The Nest Saga, Part III: The indoor cameras

Installing the Nest Indoor Cameras

I took my time putting up the indoor cameras once I installed the other two things. Internally I struggled with the indoor cameras because I wanted to respect my grandma’s privacy. We had many conversations about where to put the cameras. We wanted to avoid her bedroom and didn’t want any cameras pointing directly in her face.

More than that, I had convinced myself that I didn’t really want to see what my grandma does during the day. Two things happened that changed my mind and lit a fire under my bum to install the indoor cameras.

  1. My mom attended a dementia simulation. They gave her some things in her shoes to simulate mobility problems, gloves on her hands to simulate arthritis and decline in manual dexterity, glasses that mess up your vision, and headphones that sound like they’re stuck between two radio stations. After what she shared with me, I decided to see if there was a video I could watch that could give me an idea of what she experienced. I found this news story ( – Warning: the video may provoke some uncomfortable emotions) where they did the same thing with two family members of aging loved ones with dementia. I decided that it was probably a good idea to put the cameras up so I could monitor my grandma’s behavior and health.
  2. My grandma fell. She knocked over this new table on wheels (like the ones they have in the homes). She stood up to gather up some of what fell on the floor and fell herself.Instead of pressing her medical alert button, she found her phone and started calling everyone she could think of. The problem was, they were all her church people. I found out from one of these people that she fell, and it wasn’t even the person who came and picked her up off the floor! She did not call me. I think she did not want me to know, because she specifically said she didn’t want to press her medical alert button.

    This is not the first time something like this has happened. When she went to the hospital last winter after her first stint at home, church people started coming out of the woodwork telling me she had been calling them to help her up after she fell during the day while I was at work. Out of complete ignorance and a lack of common sense, they were unaware that they should let the primary caregiver know that this was taking place. And she would forget to tell me that she fell, or worse, purposely try to hide it from me.

    At a visitation for a family friend last summer, I happened to be standing next to this lady who knew my grandma. It was a very long line to the front, because this man was beloved to our community. We started talking about everything that had been going on and to my horror, my grandma had called her and asked her to help her up. The lady I had been standing next to told me my grandma didn’t even know who she was when she called her or when she came to help her up. I was furious at my grandma for hiding this from me, and I was angry at the lady for not trying to get in touch with me to let me know this happened!I finally had to have a ‘Come to Jesus’ with her. I told her that more than anyone else, I want her to be home. I am busting my butt to help her stay home! I need to know what is going on. Every single time she has had a spell of falls, there was something wrong with her (a gall bladder 4 times the normal size, a urinary tract infection, vision problems). If I don’t know that she is falling, I may not be aware that something is wrong with her and I cannot help her get appropriate medical care. I reminded her that she needed to use her medical alert device and we started practicing using it so she could be comfortable with it.

    A year later, we are going through the exact same thing. This time, she called someone she knows she is not supposed to call, because he is also elderly and is placing himself at risk by helping her. I called every single person and asked them to tell her to press her medical alert button if she falls and then to call me right away.Then, we had pretty much the same exact ‘Come to Jesus.’ This time, I told her that if she is not going to even press her button when she falls, we have to have a back up way of knowing that she needs help.  And then I installed the cameras.

Following the instructions in the package, I installed the cameras in less than an hour. I had Grandma help me, pulling the app up on her phone and telling me what she could see so I could stand up on a chair and put them on the wall. We put the cameras in three key places: 1) the hallway coming out of her room, 2) in the far corner of the living room behind her, and 3) in the kitchen.

Now I can have peace of mind being able to look in on her while I’m not with her. I can also see it coming in handy in the future too as potential strangers come in to provide in home support.

The Nest dashboard inside the app is very user friendly. Nest works great at night. It sends you notifications, which you can fully customize. Notifications are active on my device and hers that someone is outside, but I am the only one who is notified of movement inside of the house.

Do you use an off-shelf system of remote monitoring with someone you care for? Share your experience in the comments!