated Lighting. Prevent falls with motion-activated lighting at all entrances to the home, in hallways, and bathrooms. Also consider installing illuminated light switches close to their bedroom door and next to their bed so switches are easily found and within reach.



Medication Management. If your loved one forgets to take their scheduled medications or often takes improper dosages, try an automated pill dispenser. Fill each compartment with the proper medications and dosages and program a corresponding alarm for each compartment that will beep or play a voice recording reminding your loved one that it’s time to take that set of pills.


Voice Reminder Devices. Family members can program these devices to play pre-recorded messages for their loved one at the appropriate times or when certain movements are detected. For example, if the person approaches the door to leave, a daytime message might remind them to take their keys and identification with them and to lock the door when they leave. A 2 a.m. message may remind the person that it’s the middle of the night and to go back to bed.


For more dementia-safety tips or advice for successful outings, call the life-enrichment experts at YourLife™ of Coconut Creek today! ​954-228-6319

Inspiring Memory Care Designed for You. Defined by You.
YourLife™ of Coconut Creek was created to provide the most exceptional Memory Care and uplifting lifestyle for our residents. We focus all our energy, attention and resources on creating a community that caters to each resident’s personal needs, respects their choices and honors individuality while providing unmatched peace of mind and support for families.

Because Memory Care is our sole focus, we have the unique ability to design and personally tailor plans around our residents. We understand that each resident is an individual that has their own story, specific needs and retained abilities, so we develop personally inspired care plans that value and support each person’s independence.

Our team of attentive, caring YourLife™ Personal Care Specialists is on site 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide assistance with everyday activities, gentle reminders and redirection.

With YourStory, our signature programming, we create an individual experience centered around each resident. From cultural, educational and holistic health and wellness programming, outings and an array of other special events to personal care, assistance and therapies, we create days with meaning. At YourLife™ of Coconut Creek, our residents and families know that this is a community designed for you, with a lifestyle defined by you. Contact us to learn more!


Call us at 954-228-6319 for more information or to schedule a personal visit today.