You don’t have to be a technology guru to appreciate the advantages of smart home technology. In fact, many of today’s smart home devices can make a senior apartment or residence safer while helping older adults maintain their independence.
If you’re curious about how to enhance your quality of life through technology, you can start by thinking about smart home technology for seniors in three main categories: safety, accessibility, and lifestyle.
A few decades ago, it was hard to conceive how a computer that occupied an entire room could evolve into devices small enough—and affordable enough—to promote personal safety. Now, there are multiple examples of smart home technology that exists for the sole purpose of protecting people and saving lives.
Emergency alerts: You may recall early iterations of these medical alerts from TVcommercials: An older adult, on the floor as the result of a fall, called out to a base unit, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up!” Today’s models, which may be wearable lanyards or more discreet formats like a watch or a bracelet, are far more sophisticated. Some operate on sensors that detect and report an emergency before its wearer can do so, while others require a manual button to call for help.
Security: Older adults can be easy targets for burglary and break-ins, but a smart security system offers a layer of protection for yourself and your home. Cameras and motion detectors can help monitor for intruders, and with some systems, a problem can be instantly reported to emergency responders.
Lighting: Dark hallways and rooms make it difficult to get around, but if you use smart lights that operate on sensors, you won’t have to fumble your way to a switch and your walkway will be automatically illuminated to help reduce your risk of falling. Sensor lights are also useful for someone who relies on an assistive device like a cane or walker; smart lights allow you to keep your hands safely on your device as you move from one room to the next.
Some smart home technology advantages extend beyond safety to make a home more accessible for a senior who plans to age in place.
Smart hub: A hub is basically a command center that can function as a clearinghouse for multiple smart devices. Many of the popular hubs also feature speakers and microphones, so you can voice control a wide range of smart home technology, such as light bulbs, plugs, or appliances. This is especially handy for controlling household devices that have small or tricky buttons.
Locks: For someone with limited mobility, answering the door can be a tiresome undertaking. With a smart lock, you can grant access to an expected visitor from a safely seated position. If you have a caregiver or other regular visitors, you can also provide codes that allow them to open the door themselves.
Appliances: Some appliances now feature smart home technology so you can preheat an oven, run a load of laundry, lower the blinds, adjust the thermostat, or even vacuum the house with a few taps on your smartphone or tablet. These features are especially useful for someone who is committed to maintaining their home but may not have the physical stamina to keep up with all the work.
Another category of smart home technology is the devices that make life more fun and enjoyable.
Speakers: A smart speaker has dozens of potential applications, but some of the most popular are hands-free communication, alarms for important dates or reminders for things like medication, and access to expansive libraries of audio content, including books, podcasts, and music.
TVs: Smart TVs convert a standard screen into an entertainment hub right in your living room. Using apps installed in the TV, you can access literally millions of programs, including movies, home fitness guides, and more.
Cooking: If you enjoy spending time testing new recipes and working in the kitchen, you’ll find dozens of options for smart technology, from programmable coffee makers and scales that help you measure ingredients to thermometers that verify your food is heated to a safe temperature.
Equipping your home with smart technology is a smart step toward aging in place gracefully. Springpoint Choice is another way you can enjoy the benefits of living at home while protecting your future. Contact us to explore the advantages of becoming a Springpoint Choice member.