By Jeffery Kurz
WALLINGFORD – Sensors keep track of just about everything Shirley Player does in her apartment, but she’s not worried that Big Brother is watching. Far from it.
“I feel very safe with it,” Player said. “It’s nice to know you’re being watched.”
Player is one of 68 residents of the Masonicare retirement community participating in a study that aims to determine whether keeping a technological eye on seniors can help them live longer independently in their own homes.
Player’s place has a motion detector in the corner of each room, a sensor on her refrigerator that keeps track of her eating habits, a sensor on the medicine cabinet to see if she’s taking her medications on time, and a pressure sensor underneath the mattress of her bed to track her sleeping. There would have been a sensor on the toilet, except that was determined unfeasible for the study during a pilot program this summer.
Player says her greatest worry is remembering to take the sensor on her key chain with her when she leaves her apartment. Otherwise, she said, after about a month she hardly gives the monitoring program a thought. Does she worry about it?
“I never do,” she said.
“If it will help somebody else, that’s what my goal is,” said the 87-year-old Player, who lives at the Masonic Health Care Center independent living complex, in one of the A. Norman Johnson Apartments.