Phone Thermostat Lets You Monitor & Control Temps in Your Aging Parents’ Home

aging parents, remote temperature monitoring, phone thermostatIf you’re like many adults today whose aging parents still live independently in their own home, a phone thermostat is something that can make your job of monitoring their well-being a whole lot easier! Ensuring that mom and dad are comfortable, safe and healthy during a summer heat wave or winter deep freeze can be a challenge, especially if they live far away. So having the ability to discreetly monitor and adjust the temperature in their home by phone is an invaluable tool that caregivers like you will appreciate.

Eldercare experts note that there are many reasons the elderly neglect to properly heat and cool their homes, including forgetfulness and frugality. Fear of crime is another factor that keeps many seniors from opening windows, even on stifling hot days. According to Richard Della Penna, Chief Medical Officer of Independa, Inc. and a leading expert on elder care, extreme temperatures can be life-threatening to older adults.

“The elderly are at greater risk than the general population during extremely hot weather because our bodies don’t respond to changes in temperature in the same way as we get older,” Della Penna says. “Beyond causing discomfort, sustained heat and humidity are dangerous for older people.”

Della Penna encourages caregivers to use new technology for virtual communication and monitoring, especially if they don’t live near their parents or are away on vacation. A phone thermostat, which many vacation home owners use to monitor and adjust the temperature of their unoccupied house, is an off-the-shelf solution that can also be used by caregivers to monitor and control temperature in the home of elderly parents.

My friend Dave learned firsthand how useful a phone thermostat can be. For years, Dave’s 79-year-old widowed mother summoned him to her condo a couple of times a month to adjust her heat or air conditioning, especially when the weather was extremely hot or cold.

“My mother has difficulty standing and walking so she couldn’t get up to adjust the temperature by herself,” Dave explained, “and her live-in aide doesn’t fully understand the heating and cooling system. So, they were always asking me to drop by to fiddle with the thermostat.”

By replacing his mother’s old thermostat with a phone thermostat, Dave now has the ability to check the temperature in his mother’s condo by phone at anytime without having to drive over there.

“Now, if I see the outdoor temps spike or drop, I call up my mother’s phone thermostat and raise or lower the temperature before she begins to feel uncomfortable,” he said.

A complete do-it-yourself phone thermostat system starts at about $200. Internet thermostats that can be accessed by a smart phone or web-enabled computer are also available.

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