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How Seniors Can Use Smart Home Technology to Improve Their Quality of Life

Close-up view of a person’s hands holding a tablet, the screen of which displays a smart home control hub with icons for controlling lighting, temperature, security, and locks.Many of today’s seniors may be interested in knowing the many ways smart home systems can benefit their lives. Adapting smart home technology provides added convenience, health benefits, and effective vehicles for alleviating social isolation that is common among seniors.

Benefits of Technology for Seniors

Advances in smart technology can provide a safe home environment for seniors willing to adopt the latest systems and devices. From increased home security to improved healthcare monitoring, smart home technology offers a wide range of benefits to seniors, including:

Home Security: Smart security systems help make the house safe and gives the family peace of mind that their loved one is secure in their home. Remotely-controlled security systems allow for monitoring interior and exterior areas of the house through mobile devices using user-friendly navigation and interface.

Mobile Monitoring: Mobile monitoring devices that hang around the neck, on a belt, or in a pocket keep track of the wearer’s motions and actions and improve their safety in the home. The device will send alerts and notifications to a predetermined list of family members or friends that receive regular updates and emergency notices.

Decreased Chance of Digital Abuse: Seniors can be prime targets for digital abuse that compromises access to important personal information. Modern smart technology devices include strict security protocols that keep digital systems safeguarded against hacking and other cybercrimes.

Comfort and Convenience: Technology for seniors applied to audio-visual entertainment, thermostats, blinds, and other operational systems around the home allow for the convenience of wireless remote control. You can easily change the temperature, adjust the shades, and turn the lights on or off from the comfort of your living room couch or anywhere else in the home.

Improved Healthcare: Many doctors and medical practices have online programs that offer access to medical history, prescription lists, test results, and easy ways to make and adjust upcoming appointments. Audible medication reminders alert patients when to take their meds, reducing the chances of potentially harmful dosing mistakes.

Who Needs Technology for the Home?

Seniors have a variety of options when it comes to living arrangements as they age. Changing healthcare needs, financial considerations, and family circumstances often dictate whether older adults continue living at home, move in with family or friends, or take up residence in a retirement community or nursing home to receive the best care.

Regardless of their living situation, seniors benefit from using smart technology to keep them safe and improve the quality of life as they age.

Seniors Aging in Place

Seniors that are aging in place have additional safety, security, and communication needs to consider in order to continue safely living at home. A smart home for seniors takes advantage of modern technology to gain more autonomy and enjoy a more comfortable and convenient daily life.

Seniors Living with Family

Smart home technology is valuable for seniors living with family due to rising nursing home costs or space availability. Remotely-controlled and automated systems offer a sense of independence for seniors sharing a living space with others.

Nursing Home Residents

Nursing homes work to upgrade technology systems that improve the quality of care and their residents’ safety. Smart home technology is applied in retirement communities to monitor activity and guard against nursing home abuse and neglect. When choosing a nursing home or assisted living facility for you or a loved one, it is essential to ask about how technology is used to maintain the safety, comfort, and healthcare requirements of the residents.

Essential Smart Home Technology for Seniors

From smart locks and video-monitored security systems to voice-activated and emergency alert devices, seniors benefit from the comfort, convenience, and safety provided by various smart home technology devices.

Cameras

Advanced digital technology now allows for small cameras to be strategically placed throughout a senior’s home to remotely monitor security and healthcare progress. Some states allow for the use of cameras in nursing home resident rooms to guard against abuse and neglect.

Emergency Contact Systems

Medical alert systems allow seniors to get emergency help by pressing a button on a wearable device. Emergency contact systems automatically notify medical personnel and loved ones when a senior is in distress and needs emergency assistance.

Virtual Assistants

Among the more recently added features to smart home technology is the use of voice-activated programs. A virtual assistant with voice command capabilities such as Siri and Alexa allows seniors to communicate and get information without using their phone or computer. Simple voice commands can facilitate a call for help or provide valuable information quickly and effortlessly.

Locks

Smart locks feature remote access and scheduling options to help keep seniors secure in their homes. Seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia and memory loss are often vulnerable to wandering and elopement that puts them in danger of getting injured or worse. A smart lock is remotely controlled to make sure seniors remain inside and safe.

Contact and Motion Sensors

Contact and motion sensors help keep seniors safe by tracking movement and monitoring activity. Bed sensors detect movement while the senior is in bed, and a call for help can be dispatched when needed.
Communication Devices

With the widespread availability of high-speed wireless connections and access to mobile devices of all kinds and types, communication for seniors is easier than ever. Video chatting allows you to stay active and connected with friends and family while calling for help when needed.