Optimizing NIA’s Eureka Prize Competition Topic

Aging in Place: Home Safety Technology

Community Member kudos icon + Community member

According to a 2017 study that reviewed and reported on Marital Status and the risk of Dementia, it was concluded that "During follow-up, 31 572 individuals in the study were identified as demented. Cox regression showed each non-married subcategory to be associated with a significantly higher risk of dementia than the married group, with the highest risk observed among people in the young-old age group, especially among those who were divorced or single (HRs 1.79 vs 1.71, fully adjusted model)."


In my vision, single people living with various levels/stages of Dementia should be able to live at home for as long as possible. Unfortunately, because no one is around to turn off the stove, or close the refrigerator door, or remind them to take their medication they either have to pay for assistance, move in with family, or pay for assisted living/care home sooner than someone who is living with a full-time caregiver. We single people require intervention sooner and it is more costly.


If there were technology to address some of the safety issues with living alone, perhaps it could extend the time single people with dementia could age in their own homes . For example, when the stove is left on after a certain period of time, a locked door is open, the medication box has not been opened etc, a designated person will get a text identifying the safety issue, which then prompts

them to call or text the person with dementia.- "Hey, you left the stove on. Walk over to the stove while I'm on the phone with you and tell me when you turned it off" or if possible, an alert to the caregiver showing the safety issue has been resolved-"Refrgerator door closed."


I suggest a phone call vs a text, because the person with dementia will most likely answer a phone vs hearing a sound and being able to attend to that long enough to respond. IF the person does not respond to the phone call or text, the call would repeat automatically until the phone is answered and responded too. If not answered, depending on what kind of alert it is, a back up 911 notification could be instigated.


I have trouble maintaining focus and attention which makes me a safety risk. I don't want to have to live with someone else in order to be safe, I just need a little help that technology can make possible!



4 votes
Idea No. 342