For some people in the Baby Boomer generation, the answer to taking care of their elderly parents was to give them a Life Alert necklace to call for help when they’d fallen and couldn’t get up. The Boomers are also the generation that popularized the use of baby monitors to keep tabs on their out-of-sight tots. So, with that generation going gray gracefully, some are looking to combine these two ideas into one system for adults to keep tabs on their elderly parents.
One such device exists — the Sonamba (which sounds like a pill that will make you samba in your sleep) — drew quite a number of curious eyes at Tuesday night’s pre-CES event in Las Vegas.
The creators of the Sonamba claim that some of the elderly people who would enroll in programs like Life Alert would never wear the necklace with the panic button. And then there are those people who are left unable to press anything because they are unconscious.
So this device adds motion and sound detectors to the mix to determine if there’s a chance that the user has been incapacitated. In case of emergency, not only are authorities alerted, but so are friends, loved ones, maybe even neighbors.
There’s no active video or audio feed being sent out but the Sonamba is hooked up to a GSM network that allows the user and loved ones to send texts. It also can be set up to remind users to take medications and other tasks.
The Sonamba’s $500+ MSRP (plus a monthly service fee) raised some eyebrows at last night’s event, with many assuming the producers of the device are hoping it will eventually be covered by Medicare.
With people living longer — and wanting to do so independently — do you think products like the Sonamba make it easier for adults to care for their elderly parents?