This blog post is an advertisement in association with EDF Energy and Howz.
My mum went grey last year. For ages she’d dyed her hair and 2018 was the year she decided to stop papering over the greys and give up her blonde ambition. Whether it was her silver tresses or pride in bagging that elderly bus pass, there’s no denying my folks are entering a period in their lives where age is on the table. I’m not in any way age concerned but I am thinking about the future – a future where I’m not worried about the people who have ironically dedicated a lifetime worrying about me.
It was something my sister said that brought EDF Energy’s Howz to my mind. Howz is a system that simply exists to give you peace of mind when your elderly folks live in their own home. It’s about independence, it’s about celebrating that independence and it’s about staying in touch without calling every 5 minutes to ‘check all is OK’. This is it in a nutshell: There’s no invasive cameras, Howz uses sensors and a smart plug that you could connect to a kettle or other sockets to monitor activity so that you know if there’s any change in routine. If things are quiet, you get a notification and you can put in a call to check all is, in fact, OK.
Now my sister used to work for EDF Energy and she’s still mates with a few of her former colleagues who mentioned that this project was happening. While we’re both keen to monitor mum closely (she’s a live wire), she mentioned it would be ‘a good one for granddad’. Our parents are edging into the territory of needing Howz but my granddad is currently home alone with only his library of books and an Ocado delivery as regular companions.
He’s the most independent and equally stubborn man I know and there is no way he is venturing into a caring home for the foreseeable future. He’s also against all screens – TV, iPad, cinema – and if it’s too ‘gadgety’ it’s not coming in. But that’s where Howz comes in and breaks down those concerns because this is about helping him stay independent longer. It’s subtle, it’s not about surveillance, more gentle monitoring so both us and my granddad know there’s an extra blanket of security wrapped around him. It’s about checking in without checking up – something I wish my Mum and Dad had focused on when I was a teenager venturing into the Northampton clubbing scene.
To check out Howz and to see the full video click here.