orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

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July 10, 2013

High-tech gadgets monitor seniors' safety at home

(Continued)

WASHINGTON — "When we started this team, I said we are not going to make anybody wear anything or push any buttons, because my mother refused and I don't think she's any different than a lot of other people in this world," Rantz said.

Monitoring raises important privacy questions, about just what is tracked and who has access to it, cautioned Jeff Makowka of AARP.

To work, the high-tech approach has to be "less about, 'We're watching you, Grandma,' but 'Hey, Grandma, how come you didn't make coffee this morning?'" he said.

Sensor prices are another hurdle, although Makowka said they're dropping. Various kinds already on the market can run from about $70 to several hundred, plus monthly service plans.

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