Beauty, Fashion, Travel, Fitness, Wellness and Lifestyle Blog | Emtalks

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Hive Link Review - Helping Keep Loved Ones Safe And Secure

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Paid Advertorial - It’s taken me 25 years to figure out that life is a mixture of happiness and sadness in equal measures and one thing that can bring both with it is old age. I’ve always loved elderly people, they have so many experiences to share and are usually tough characters because of all they have lived through and yet they look so cute and serene. I always say it’s important to sit and listen to their stories because you can learn so much (only yesterday I got talking to a 74 year old taxi driver who was widowed at 31 and left to bring up 3 children alone, people have just been through so much). One of my happiest memories when growing up is spending lots of time with my grandparents. It made me so happy and I still love to see them as much as I possibly can now that I’m older. In fact, I feel guilty if I don’t see them enough. By nature I’m a really happy bubbly person but one thing that makes me sad is to see my grandparents getting older and inevitably suffering with different illnesses and generally needing more help from those around them. The sadness of seeing my grandparents get old though is paralleled with equal amounts of happiness - they are funny and make me laugh a lot and I am very thankful that they have made it to such a grand old age because I know many other people who have lost grandparents when they were young (I actually only ever got to meet one set of Grandparents but I know many people never got to meet any). So yes, old age is a real mixture of sadness and happiness all rolled in to one. Now in their late 80’s and still living independently I worry about my grandparents safety and this worry was compounded when we were abroad on holiday with them 2 years ago and my grandfather fell and broke his hip. My family and I were all with him so could act quickly but it really made me think hard about what if something happens to them when we are not there. When I moved to London with my work I started to worry even more about them. They recently visited in my new home but it was a tough journey for them and there are now more and more times when they are unable to get out of the house as much as they once could. 


It was with all this in mind that I was super excited when I was contacted by a company called Hive to test a new product that they have launched. Hive is the UK’s leading smart home provider and they had picked up on the fact that I spend a lot of my time worrying about my grandparents and kindly asked if they could work with me to install their new Hive Link in my grandparents home to provide me (and other members of my family) with a way to keep a daily check on their movements to assess that all is okay. We went ahead and had it installed and I have been reviewing this product now for a couple of months and decided to write this post to make you aware of it and how it works in case it is something that you or your family would like to invest in. I have had so many messages on my Instagram when I mentioned this so I'm really glad to be writing a full review of the Hive Link home service on this blog post.

When I first heard about the product my mum and I had all sorts of practical questions such as what is it? How does it work? Is something big and bulky going to be installed in my Grandparents’ home? The list of questions was endless. I'm really pleased to report that our over worrying has not materialised in to reality and the product is brilliant. I’ve made a list of questions and answers below that we asked and hopefully this will cover any questions you have about it:

hive link


How does it work?
Everyone has certain routines and patterns they follow regularly each day, particularly older people and those who need care. Hive link works by picking up information about those daily routines and uses this information to make a real time log that can be viewed by loved ones on their mobile telephones. So for example if your loved one gets up typically at 8.00am every morning and opens the bedroom door and then goes downstairs and puts the kettle on that is information that will be captured and used to report against each day. You can check to see that the normal daily routine has been followed and if it hasn’t Hive will alert you so that you can contact your loved ones to check everything is okay.

How does it look?
The package comes with 3 Hive plugs that are used to plug appliances such as kettles and toasters in to. These then go in to the normal plug socket. There are also a number of motion, window and door sensors to monitor which room the person is in or if the outside door has been opened. There is also a hub box. All of the items mentioned are small and unobtrusive.

What do I need in my home to have it fitted?
The home in which Hive Link is being installed needs to have the internet, a spare ethernet port on your broadband router, a spare plug socket near the router and of course the people who are monitoring need a smart phone to download the relevant app. 

hive link


How is it monitored?
Over a number of weeks, Hive Link will start to gather information about your loved ones routines and will build a picture that is then used to flag any deviations from that routine. As an example, one day my grandparents’ front door was open for much longer than normal and I received an alert on my phone to tell me this. I gave them a call and they confirmed that they were in the garden and had left the front door open while they were moving some things in to the house. So, all was good but had they gone out and left it open without realising I would have been able to let them know. 

How long does it take to install?
The engineer was with us for 1 and a half hours and this included the fitting and tutorial (which is pretty simple).

Who installs it?
Hive work in conjunction with British Gas who send their experienced engineers to install the product. 

Is it messy?
My mum was present at my grandparents’ home for the installation. There was no mess, no drilling, no screws, it was quiet and slick and the engineer was really helpful.

Is it ugly?
The appliances are very small and unobtrusive and are hardly noticeable.

Is it noisy?
I can check an online dashboard on my telephone each day, as can my mum (because you can share it with other people) to see that my grandparents are up having their toast and coffee. The only time I hear a noise is when I need to be aware of something that is out of routine and Hive then alerts me with a ping on my phone. When we were all away for a weekend (so I knew my grandparents were okay because they were with me) I was sent an alert to tell me that there had been no activity in their house by the usual time. On this occasion I knew everything was fine but had they been at home that would have enabled me to check on the situation.

How much does it cost?
The initial installation including the hub, sensors etc is £149.99. There is then a monthly cost of £14.99 (there is no minimum term and it can be stopped at anytime with a small cancellation fee if it is cancelled within the first 6 months).

What if I don’t know what I’m doing with it or if something goes wrong?
Once fitted there is very little to do. However, there is a helpline to call for information should anything go wrong.

Is it intrusive?
Not at all. The sensors etc are not intrusive at all - you would barely know they are there. My grandparents do not feel as if ‘big brother’ is watching them at all because they all the information capture happens wirelessly without any awareness whatsoever. They feel very secure knowing that they can live independently but if they don’t move about the house when they normally do and do the usual things they do then we will be in touch with them immediately. 

 
So there you have it, we have had this super addition to our family now for a couple of months and it’s a welcome addition. It gives all of us complete peace of mind that if something is wrong we can act on it quickly. It’s a brilliant product and together with many of the other Hive products that are coming on to the market I can honestly see that Hive will be the next revolution in helping us to live smarter lives through great technology. This is one of the coolest and most meaningful campaigns I've been fortunate enough to work on, I adore my family and to know that we can keep an eye on them now means so much. Thank you to Hive for inventing Hive Link, it really is so smart and I can't stop telling people about it. Nanna and Grandad, if you're reading this, I love you more than you both know! Never forget to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you! 

Have you heard of Hive before? Do you like the sound of Hive Link? Are you close to your family?

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Lots of love, Em x

*This is a paid advertorial with Hive but as always all opinions are my own.

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