Building Your Own Home Security System: A Step-by-Step Guide

Keeping elders of society safe in a big city or a bad neighboorhood can be a tough task. We live in a society where people who are older or disabled often become prey. I hope this simple guide will help people to ensure their loved ones are safe at home.

7/14/20232 min read

white house under maple trees
white house under maple trees

I live on the south side of Chicago and I take care of my 95 year old aunt who is a little bit senile. Here are some easy steps I would take to protect her from burglars. By the way, Designing a home security system for an elderly person, particularly someone who is senile, needs to be simple, intuitive, and non-intrusive. It should ideally require minimum effort from them. Here are some steps and guidelines on how to simplify a home security system.

Automatic Locking Doors: Doors should be equipped with automatic locks that can be controlled remotely. You could use smart locks that automatically lock after a certain time of inactivity. This means if my God Aunt forgets to lock the door, the system will do it for her.

Motion Sensor Lights: Install motion sensor lights both indoors and outdoors. This provides two benefits. Firstly, it eliminates the need for her to switch lights on or off, and secondly, the outdoor lights can deter potential intruders.

Video Doorbell: A video doorbell allows my God Aunt, or anyone monitoring her security, to see who is at the door without having to open it. Since she struggles with technology, this can be monitored remotely by a trusted family member or caregiver.

Security Cameras: Install security cameras at key points around the house like entrances and exits. Make sure these cameras can be accessed remotely so I or a caregiver can monitor the situation as needed.

Medical Alert System: A wearable medical alert system can be vital for a senior with a medical condition. The device should have a simple, single-button operation that can call for help in an emergency.

Automated Home Systems: We can simplify tasks for our older family members by automating home systems. For instance, smart thermostats can ensure a consistent temperature in the house, and smart plugs can control appliances like kettles, lamps, or televisions, switching them off automatically after a certain time.

Remote Monitoring: DIY a security system that allows for remote monitoring by trusted family members or caregivers. This way, I can ensure her security without having to rely on her understanding or interacting with the technology.

24/7 Monitoring Service: Consider subscribing to a 24/7 professional monitoring service. In case of any security breaches, they can contact the appropriate authorities.

Clear Instructions: While I aim to automate most things, there might be instances when my God Aunt needs to interact with the security system. In those cases, I make sure the instructions are simple, clear, and easily accessible. Its a good idea to even label certain devices for ease of use.

Regular Maintenance: Ensure the security system is regularly checked and maintained. An elderly, senile person might not notice or be able to communicate about a malfunctioning device.

In all these steps, the main goal is to ensure safety while causing minimum discomfort or confusion to my God Aunt. Therefore, simplicity, automation, and remote monitoring become the key aspects to focus on.