We recently had an opportunity to see a demonstration of the Sonamba Wellbeing Monitor , which is designed for use by seniors living independently and their families/caregivers. While we are holding out hope for whole-house technology solutions for the well-being of seniors choosing to age in place and their family members / caregivers, the Sonamba will meet some of needs of those seniors and their families today. Both the seniors who want to stay at home and their family members who want them to be happy AND safe will benefit from the peace of mind Sonamba allows.
Some key features of Sonamba which is pictured above:
- Monitors motion and activity in the house, notifying caregivers or family members if everything is normal or if activity is out of the ordinary
- Stores reminders, such as for medication and appointments, and sends out a notification if the scheduled activity is not completed and confirmed
- Provides a panic button for use when assistance is needed
- Includes a built-in text messaging function to provide a streamlined way for seniors to communicate with remote caregivers and family members
For caregivers, there is a web portal that allows designated caregivers and family members to adjust settings remotely. There is even the now-obligatory iPhone app.
Sonamba carries an up front price of $460 and a monthly subscription starting at $39 so it is not for everyone. Many will certainly find this to be a good price for the peace of mind that comes with a watchful “eye” that is less obtrusive than a video monitoring system or part time on-site caregiver. Of course, it may still be more obtrusive than some seniors want. Families may find it to be a reasonable trade off, though, for the freedom it provides to live at home while still providing some assurance to both the senior and other family members. In a recent post we discussed the need for a family talk about the desires and concerns of keeping your senior at home. A device such as Sonamba could be one way to address needs that are identified in that discussion.
Do you have experience with Sonamba or similar systems? If so, we would love to hear from you.