New System for looking after Elderly Grand Parent

Hi Guys,

I am looking at a small system to remotely monitor my grandmother, something that is simple to use as it will be my mother using it and potentially my grand mother, none of which have any experience.

I will be doing the installation and support, but day to day it should be semi-automatic with some human intervention.

The property is split over two floors with the ground floor set-up as follows:-

Hallway & Stairway leading to 1st Floor
Lounge/Living Area

1st Floor
Bedroom 1
Bedroom 2

I will be installing the DSL as there is no connection there yet along with a with the relevant controller attached to a UPS

I will be installing a couple of wifi cameras in the common areas but in regards to sensors, I am just looking for something that confirms movement has been registered, and a couple of temperature sensors.

What do you guys think, please speak up with any suggestions and recommendations. I am also in the UK so that changes what equipment I can install.

I already have my own Vera 3 set up and monitor a Vera 2 set-up and a Vera Lite.

Look forward to your suggestions.

Many thanks,


I have thought about this in the past.
An alarm system with wired motion sensors in all rooms and stairwells and closets.

The added benefit of a security system can add a lot of comfort.

the motion sensors can be used to automate lighting.
Checking for in activity of the motion detectors can indicate a problem.


I would agree, but unfortunately she doesn’t want something that screams alarm. I was very close several years ago to another system called Motorola Home Security which had a lot of health products, then AT&T bought it and canned the whole system. Cue one system that was not usable.

What sort of sensors would you look for if you cant install a home security system?



I’ve been impressed with the performance of Netatmo systems. The internal modules give temperature, humidity, noise, and CO[sub]2[/sub]

The CO[sub]2[/sub] levels are an excellent, although relatively slow, indication of room occupancy. I can post some examples if you’re interested.

That would be fantastic if you could post some examples. Do you know if they are available in the UK?

Yes, Netatmo devices are available in the UK and there is a plugin for Vera.

Two examples attached:

[ul][li]one month, three rooms - two of these are bedrooms, one a living room. This is over the holiday period where we had two people in one of the bedroom (and, clearly, it’s not particularly well ventilated.) You can plainly see the levels going up over night, and down in the day (and vice versa for the living room.)[/li]
[li]one week, one room - the living room. More typical levels. Usually, over a few hours of non-occupancy the levels will decay exponentially to around the 400 ppm background.[/li][/ul]

What about “Bed occupancy sensor”.,12465.0.html

My wife actually ordered one of these without talking to me. Similar to Withings Aura but without the lamp… As always, the promise of a public API.

[quote=“sglue, post:7, topic:185338”]What about “Bed occupancy sensor”.,12465.0.html[/quote]

I was thinking about buying a vera and using something like this for my grand mother, anyone used those as an alarm kinda thing

[quote=“JS007, post:9, topic:185338”]I was thinking about buying a vera and using something like this for my grand mother, anyone used those as an alarm kinda thing[/quote]

I was going to suggest this a few days ago, but I was on my phone at the time. One of the biggest threats to old folks is a fall, and having something like this on each one of your old folks to trigger some sort of notice to anyone is something that can be very handy. This is especially true when you have stairs in the house.

That being said, I have not tried this particular device, but I have seen it and it’s on my radar as some kind of safety device.

There are some companies starting to make systems for this purpose, but with a quick look I could not find a link. There is a least one zwave bed occupancy sensor, I believe.

Beyond providing a panic button (which is perhaps best left with one the the existing providers of this service), one major function of these systems is detecting expected movement. Did the person get out of bed? Is the kitchen motion detector tripped by 9am?

I would concentrate on reporting exceptions to expected movement patterns. If a person is moving around, they are almost certainly experiencing a normal day.

Pleg should work well to developing these sorts of timer functions.

Most old people typically aren’t going to want you automating their light switches. I suggest some LED night lights in critical areas, rather than a full motion detecting inside light systems.

Not using vera, but lively looks like a pretty good solution. All cellular, so no DSL needed and you can put sensors on doors, pill boxes, etc. Also has an emergency button they can wear. Very non intrusive.

There are a bunch of companies entering this space, but lively seems to have the simplest, most non intrusive solution I’ve seen. Just depends on how much you want. They do require a monthly fee though…

I will be keeping any automation if required at a later date to just cooling rooms when they get hot in the summer.

Thinking I might use a windows tablet HP Stream 7 with grasshopper for local remote control as its nice and simple to use. Its that or a ipod with the ivera app.

Has anyone else had a go at putting something together like this?