Smart Home Technology for Seniors Living Independently
90% of people over 65 want to live in their own home as long as possible. In the past, making this possible might have been difficult. When older relatives became unable to take care of themselves safely, families usually had the choice of having them move in or joining assisted living homes.
Now, with the rise of smart home technology, families have more options to care for their older loved ones. Homes can now be fitted with customized IoT devices to help your loved ones remain independent while also having peace of mind over their safety.
Smart Home Technology Basics
Smart home technology refers to devices in the home that are connected to the internet to make your living situation safer, more efficient, and more comfortable. Families can now enjoy automated lighting and locks, voice controlled devices, automated thermostats, and smart appliances in their homes.
By 2020, it is predicted that there will be 31 billion installed devices to the internet across the globe. These technological advancements are affecting people of all ages, but can be especially beneficial for those in their golden years.
For seniors, smart home technology is not designed just for efficiency or show, but for health concerns and safety. These are the three main types of recent advancements that make senior living safer.
Activity Sensors Prevent and Detect Emergencies
With IoT devices, almost anything in a loved one’s home can be monitored. Motion sensors are useful tools to detect when a senior has gotten out bed, used the bathroom, opened the fridge or moved around the house. Learning objects study the normal patterns of users and and can detect anything out of the norm. Even one’s gait can be monitored to prevent a fall. If there is abnormal movement, the sensors can alert designated caretakers or health providers to come check on the senior. Sensors such as these have been shown to almost double one’s time living independently in their later years.
Health Tracking and Alerts Keep Everything Under Control
Safety and health are closely intertwined. To prevent health issues, smart home devices keep track of client vitals and other health indicators. A specialized bed can track a client’s breathing, heart rate and number of times out of bed. If a client’s heart rate drops and respiration slows, healthcare providers can be alerted immediately.
Forgetting medicine or overdosing are huge safety concerns for people taking multiple medicines daily. Medicine reminders, such as light bulbs that change colors when it is time to take certain pills or smart watches that send alerts, help prevent medical emergencies.
Appliance and Home Security Features Protect the Elderly
If a loved one still prepares their own meals, smart smoke detectors can send alerts to remote caretakers. Also, smart ovens feature automatic turn off after preset time.
Safe locks have become popular devices to more securely control who has access to enter the home such as caregivers and emergency responders. Safe locks act as a sensor to track who is coming and leaving the home.
In emergency cases, older people can use voice activated video calling to call family or medical practitioners in case they are in a situation where they can’t move or find their phone.
The bottom line? Smart homes make independent living safer. Depending on the needs of your loved one, homes can be customized with IoT devices that make living independently possible and safer.
Brooklin Nash writes about the latest tools and small business trends for TrustRadius. When he’s not writing, you can find him reading YA dystopian fiction (with guilty pleasure) and cooking.
Lori Thomas has decades of experience as a caregiver. Her writing for SeniorAdvice.com is informed by years of research as well as hands-on family experience caring for her now late mother, who had chronic health issues for most of her life. Lori is an integral part of the SeniorAdvice.com management team, acting as Vice President of Marketing and Chief Editor.