An Old Chick Named Hazel

Meet Hazel, a spunky 80 year old who wants to age gracefully in her own home.   This blog series provides tips and links to products to help seniors live independently in their current home.  

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Where Art Thou Hazel?

Updated: Mar 31, 2019

Oh Hazel, oh Hazel, where art thou Hazel? Keeping up with Hazel is sometimes hard to do. She likes to think that she can get around like she did when she was in her sixties. Not so! There's lots of technology including devices and apps that can be used to keep an eye on Hazel. This is especially important if your senior is forgetful, has dementia or is prone to falling.

Whether your senior is lost in the department store, taking off on a long road trip or just going for a walk in and around the neighborhood, you can always locate them using a portable GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) system. These systems come on phones, as apps, and as watches. One app that has received a lot of attention is Find My Family, Friends, Phone. With this app, you can keep up with your senior for less than $5.00 a month. This only works though if your senior carries their phone with them all the time or at least every time they leave the house. Otherwise, you may want to think about getting a GPS watch for your senior to wear at all times. They may be less likely to take the watch off especially if it is a special gift from their grown child. Just a note, some GPS watches receive notifications when connected to a phone. Tip: Set up a separate email just for the GPS watch that goes just to you and not to your senior then don't use it for anything else. Most seniors don't need to get all those messages, especially if they are still driving. Here are a couple GPS watches that you may want to try. GPS watch 1 (battery lasts 30 days between charges) and GPS watch 2 (please read specs on sim card).

Having a home medical alert system is also a great idea. With the medical alert system, Hazel has a direct connection to the police department, fire and emergency personnel. The direct connection has a monthly cost. These systems are great because they give family and Hazel a sense of security and relief knowing help can get to them when needed. There is one requirement, the bracelet or necklace that comes with it has to be worn at all times. Hazel even wears the alert bracelet to bed. If she fell in the middle of the night or out of the bed, she can call for help. If someone breaks in the house, she can call for help. She knows the requirement to live at home alone is that she has to wear the medical alert bracelet even if she has company at the house. So Hazel wears the bracelet all the time. She can even take a shower with it on. Once when Hazel fell, she hit the button and emergency personnel were on their way. The medical alert company called her daughter who called a neighbor to open the door. The neighbor stayed with Hazel until the ambulance arrived and took her to the hospital. Thank goodness for neighbors and the medical alert system because otherwise Hazel could have stayed on the floor in pain for hours. The other great thing about it is when Hazel travels to visit her children, the alert system unit travels with her. That way when she is at one of her children’s home alone, the worry is lifted. In some cases, you do need a landline phone line coming into the house for it to work. Medical alert system 1 (no monthly cost) and link to article on best medical alert systems.

Hazel also has several security web cameras in her house. The security web cameras help us monitor her house when she is there and when she is not there. Hazel's son looks in periodically to make sure everything is ok, especially if she doesn't pick the phone up right away when we call. When using the security web camera, you have to consider how much privacy is needed. When Hazel needs privacy, she places a particular framed picture in front of the web camera when she doesn’t want anyone to see what is going on. Only her children know which picture she uses. Otherwise, we can always check in to see if everything is ok. Security camera for Android and PC and Apple.





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