Is anyone using SmartThings to help an elderly family member?

Some have suggested using SmartThings a a simple way to monitor (in a caring way) the daily routines of aging parents, etc s that they can have greater peace of mind about their welfare. Are there any specific cases people care to share?

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I am about to take on a parent recuperating from major surgery in the coming weeks. I have some ideas to implement, & will share how it all works out.

I am a dialysis patient myself, given that… I have various issues related to dialysis. I currently use motion sensors to assure that I am moving around and doing things during the day. If movement should stop, I have a connection to UBI asks if I am ok. If I am, I move my hand so that sensors detect the movement and it continue to monitor me.

Obviously at night I do not have this running.

I have the timeout setup at 30 minutes. So it is not perfect but if I do not respond, friends and family are alerted.


That’s a really cool usage @theedpope.

THank you, you should have seen it when I explained this to my Doctor… (SMILE) I am already a walking miracle to him, now I have a home that works to assist me keep going (SMILE)

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Ha!! I can imagine the look on his face. Did you get him to sign up for ST and use you as a referral? :slight_smile:

@chrisb, nah he is still trying hard to figure out where the power button is on his flip phone. I did however tell him that for a fee that I would help to setup his home so that it was automated (SMILE)

I have always wanted a “smart home” ever since I was a little kid. The main reason I started working towards that end was that my parents are 67 and 76. Other than getting them used to not manipulating the switches manually it has been a fairly smooth process that they have enjoyed. I am also working on ways to check up on them while I travel for business. Luckily they are both still very mobile despite their ongoing health issues(Dad has had a major heart attack, Mom has had double knee replacement and shoulder replacement this year). Looking forward to the next couple of years I would like to have systems in place that check in with them, make sure they are taking their meds, and monitor their health status. Several of these things I am accomplishing with things outside of the ST ecosystem, but would love to integrate.

I just ordered the Starterkit. I would like to know if there is a way to connect a pressure monitor to the SmartThings hub?. (or other body sensing devices like heart rate monitors, etc.). Where can i find those devices?.
My parents are 87 and 80 years old and I would like to set up an alarm system in case some of the body variables get out of range…

Thanks for the help.

Wearables with continuous heart rate monitors are just now hitting the market. Well, the sort that have decent battery life and that can wirelessly sync. The only wearable with off the shelf compatibility is the Jawbone UP24. At this point it only counts steps and sleep/wake states. Jawbone has a new device coming out that measures heart rate, and I am sure it won’t be too long before it is supported by ST. There is support for wifi scales, but I have not tested it. My dad has a wireless blood pressure, and blood glucose meter that I am working on integrating.

I looked and we don’t have capability.pressure right now or anything like it. Seems like something to add soon to our capabilities. Here is the reference for capability, FYI:

We need a capability.airPressure as well, @Ben . I have an ubi and a thing shield device that can take that measurement.

I am attempting to move from a service “Lively” ( to a method without a service fee or low cost using Z-wave devices. and some “smartapps”

I do like the app that Lively provides for my siblings use to monitor. It gives quick glance of where the latest activity is.
Lively is changing next month to a service more like “life alert” and my mom doesn’t want that (I try, but it is a balance)

So if I could have an app that shows 5 or 6 sensors and the last time they were active and green status if the activity was with a set of parameters and yellow or red if not.

then I hope to get her to ware a Aeon panic button that will text my siblings and myself if she presses it.

Bottom line look at apps by (not the new service with the watch)
I think you could create a simple (non camera) $5 month service that has many of the features of the old lively
Lively gives you the hardware, I just bought over $300 in smartthings and z-wave hardware, so don’t expect to get even close to the same monthly service charge as Lively.

@hogfanboy I’ve looked at Lively a bit. Could you call out the half dozen specific use cases you would like? I think a lot of them can be accomplished without a subscription service with SmartApps.

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Ben thanks

As for Lively hardware
I think they use BTLE I’m not sure if that is a plus or a minus
Lively has a nice accelerometer “thing” that attaches to pill box I haven’t seen a thing for use with ST.
an accelerometers that lively has are much easier to install that a door switch (for my 81 year young mom)

Other hardware, I read an article about wemo water ( that will be out at the end of 2015) that you attach under your sink and let learns water signatures. A sensor in the bathroom may be intrusive, but this could aid in checking activity. (mom if you slip an fall in the bathroom keep flushing the toilet and ST will alert me if you flush 5 times in 5 minutes)

as for Lively software I like having a app where I can quickly view status form 4 to 6 sensors. I would attach snapshots of my lively app, but I’m still a new user so the community won’t let me attach an image. I would be more that happy to pay reasonable price for an app I’ll post photos with the community will let me.

What I think I can do with ST today:
I ordered a key fob that she can wear with a lanyard. Press a button to sms siblings or myself. would be nice to have a “beep” response like the presence sensor, so I can acknowledge that I got her sms.
alert me if the presences sensor is gone for too long (her morning breakfast at chick-a filet and shopping at Lowes garden area (she should be home in about 3 hours)

I have 2 motion sensors one at the top of the stairs and one at the bottom. I can see their activity but I want to view that at a glance.

Bottom line my mom doesn’t want a life alert service (God I tried, doesn’t want a button that calls a stranger). I’m looking for a solution where she has fallen and is stranded for hours on end.

My SmartThings system has not arrived yet. But I purchased it for exactly that reason.

Once I get the basic system (and accessories) installed I will post about it later.

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