As caregivers and family members, we naturally worry about the senior in our life. What if an older loved one gets into trouble and we’re not there to help them? What if they fall, or forget something vital, or otherwise hurt themselves?
It’s a scary thought for any family member or caregiver. And until reality catches up to science fiction you can’t be both at home and there with your senior. However, TruSense might be the next best thing.
TruSense is a smart home monitoring system designed especially for seniors. The system monitors activity, wellbeing and more thanks to a series of connected sensors, and sends out regular alerts and reports.
We think this concept is very interesting – the company bills itself as a possible replacement for wearable emergency devices such as call buttons. Because it’s constantly working to monitor seniors, there’s no need for them to press a button if they need help – you’ll be notified immediately.
Let’s take a look at TruSense.
How It Works
TruSense works via a series of passive monitors and personalized alerts. Once installed, the system monitors activity around the home (see below for more details on what the system monitors) and uses alerts to update you on what is happening in your loved one's home.
It keeps caregivers up to date with any potential safety or wellness issues in the home, so they can respond appropriately. Alerts can be sent via email, text message, or phone call, so it’s easy to get regular updates.
What Is Included?
TruSense recommends their customers start out with the Home Starter Kit, which includes:
- TruSense Hub – all sensors connect to the software via the hub
- Amazon Echo Dot – the addition of an Amazon Echo Dot makes the system truly hands free, and also lets caregivers get updates via their own Echo Dot.
- Smart Outlet – the smart outlet can be used alongside the Echo Dot to make it easy to switch on a light with just a voice command. (Ideal for bedrooms or bathrooms.)
- Contact Sensors – contact sensors monitor if a door has been open for too long. They can also be used alongside motion sensors to determine if a senior is in the home or not.
- Motion Sensors – motion sensors monitor activity and use the data to provide health insights, and also determine if your loved one has spent an unusually long time in one room.
The Home Starter Kit retails at $299.
What Extras Are There?
TruSense offers some additional products to help you keep seniors safe:
- GPS Smart Pendant ($129) – a wearable GPS enabled pendant that detects falls, and also keeps track of the wearer when they leave their home. You can ask Amazon Alexa to locate them.
- GPS SmartSole ($249) – developed especially for seniors with dementia or other cognitive problems, the SmartSole is embedded in the sole of your loved one’s shoe, and lets you know when they wander outside a pre-defined area.
- GPS Vehicle Tracker ($149) – keeps track of where your loved one’s vehicle is located, and can also be used as an alert if they drive outside a pre-defined area. Helpful for those who are still independent but might get disoriented while driving.
- Leak Sensors ($39.99) – alerts you to leaks in utility areas, under sinks or in basements, and can also be placed beside the bath in case it overflows.
You can also purchase extra sensors and outlets to personalize your TruSense kit and make sure you create the optimum set up for your loved one:
- Extra Motion Sensors for $34.99
- Extra Contact Sensors for $31.99
- Extra Smart Outlets for $39.99
- Extra Echo Dots for $49.99
Can It Be Used In Emergencies?
Yes – the user can use voice services on the Amazon Echo dot to connect with TruSense’s 24/7 call center and ask for assistance or for emergency services to be dispatched.
How To Install TruSense
TruSense was designed for ease of installation, you’ll be up and running in under an hour. Users are guided through a simple installation wizard that checks all sensors are picking up the correct data. It also checks that the TruSense hub is communicating correctly with all the other devices. You’ll also use your installation time to set up personalized alerts.
What TruSense Monitors
We love how many different things you can monitor with TruSense. You can set up the system to keep an eye on:
- How long your loved one has been in a room
- Extreme temperature fluctuations in the home
- How long the front door has been left open
- If your loved one leaves their home
- How far from home they drive
- Whether the senior has contacted the TruSense emergency center
- When your loved one gets out of bed and whether their rising time is staying stable, or getting later or earlier
- Potential water leaks from appliances, overflowing baths or sinks, or in flood-prone areas such as basements or utility rooms
- TruSense sensor battery charge levels
- If you have both TruSense Home and the Smart Pendant, Trusense can alert you if your loved one leaves home and has forgotten the pendant.
- Activity trends that can identify a sudden or gradual drop in activity. This may identify a potential health issue.
You Control What Happens If A Problem Is Detected
TruSense makes it easy to customize what happens next if the system detects a possible problem. First of all, you define what constitutes a problem. For example, if you know it’s rare for your senior to stay in the same room for more than three hours, or to rise later than 9:00 AM, you can set the system to alert you to those specific situations.
You also decide who receives the alerts – yourself, or another caregiver or family member.
TruSense also offers the option for you to set rules that if a certain problem is flagged up, the 24/7 call center will get in touch with your senior to check they are ok, and send out emergency responders if they don’t get an answer.
TruSense entails a monthly subscription cost. The monthly payment covers all text, phone and email alerts, access to the TruSense dashboard, technical support, and 24/7 monitoring and emergency response. Prices start at $39.99 monthly if you pay each month. This drops to $27.99 if you pay for one year at a time. Also, if you have TruSense Home, the GPS subscription for just an additional $10/month.
TruSense can be canceled at any time. You won’t be billed after your current subscription period ends, and there are no penalties.
For caregivers looking for peace of mind, TruSense is a fantastic solution. We like how customizable it is, and of course we appreciate that there are no long term contracts. TruSense provides reassurance if your senior should fall, wander away, or be less mobile than usual. You’ll know straight away, and they can get help any time they need it, day or night.