My mother comes from the “what does your husband think” generation which means she stays in her room so as not to disturb my husband. Spoiler alert, my husband is Irish and does not disturb easily unlike the Italian men my mother was around all of her life. Of all the things that may be forgotten, Italian men's attitude is not one of them.
For about a week after she moved in, she would come downstairs for dinner and then watch tv with us, but after that she only wanted to be in her room upstairs. I can't blame her, it is like her own apartment. She has a section for her living room and a section for her bedroom. She loves it.
I needed to figure out something that would give me the ability to continue to interact with my husband and children on one floor while making sure my mother was alright on another floor. We found a video camera that has so many features and has served us well over these past five years. As much as I spend most of my day and night checking the monitor every two minutes, it has alleviated a tremendous amount of worry.
I am able to see if mom needs help, if she looks distressed, or if she is starting to get up from her chair. I run up the stairs to assist her and am greeted with the best smile and "I don't know how you knew I was getting up". Full disclosure here, I told her when she first moved in about the camera and she was fine with it.
You can view the video feed on your phone or iPad as long as you have a wifi connection. The camera has a 2-way speaker so if you wanted to you could hear what's happening in the room and you can speak through it if you needed to. There is also a feature that will alert you if there is movement. The camera also has night vision and an option to record, though I don't use that feature.
When we first moved her in I used a baby monitor in case she would need me and call me through the night. My mother is quiet as a mouse when she does get up so I needed to find products that would alert me when she gets out of bed in the middle of the night.
The Smart Caregiver sensor mat is wireless so the alarm only sounds in my room, and the pager can be moved where ever I go. It was an upgrade to the motion sensor I used previously, which was also great, but her comforter would falsely set off the sensor when she would move around in bed. I still use the motion sensor but now it is at her door because I am obsessive and worry that the floor sensor may not work every time. This just in, it has worked EVERY TIME.
This wireless television speaker has made her television viewing much better and has alleviated the television volume from being at 100. These were the products that made my caregiving life a little easier from the start. I do not receive monetary compensation for mentioning any of them, I just wanted to pass along how they helped me.