Affordable Home Security Systems For Seniors Aging In Place

Learn how family caregivers can protect their loved ones with affordable and customizable DIY home security systems in this article.
Published on
May 24, 2023
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Living alone as an older adult can be challenging. Loneliness, isolation, and fear can significantly impact the sense of security. Research shows that having a sense of security is linked to better health outcomes and improved quality of life for older adults.

A home security system is one option to help older adults feel more secure at home and reduce crime risk. Ensuring a safe living environment is vital for better health outcomes, and family caregivers, friends, and neighbors play a crucial role in helping their loved ones feel secure.

How do home security systems work?

Home security systems protect homes and their occupants from threats such as burglaries, fires, and emergencies. They consist of a combination of hardware devices and software components that work together to provide comprehensive security coverage. 

Here's an overview of how home security systems generally work:

Sensors and detectors

Home security systems employ various sensors and detectors strategically placed around the house. These devices include door/window sensors, motion detectors, glass-break sensors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and water/flood sensors. They are responsible for detecting potential security breaches or emergencies.

Control panel

The control panel acts as the security system's central hub, receiving signals from the sensors and detectors and communicating with other components. The control panel is typically placed in a convenient location within the home and allows users to interact with the system through a keypad, touchscreen, or mobile app.

Alarm system

When a sensor or detector detects a breach or an emergency, it sends a signal to the control panel. The control panel triggers the alarm system, including loud sirens, flashing lights, or both. The alarm system is intended to alert the occupants of the home and deter potential intruders.

Monitoring

Many home security systems offer monitoring services provided by a professional monitoring company. When an alarm is triggered, the control panel sends a signal to the monitoring center, where trained operators assess the situation. They can then contact the homeowners or emergency services or take appropriate action based on the nature of the alarm.

Surveillance cameras

Video surveillance is a common component of home security systems, and cameras are strategically placed around the property to monitor and record activities. Modern systems often include high-definition cameras with features like night vision, motion detection, and remote viewing capabilities through mobile apps or computer interfaces.

Home automation integration

Home security systems can integrate with home automation technology, allowing users to remotely control and monitor their security system. This integration enables homeowners to arm/disarm the system, receive real-time alerts, and control lights, locks, thermostats, and other devices from anywhere using their smartphones or voice assistants.

Connectivity

Home security systems can utilize various connectivity options such as wired connections (e.g., Ethernet) or wireless connections (e.g., Wi-Fi, cellular networks). Wireless systems are often preferred due to their ease of installation and flexibility.

Home security systems may have varying features, components, and installation requirements. Therefore, it's advisable to research and choose a system that best fits your specific security needs and budget.

Benefits of home security systems for older adults

Home security systems offer several benefits for older adults. They help prevent crimes and protect against financial abuse, providing security. In medical emergencies, these systems offer immediate assistance. They also help address wandering behavior, a common concern among aging adults, and improve efficiency through features like smart thermostats and security system cameras for the home. Additionally, family members who live alone have the protection they need from burglars and home invasions. 

Caring for a loved one with dementia

Family members with dementia may wander and become lost. Alzheimer's patients are especially likely to wander. A home security system eases worries by alerting family members when their family member opens the front door. Motion detectors can also track their movements on the property.

Medical emergencies

Another critical reason that family caregivers invest in a security system regards caring for their loved one during a medical emergency. Some security systems include options to contact 911 or family members. Always ask about 911 options when buying a plan. 

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How to choose the right security system for older adults aging in place

Choosing the right security system for older adults aging in place requires considering their specific needs, ensuring their safety, and providing peace of mind. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a security system for older adults:

  1. Easy-to-use interface: Look for a security system with a user-friendly interface that is easy for older adults to understand and operate. Features like large buttons, intuitive navigation, and clear instructions can significantly affect their ability to independently use and manage the system.
  2. Medical alert integration: Consider a security system that offers medical alert integration. This feature allows older adults to summon help in a medical emergency, such as a fall or sudden illness. Medical alert devices can be worn as pendants or bracelets, and when triggered, they can alert a monitoring center or designated contacts for immediate assistance.
  3. Personalized alerts and notifications: Look for a security system that provides customizable alerts and notifications. This allows caregivers or family members to receive alerts on their smartphones or through monitoring services when specific events occur, such as the front door opening or unusual activity detected during certain hours. This way, potential safety concerns can be addressed promptly.
  4. Remote monitoring and control: Choose a security system that enables remote monitoring and control. This allows caregivers or family members to check on the well-being of older adults, arm or disarm the system, and manage devices from a distance. Remote mobile app or web portal access can provide reassurance and flexibility.
  5. Fall detection: Consider a security system that includes fall detection capabilities. Some systems can detect sudden falls and automatically alert designated contacts or monitoring centers. This feature can be particularly beneficial if the older adult lives alone or has a higher risk of falls.
  6. Two-way communication: Look for a security system that supports two-way communication. This feature allows older adults to communicate directly with monitoring centers or caregivers in an emergency or when assistance is needed.
  7. Environmental monitoring: Consider a security system that includes environmental monitoring sensors, such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and water/flood sensors. These sensors can help detect potential hazards and emergencies, providing an added layer of safety.
  8. Professional monitoring services: Assess the option of professional monitoring services. A monitoring center that operates 24/7 and responds to alarms or alerts can provide older adults with additional security. Professional monitoring services can dispatch emergency responders when needed.
  9. Installation and maintenance: Consider the installation and maintenance requirements of the security system. Look for systems that are easy to install or offer professional installation services. Additionally, consider the ongoing maintenance and support provided by the system's manufacturer or service provider.
  10. Budget: Determine the budget for the security system, including equipment costs, monitoring fees (if applicable), and any additional features or services. Compare different options to find a system that provides the necessary functionality within the desired budget range.

Before making a final decision, it's advisable to consult with the older adult and involve them in the decision-making process. Consider their preferences, abilities, and comfort level to ensure the selected security system meets their needs and promotes their independence and well-being.

Best professionally-installed security systems

When finding the best security system for aging in place, professionally installed systems offer a reliable and comprehensive solution. These systems provide a sense of security and peace of mind for aging adults, ensuring their home safety and well-being.

ADT Video & Smart Home Package

ADT is a well-established provider that offers an extensive range of security features. With their professional installation service, customers can have peace of mind knowing that the system is set up correctly and efficiently. Packages include video surveillance, smart locks, and remote access, allowing family members to monitor and control their security from anywhere.

The Foundation by SimpliSafe

SimpliSafe is a reputable brand known for its customizable security solutions. The Foundation package is an excellent option for those seeking reliable protection. It includes essentials like door and window sensors, motion detectors, and a base station for central control. 

Xfinity Pro Protection Plus

Xfinity offers advanced technology and professional monitoring services to ensure the safety of your home. The Pro Protection Plus package combines various security components like window and door sensors, motion detection, and video surveillance. 

Do-it-yourself home security systems

Do-it-yourself home security systems offer an affordable and flexible option for those looking to enhance their home security. These systems are designed for easy installation and setup, eliminating the need for professional installation fees.

With a wide range of DIY security products available, including wireless cameras, motion sensors, and smart locks, homeowners can customize their security setup to suit their needs. DIY systems often feature user-friendly interfaces and smartphone apps, allowing homeowners to monitor their homes remotely and receive real-time alerts.

While these systems may require some technical knowledge, they empower individuals to take control of their home security without needing professional assistance.

Ring Alarm Pro Security Kit

The ring is renowned for its easy-to-install DIY security solutions. The Alarm Pro Security Kit includes a base station, contact sensors, motion detectors, and a keypad. It seamlessly integrates with other Ring devices and smart home systems, providing homeowners with convenient control and monitoring through the Ring app. 

Abode iota All-in-One Security Kit

Abode's iota system offers a comprehensive solution that combines security and home automation features. This all-in-one kit includes a security gateway with a built-in camera, motion sensor, and two-way audio. It also supports integrations with smart devices like lights, locks, and thermostats. Abode's user-friendly mobile app allows for easy system management and customization.

Cove Security System

Cove is popular among DIY enthusiasts due to its simplicity and reliable protection. The Cove Security System includes essential components like a door or window sensors, motion detectors, and a control panel. The system can be easily installed without professional assistance, and Cove offers user-friendly instructions and customer support to ensure a smooth setup process.

Medical assistance

When looking for the right home security system, incorporate medical assistance options with overall security. Your loved one may need help during a medical emergency, and each company below offers medical alert options to protect your care recipient during an emergency. 

  • Life Alert
  • ADT Health
  • Medical Guardian
  • Bay Alarm Medical
  • Philips Lifeline
  • MobileHelp
  • LifeStation
  • Alert1
  • GreatCall Lively
  • LifeFone

Be sure that you ask about options for medical emergencies. For example, ADT may contact 911 or medical professionals during an emergency, and other options may also contact family members. Choose the security system that best meets your loved one's needs. 

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How much does a home security system cost? 

While some systems may require an upfront equipment cost and a monthly monitoring fee, others offer more affordable options with DIY installation and self-monitoring capabilities. 

   

How to pay for a security system? 

Family caregivers of older adults should consider home security systems' cost. They can look for discounts or special offers from security companies that help aging adults or caregivers. Caregivers can also check for financial assistance programs and grants for home safety upgrades. Family caregivers can help older adults stay independent without spending too much money by finding affordable options and using available support.

Administration for Community Living (ACL)

ACL provides funding and resources to support aging adults and individuals with disabilities. They may offer grants or assistance programs to help caregivers pay for a security system.

Area Agencies on Aging (AAA)

AAA organizations are local agencies that provide support and services for aging adults and their caregivers. They may have programs or funding available to help caregivers cover the cost of a security system.

State Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRCs)

ADRCs provide information, referral services, and support for older adults and caregivers. They may have information on funding sources or assistance programs that can help with the cost of a security system.

Veteran Affairs (VA)

If the care recipient is a veteran, they may be eligible for assistance through Veteran's Affairs (VA). The VA may provide financial support or grants for home safety improvements, including security systems.

Find the right system for your loved one

Maintaining home security is essential for aging adults who want to stay independent. Home security systems offer protection against various threats, providing peace of mind. By understanding the different types of systems available, legal considerations, and components, family caregivers can help ensure the safety and well-being of their loved ones as they age in place.

Related Article: How Much Does a Stair Lift Really Cost? >> 

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