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6. Security > 81. Instill Peace of Mind for the Elderly

Instill Peace of Mind for the Elderly

If you have elderly relatives who you’re concerned about, a few simple home automation techniques can bring you (and them) peace of mind.

Instead of using home automation equipment to assist, you also can use it to monitor activity. Instead of controlling lights, it simply logs the activity of motion detectors and two-way X10 devices that send their status to the power line when they’re activated manually. This can be useful for the young and old, who might not want to bother with home automation and lights that seem to have a life of their own, but would be willing to let the system notify a loved one if something seems amiss.

Set up an old computer—this is a great opportunity to reuse an old system you’re no longer using—with just a few units that you can monitor. If you want to keep things unobtrusive, just one or two motion detectors [Hack #6] carefully placed can tell you a lot. Place them where they’ll be triggered occasionally by everyday activities, such as in the kitchen or bathroom. Then, adapt the script described in “Check for an Empty Home” [Hack #69] to monitor for the motion you expect to see.


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