By Maricel Tabalba, Freelance Contributor
With all the new smart home technology flooding the market, it’s easy to get swept away by various options for smart thermostats, lights, home security and more. For the average consumer, it’s quite overwhelming. For those who are looking to add these smart technologies to a home in order to take care of their aging loved one (or ourselves) more efficiently, it can be especially daunting, as different brands can offer the same features. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant smart home technologies and trends that will benefit seniors aging in place.
Smart lights have a variety of capabilities, including turning on and off during certain times or dimming to your preference. Some smart lights can be activated by clapping or speaking, and others can wake you up in the morning by turning on with your alarm. Smart lights allow seniors to control the lighting in different rooms from one hub, preventing messy falls and injuries that might occur in the dark.
One popular set on the market is the Philips Hue Connected Bulb starter kit. This highly customizable set allows you to adjust light color and intensity with your smartphone, as well as set schedules for when the lights will turn on. For seniors not wanting to commit to the whole package just yet, the Philips Hue Wireless Dimming Kit has fewer bells and whistles at an affordable price.
Smart Smoke Detectors
Smart smoke detectors are ideal for seniors because they don’t demand as much attention as regular smoke detectors and can speak to you about a fire or carbon monoxide leak no matter where you are in your home. Some high-end models will even notify you about the exact location where the smoke is coming from, such as the Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm. The Kidde Smart Smoke Detector is a similar choice and allows you to connect the device to up to 24 other smart gadgets or systems.
Smart Home Security
Smart home surveillance has rapidly advanced over the past decade.
Smart locks and doorbell cameras are useful for all generations, but they may be especially helpful for seniors who are unable to fend off an intruder by themselves or get up to lock a door. Smart locks such as the Kwikset smart lock can be controlled from a smartphone and can make living alone much safer for the aging population. This lock is touch-to-open and requires no key, and is a great alternative to fumbling around with keys in the cold.
To boost security even further, smart security cameras allow the user to view live surveillance of their home on their smartphone. This effectively eliminates the risk of opening the door to an intruder and notifies the user of any suspicious people prowling around their house.
Smart thermostats are a great alternative to traditional temperature control for seniors, since the temperature of one’s home can be adjusted directly from a remote or smartphone app. Many different brands can even “learn” your habits and decide when to change the temperature for you in case you’re out and want to come back to a warm home. This is especially beneficial for seniors, as they are able to control the heat without getting up and allow their smart thermostats to turn on and off automatically.
Smart sensors are useful devices that can provide a sense of security and safety for the aging population. These devices will put the minds of family members at ease, and provide reassurance that a loved one is safe. The Homesafe Safety Beam is an infrared sensor that detects when someone enters or leaves the house. If a loved one goes out for a shopping trip, the smart sensor reassures you that they made it home without issue. These devices can also be used to sense noises on the other side of the house, such as someone knocking on the door, which can be very useful for people with poor hearing.
Smart Home Hubs
Smart home hubs are quickly making their way into houses across the world and for good reasons. These hubs use voice automation to perform tasks, making it seamless to do everything from checking sports scores to turning on the lights. The Amazon Echo is one of the latest smart hubs to grace the market and can connect to a huge variety of other smart home devices, such as the ones mentioned above.
The advent of smart home technology is exciting for all generations, and far too often, seniors are often the last to give these new devices a try. However, in recent years, this attitude is shifting and people of all ages are finding that smart home technology makes life a lot easier. For seniors who need some special attention, smart home technologies can be a beneficial addition to their home and quality of life.
About the Author
Maricel Tabalba is a freelance contributor interested in writing about personal finance. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
If you would like to learn more about smart technology in senior living and how Love & Company can help you anticipate the future trends in senior living, please call Tim Bracken at 410-207-0013.