Equipment to help you move safely and securely around your home
Stairlifts can help you move upstairs and downstairs even if your stairs are curved.
- Various bed sensors can be purchased including sensor mats which alert a carer when a person leaves their bed, voice alarms which encourage someone to go back to bed, or sensor mats on the floor which can alert a carer when a person steps onto it.
- Chair sensors can alert a carer when a person leaves a chair and does not return within a set time period. The district and borough councils community alarms and telecare services also offer bed or chair sensors.
- Special bed sensors include Epilepsy bed sensors which can monitor and detect seizure type movements and Enuresis Alert alarms which monitor incontinence and can be bed mats sensors or vibrating alarms.
- There is more information in the alarms section.
Call buttons and movement sensors
- Call buttons are useful in places where falls can happen such as bathrooms, and options include waterproof call buttons.
- Movement sensors can also switch on lights, or there are separate sensor night lights which can assist in stopping falls or can alert a carer when a door or window is opened. Sensors can also help at night switching on night lights when someone moves around.
- Personal alarms can help when moving around safely in your home. Each district and borough council offers a community alarm and Telecare service which uses an alarm unit connected to your telephone and linked to a helpline. When an alert is raised (via a wearable pendant, or other sensor e.g. smoke alarms, fall detectors or pill dispensers.) the helpline is called automatically. Once connected, the helpline will know you need assistance and get help to you. There is a small weekly charge for the community alarm and your borough or district council will be able to give you more details about the services available and how much these may cost in your area. Contact details for each borough and district community alarm and Telecare scheme can be found on Surrey Information Point.
- Elmbridge Borough Council provide ElmAssist, a mobile personal alarm which can be used anywhere and doesn't need to be linked to a landline, so can be operational when you go to the shops, or visit a friend etc. The scheme is available to residents in Elmbridge.
- Personal alarms can also be linked to monitors within the home and intercoms to mobile apps which can trigger an alarm. Indoor (and outdoor) security cameras can also be linked to smartphones and devices to monitor activity within and around the home.
- Elmbridge Borough Council provide Pathfinder, a wristwatch which offers GPS location and tracking 24/7, 365 days a year, alongside two way speech and the ability to monitor a person is remaining within a designated safe zone. The Pathfinder service is open to residents all over Surrey as well as residents in Elmbridge.
- Location service trackers are offered by Runnymede Borough Council and Surrey Heath Borough Council and both can be used by residents all over Surrey. A GPS location service can offer peace of mind and reassurance for individuals who may feel vulnerable when out and about. Through a discreet device carried or worn by the individual they can use satellite technology to pinpoint their location when support or assistance is needed.
- GPS tracking watches can be used to indicate locations of people via smartphones or by going online.
- Large display watches or talking watches are useful for people with visual impairments and can be set up with alarms and visual announcements and vibrating watches can be useful for deaf or hard of hearing people as they can be set to vibrate.
- Location tracker fobs can be attached to keyrings or any item and can then be tracked by using a smartphones or device to find it.
- There is more information in the alarms section.
Home hubs can help people who are elderly, have a disability, have mobility issues, have dementia, or who are blind, have low vision or reduced finger dexterity by offering easy hands free control of their home. The home hubs can respond to voice commands which allow you to manage and control your home, e.g. "turn on/off the TV", "turn off the lights". Home hubs can also remind you when to take your medication, or contact others without using a telephone.
Google Nest Hub
Google Nest Hub also known as Google Home Hub works with a touchscreen or by voice. View and control compatible lights, plugs, cameras, TVs, thermostats and security cameras as well as other smart devices from a single dashboard. A Google Nest Mini is also available which you control with your voice.
Compatible products include:
- Google Nest indoor cameras can watch your home 24/7 and can automatically turn themselves on when everyone leaves the house, or can be set up to send an alert when it sees some new activity. It also has night vision, and motion and sound alerts.
- Google Nest thermostat can control the thermostat for heating in a home as well as controlling the hot water temperature.
- Google Nest X Yale Lock can automatically lock your door without using a key, check the status of the door, give permission to others etc.
- Google Nest Doorbells allow you to see on your phone who is at the door, and can play pre-recorded messages.
- Google Nest Protect smoke alarm and carbon monoxide monitor can give early warnings including where the danger is, and allows you to check the status on your phone.
Amazon Echo and Alexa
Amazon Alexa and Echo devices allow you to control your home through compatible smart devices, and with voice control including:
- Amazon Echo allows you to plug in anywhere in the house and control compatible devices, e.g. turn your lights on and off by using your voice, view your video doorbell, control your heating, play music, set reminders and memory prompts etc.
- Smart entry devices to lock and open doors without the need for a key, give permission to others to open the door and allows you to check the doors are locked.
- Video Doorbell allows you to see, hear and speak to someone at the door from your phone or tablet.
- Remote smart compatible video cameras allow two way talk, live viewing, day and night views and motion recording.
- Smart light switches can help control lighting remotely and from mobile phones.
- Heating and thermostat controls like Hive allows you and or your relatives to easily control and set the heating and/or hot water in your home remotely, so the home doesn't become too hot or cold, and can be used with a smartphone, device and activated with voice control.
Flooding alarms and sensors
- Anti-flooding devices can keep the home safe by releasing water from baths and sinks when they become too full.
- Flooding alarms detect when the water reaches a certain level and sounds an alarm, usually by placing over the side of the bath.
- Smart WiFi water sensors can also detect when flooding occurs and can be monitored remotely. Community alarms and Telecare are offered by each of the borough and district councils also offer flooding detectors when a bath or sink is overflowing.
Smoke detectors and smoke alarms
- Smoke detectors or alarms are offered by each of the borough and district councils where the sensor is linked to a community alarm base unit and sends a signal to the care centre in case of smoke.
- Other smoke alarms can also feature strobe alarms and bed vibrators. Flashing smoke alarms for deaf or hard of hearing people or talking smoke alarms are also available, along with vibrating smoke detectors.
- Heat detectors alarms are triggered by rises is ambient heat, rather than smoke and can detect fires rather than smoke.
- Surrey Fire and Rescue can give help and information on making your home safe from fire, and also offer a Safe and Well visit which will give you advice on cooking and smoking, heaters, candles and fireplaces, smoke and heat alarms, bedtime checks and what to do if there is a fire.
- Gas alarms will give audible and/or visible alarms when levels of gas in a room start to increase. Each district and borough council offers gas detectors which sound and alarm and cut off the gas through their community alarm and telecare service.
- Carbon monoxide alarms are also available including ones with digital display along with ones with a loud alarm and flashing red light.
- There is more information in the alarms section.
- Smart door locks don't need a key to open them, and door bells which have either flashing lights or vibrating options.
- Other options include doorbells which let you see, hear and speak to your visitors via your phone, or tablet.
- Each district and borough council through its community alarm and Telecare services offers door contact alarms which trigger an alarm if the door is opened at an unusual time.
Clocks and alarm clocks
- Different types of alarm clocks can help people get up at the right time including pillow vibrating alarm clocks or clocks which have flashing lights and vibrate the bed.
- Clocks are available which can indicate whether it is night or day and talking clocks which will speak the time.
- Day clocks with analogue and digital screens can also display messages, reminders and photos which are sent from family and friends via a smartphone or device and can be changed daily.
- Smart lightbulbs allow you to screw in the bulb, connect to the Bluetooth app and control the light by a device or by your voice.
- Smart plugs can be used with any device that connects to mains power, e.g. a lamp. A smartphone or device can then turn it on or off or check that it is has been turned off.
- Remote control sockets are controlled by a remote control and do not need a smartphone or device to control them.
Windows and curtains
- Smart curtain tracks allow you to open and close your curtains remotely via your phone or tablet or smart device.
- Smart or automatic window openers allow people to open and close them remotely or automatically on a programmed schedule and window and door alarms can sound an alarm when one is opened.
- Introduction to how smart technology can help you (link to video)
- West Sussex County Council has created Independent Living video guides including guides on cooking, bath and shower boards, and using a microwave. (link to a video)
Use Surrey Information Point to search for local services, groups and organisations which can help with keeping you safe and secure in your home.
TIHM (Technology Integrated Health Management) for dementia is an award winning study using cutting edge technology to improve the quality of life for people with dementia living at home. The study uses a network of digital devices installed in a person's home, in combination with artificial intelligence, to enable clinicians to remotely monitor the health and wellbeing of the person with dementia. If the technology identifies a problem, an alert is triggered and followed up by a centralised monitoring team. Find out more about TIHM.
Please note: Please read our disclaimer. We do not endorse or recommend any of the products listed above, they are meant for references purposes only.