Top Features of Home Security Systems for Seniors
Every home security system is different, but many of the equipment types and services are the same across the board. Below, we’re going to explore the main features of a home security system. This is a good reference point as you’re deciding which components are right for you.
24/7 Monitoring and Emergency Response Services
Just having sound alarms and self-monitoring is an option for your home security system. However, we think older adults, especially those who live alone, can benefit from 24/7 monitoring. Monitoring services ensure that you get the help you need as quickly as possible. When the home security system goes off, or a panic button is pressed, monitoring agents will notify emergency contacts and/or first responders, even if they can’t reach you.
Professional monitoring is especially great for older adults who travel frequently or spend the winter months in a different state. We also think it’s helpful for seniors with mobility difficulties. If the alarm triggers, you don’t need to rush to find your phone. Your security system will contact the appropriate parties.
Wireless or Hardwired Systems
You’ll encounter two main types of home security systems: wireless and hardwired. Wireless systems rely on batteries and internet connectivity, making them a more flexible option. You can install them anywhere in a home that has Wi-Fi.
Hardwired systems require a landline connection, so they must be placed near your phone line input. With some companies, the landline system is more affordable, but your equipment options are more limited. Seniors who live in rural areas with poor or iffy cellular connections benefit the most from landline systems. Just know that an intruder can more easily deactivate this type of system by simply cutting the wires.
Mobile Alert and Remote Monitoring Options
Older adults who have smartphones and wireless home security systems can sign up to receive automatic mobile alerts whenever the system detects something. This could be an intrusion, a fire, glass breakage, or even someone at the door if you have a doorbell camera installed.
Remote monitoring features give smartphone users the ability to check in on their home’s status anytime using the monitoring company’s mobile app. If your system has video cameras, you can even check the feed from your cell phone. You can see if your packages were delivered safely or check on your furry friends inside while you’re out running errands. Top companies often offer cloud storage backup for footage. This can be useful for investigating any questionable situations.
Some home security systems include key fobs that work like remote controls. With the fob, you can press a panic button and arm/disarm the system. Remote controls are great for those with mobility issues who may have trouble getting to the control panel when they need to.
Door and window sensors are key components of any more-than-just-basic home security system. Not only will an alarm go off when a door is opened while the system is armed, but entryway sensors send users an alert if a door or window is left open for an extended period of time.
Motion sensors can go anywhere inside or outside of the home to improve security measures. Some seniors connect them with automatic lighting systems so that the lights turn on when you walk into a room. Others use them purely for security benefits. An alert is sent out when the detector senses motion.
Motion detectors have various ranges, which typically run between 100 to 400 feet away. Top motion detection devices can sense the difference between humans and pets to avoid false alarms. If you own a pet, ask about the pet friendliness of their systems.
Many intruders stay away from front doors and locks and instead break a window. Glass-break sensors offer a simple solution for seniors concerned about window intrusions. With these sensors, an alarm activates if the sound of breaking glass is detected.
Panic buttons can be strategically placed throughout the home in locations like walk-in tubs, stairways, basements, or hallways. Simply pressing the button activates the security system and alerts monitoring personnel that something is amiss. Panic buttons can also be worn as pendants or carried on a keychain similar to medical response devices.
Medical Alert Devices
Many of the top home security providers also offer medical alert services. Also known as personal emergency systems, they can literally be life savers for seniors who age in place. They’re often a keychain fob or a pendant worn around the neck or wrist. To call for help, you simply press the device, and trained professionals will contact the correct people. Some even have fall detection and GPS location capabilities.