“Granny Cams” Keep an Eye Out for You

They took care of you. Now it’s your turn to take care of them. Whether in their own home, your home or an inpatient facility, leaving your elderly loved ones in the care of another is a troubling proposition. You’re forced to put your faith in people you barely know to look after a person that means the world to you. Even If they’re capable of living alone, the elderly or those with special needs are at constant risk of falling or being injured. And if they suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s, the stakes are even higher. Wandering cases are common and can lead to a host of problems including serious injury, and in some cases, even death.

Luckily, no matter what your elder care situation, BrickHouse has a solution to put your mind at ease. Hidden cameras allow you to feel confident when you can’t be around — and to verify that those you love most are getting proper care.

While many people associate hidden cameras with nanny cams used to monitor babysitters looking after children, hidden cams are equally valuable for protecting elderly parents or relatives left with a nurse or caregiver.

Hidden cameras come in multiple form factors, many of which would seem perfectly natural in a bedroom or managed care facility. For example, a hidden cam can be housed in an alarm clock, a picture frame, or an air purifier — common objects that wouldn’t arouse the suspicions of anyone looking after your elderly relative. Other simple devices, like a coat hook or an AC adapter can be placed covertly in any room and go unnoticed.

All of these devices feature motion-activated recording, so they’ll only capture video when something is happening in their field of view. Motion activation conserves battery life (for cameras that don’t run on AC power), increases the recorder’s ability to archive footage (your video is saved to an SD memory card for later review on any computer), and prevents you from sifting through hours of superfluous video when there’s nothing happening in front of the camera.


How to Choose the Right Hidden Camera

Features and pricing vary among models, so when choosing a hidden camera for elder care monitoring, it’s important to consider where you’ll be setting up the device. The characteristics of the room (or rooms) you need to monitor will dictate the features you’ll need.

How large is the space? Is it well-lit? How much time will your relative and her caregiver be spending in the room during a typical day? These are all important questions you’ll want to answer before you decide on the right hidden camera. For more detailed information, see our hidden camera and video surveillance shopping guides.

Make Your Own Granny Cam

Our best-selling hidden camera, the Black Box Micro, is a low-cost solution for covert recording. This tiny device can be discreetly placed in any room right out of the box, and it’s also specifically designed to fit in almost any housing you can imagine. You can transform a book, a stuffed animal or a potted plant into a custom camera in minutes. The Black Box Micro features 24 hours of motion-activated recording on a single charge, up to three weeks of standby battery life, low-light recording and three customizable recording modes.
View Live Video Over the Internet from Anywhere

If you want to see what’s happening in your home in real time over the Internet, BrickHouse offers a number of network camera solutions. Also known as IP cameras, network cameras allow you to watch your your elderly relative and his caregiver right from your desk at work.

IP cameras allow you to connect to the Internet via a broadband network and remotely view live video from any web browser anywhere in the world. Once your system is set up, the only requirement is Internet access. You can even monitor one or more video cameras or DVRs from your smartphone.

These versatile devices come in a number of hidden camera form factors (tissue boxes, alarm clocks, etc.) Some require a physical cable connection, others are wireless and transmit their data via radio frequency (RF) signals or over a local Wi-Fi network.

Think of IP cameras as mini computers that happen to have sophisticated optics built in. They come with their own software and need to be configured to a network in order to function. The network configuration is a relatively simple process for some devices; generally set up is no more complex than configuring a Wi-Fi network. Other models require a good working knowledge of Internet technology to get them up and running.

Also bear in mind that Internet access and other technical considerations apply when placing hidden IP cameras in managed care facilities. In many cases, your access to the proper network may be restricted. If you plan to place a network granny cam in a nursing home, a managed care facility or other institution, do some research before you buy. Your best bet is to purchase a camera that records to a standard SD memory card, so you’ll know you’ll have access to the footage you need.

Whichever model you choose, a hidden camera can give you the peace of mind you deserve and the confidence you need to safely leave your loved ones in someone else’s care.

Just recently, Diana Valentin of the Bronx, New York, concealed BrickHouse’s Black Box Micro hidden camera in a common houseplant after she noticed mysterious bruises on her grandmother’s face and body. The shocking footage she captured led to the caregiver’s arrest, and Diana’s grandmother (who suffered from dementia) being transferred to a safer facility.

“You can see the sense of relief in her face,” Diana said of her grandmother when she learned of her new hospital placement. “She looked so happy.”

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