security camera

AI Cameras are Not the Answer for Independent Living

As the elderly population is growing, and more people are aging in place, companies are quick to come up with the latest and greatest technology to help keep seniors safe in their homes. While AI cameras and motion sensors are useful in some situations, overall they are invasive of privacy and unnecessarily complex. That’s why at CarePenguin, we’re keeping it simple.

Uses for AI cameras and motion sensors

There is undoubtedly a time and place for AI cameras and motion sensors to monitor the well-being of elderly people living alone. This technology can be great for people with dementia, demonstrating wandering behavior, or for caregivers to get a better picture of someone’s health. Some detection devices can detect an eating motion to determine if someone’s eating enough. Similarly they can also detect a “sitting position” in the bathroom to keep track of how many times someone uses the toilet to monitor digestive or urinary tract health. This can be great for elderly people in need of more assistance in their daily lives, but for most people in independent living, it is too much.

CarePenguin isn’t up in your business

There are millions of older adults who are perfectly capable of living alone, feeding themselves, and going to the bathroom, but who also might be at risk for an occasional fall. These people don’t want a camera watching their every move or keeping track of how many times they’ve gone to the bathroom. That’s where CarePenguin comes in. CarePenguin detects activity in the home by observing water use. Anytime someone turns on a faucet in the home, CarePenguin detects it. It’s pretty simple: if the older adult is using water continuously throughout the day as usual, everything is fine. If there’s a lack of activity, we send an alert encouraging you to check in and make sure everything is okay.

CarePenguin only alerts if a senior citizen is unable to get up after a fall

Last week we posted a blog on Facebook, 3 Steps For Senior Citizens to Safely Age in Their Own Homes, that sparked an interesting conversation among some ladies in independent living. They shared how proud they were that they lived alone and could get themselves back up after a fall. They described going to physical therapy and learning how to get up by themselves. These women didn’t want a device that would detect their falls as they knew they could get up. AI cameras or fall detection watches would detect their fall and immediately notify someone, which many of these ladies would find embarrassing. However, if someone were to fall and get back up, CarePenguin wouldn’t alert anyone. CarePenguin detects incidents of times when people fall, cannot get up, and therefore do not continue their normal daily routine such as using water. 

Speaking of falls, AI cameras and motion sensors aren’t 100% accurate at detecting them. In this article from The Guardian, the author discusses a company called SafelyYou that was installed in 23 apartments to keep an eye on its residents. While it did successfully detect falls, it also alerted staff of a fall if the residents were on the floor looking for something they dropped, or if they were kneeling down to pray. 

While machine learning and artificial intelligence might sound new and exciting, those types of sophisticated algorithms are not necessary to simply detect if someone is active in their home. Cameras can be extremely expensive and invasive of privacy. As people age, they experience a lot of loss: friends, family, and their own capabilities. The last thing they want to lose is their independence. CarePenguin allows older adults to maintain that independence and dignity while still keeping them safe.

If you think you and your family would benefit from CarePenguin, it is now available exclusively on our website.