Watching Over the Elderly Parent by Lights

Japan has one of the world’s most rapidly aging populations. 30% of all households are headed by one person aged 65 or older. This means that a single person has either gotten old as it is or that a married person has lost either a husband or wife and is over 65 years of age. Incidentally, the average life expectancy in Japan is 81 years for men and 87 years for women.

In many cases, a parent live in the countryside and their children live apart in urban areas where they have jobs. Generally, a parent and children meet once a year or less. There are many reasons for this infrequency, including the child’s busy work schedule, the cost of transportation, and the fact that the relationship is better when they are apart. Such children worry about their elderly parent’s sudden health problems, injuries, dementia, or wandering. Although children understand that they must do something, they are not taking any particular measures. The best they can do is to make more phone calls. Some people have web cameras installed in their parent’s homes and watch over him/her remotely, but the parents would not look good as if they were being monitored.

So, the “just right” way to watch over the person while respecting their privacy is to check the light’s on/off history.

The name of the bulb is called “HelloLight.” It has a built-in SIM and can communicate without the need for an electrical outlet or WiFi. If the HelloLight installed in the parent’s home does not turn on and off within the next 24 hours, an email will be sent to the child as a warning. Children who receive the alert will try to call their parent or go directly to confirm their safety. While requesting monitoring from a general security company would be expensive due to the high quality of support provided, such as 24-hour support, HelloLight can be installed at a low cost because it only has a function to check lighting history.

Yamato Transport Co., Ltd., which boasts the No. 1 share of the domestic home delivery service market, has launched a service to watch over the elderly by employing HelloLight. Yamato Transport has sales offices all over the country. Because of this, staff can go to the house where the alert was found during business hours to check on the situation. There is no initial cost; the monthly fee is $8.

How do you relate to your elderly parents in your country?

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