A possible scenario
“Maybe later” is suddenly “now”
Machteld, 71 years, was happily married when suddenly her husband passed away. The couple had reluctantly started conversations on ‘How should we prepare ourselves for when we are really old?’, but it was always dismissed with, “Well, maybe later”. Then all of a sudden that “maybe later” is “now”. Machteld lives alone and is very aware of the vulnerabilities that come along with this new situation. Several things concern her. Her oldest daughter lives abroad, while her youngest daughter lives 45 minutes away and is not always able to offer help. Machteld is healthy but Alzheimer runs in her family and she has been indicated with an increased chance of getting Alzheimer herself. Machteld has also suffered from depression in the past. The loss of her husband was a major life event, which makes her vulnerable for a relapse.
Satisfy the needs of critical Baby boomers
Machteld is aware that in order to live independently in her own home - which is her utmost desire - she needs to take precautions. Machteld sees herself as quite digitally skilled and she follows the news on technical innovations. Baby boomers are known for being very keen on privacy and critical on Internet of Things solutions. “I don’t want Big Brother in my own house” and “I am not that old and pathetic” are Machteld’s expressions of such concerns. A home surveillance camera system is therefore too intrusive and goes against Machteld’s value on privacy. She has similar issues with an ambient sensor system that feels very stigmatizing. Other downsides are the high price and the required regular maintenance. So, the step from a willingness to take necessary action to purchasing the right device is not that simple.
Her daughter is involved in this process. One afternoon she browses through a membership magazine her mother is subscribed to. The magazine is published by an organization that informs the elderly about technology of today. Sometimes the organization recommends new promising products. Machteld and her daughter value these recommendations because the organization is independent and critical. The CleverGuard is highlighted in the section of products that can contribute to living independently at home, in a non-intrusive and non-stigmatizing manner and with respect to privacy. This is what they are looking for. Machteld then purchases the CleverGuard herself through the organization’s online webshop.
After being ordered the CleverGuard is installed a few days later by the local electrician in the electricity distribution box of Machteld’s house. As she already owns a wireless network, the activation and installation is seamless and lasts just half an hour. A few days later, the local elderly care organization hands over to Machteld and her daughter the account information and briefs them about usage and status warnings. The CleverGuard solution with five alert levels is set up such that Machteld and her daughter can check the status at any time. Notifications are provided when there is a change in activities. Machteld also grants her General Practitioner (GP) partly access and during a personal consult they discuss how they will deal with the activity status reports. Machteld and her daughter feel comfortable with the CleverGuard solution as they both forget about it in their day to day life, but in the back of their mind they both know there is an invisible guardian supervising. Because after all, the CleverGuard is there for a reason.
CleverGuard guards over Machteld
Once on a morning, Machteld is unable to stand up from her bed. The CleverGuard detects over the electric load monitoring that the coffee machine has not been used during the time window when Machteld usually enjoys her morning coffee. An alert notification is sent to the mobile phone of Machteld’s daughter. After trying unsuccessfully to reach Machteld via telephone, her daughter decides to go and check by herself the situation in the apartment. She finds Machteld lying in her bed and feeling nauseous, but apart from that she seems to be fine. Her daughter wants to have clarity about the health condition of Machteld and so they visit the GP together.
After some basic examinations, it turns out that all is okay with Machteld. The GP checks on this occasion also the recorded activities of Machteld by the CleverGuard system. The GP has access to Machteld’s CleverGuard data over a web interface and can check the timely evolution of the activity patterns. Thanks to the built-in data analytics, deviations from the specific regular pattern can be sensitively detected. The activity data help the GP in the assessment of Machteld’s health state, a possible depression relapse and the chance of an onset of Alzheimer disease. However, nothing unusual is detected and Machteld and her daughter return home relieved.