Dementia patients will be monitored using specially designed sensors, in a pilot run by a Leicestershire council.
North West Leicestershire District Council has set up a Telecare scheme with a £100,000 government grant.
It will use sensors placed in the patient's house to detect movement and temperature changes, which could alert support staff to falls or fires.
Officials said they hoped the pilot would allow up to 50 people to remain in their own homes for longer.
The scheme, which will run until March 2011, will support adults who do not already have carers.
The sensors will be linked via the phone system to a 24-hour contact centre based in the district.
If any are triggered, the centre would call the resident through a loud speaker fitted on their wall and connected to the system, to ask if they needed help.
The council denied it was seeking to save money on home visits.
A spokesman said: "Dementia is a highly unpredictable and it is impossible to know when a patient will need support.
"A health visitor can only be there for a limited amount of time, whereas this system will be there 24 hours a day."
Funding will be reviewed at the end of the pilot.