Old age can be a very challenging phase of life without access to the right tools. The older we get, the less energy we have to undertake day-to-day tasks manually. However, home automation technologies make it possible for seniors to control appliances, security, lighting, and even the temperature in their home through a voice command or push of a button.
Home automation technology can help seniors improve their homes’ comfort, efficiency, and safety by automating various household appliances. Home automation also makes controlling those appliances much easier and more convenient, especially for seniors that are disabled or live alone.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about home automation for seniors. In addition to discussing different smart devices ideal for seniors, I will also provide you with helpful links to the best home automation products.
Home automation is the use of technology to control, monitor, and operate various household appliances and systems from anywhere in the house.
For example, a smart thermostat will enable you to control your home’s temperature even when you are miles away, or you can view everything happening in your house through your smart cameras.
Home automation is particularly essential for older adults in many ways, ranging from their health and safety to security and peace of mind. There are even various apps that can be integrated into a smart home system that can remind older adults to take their medication, which can be easy to forget at an advanced age.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the main benefits of home automation for seniors:
The hallmark of an automated home is the ease with which things are done. You can control almost everything in your house using a voice assistant app. Who wouldn’t want to control entertainment, lighting, and security systems from their bed? Even when you are far away, your home automation system will keep you informed about what’s going on at home.
Home automation systems are known for adding an extra layer of safety and security to any home. For example, installing a smart lock on your front door is a great way to ensure the security of your house, especially when you aren’t at home. You can lock or unlock the door anywhere from a mobile app. You will get an email alert or a text when your smart lock status is tampered with.
And with a smart home security camera, you can monitor every movement anywhere in your house. Whether it is at your front door, in your house, or the area surrounding it, you will get a notification if there’s any motion.
Home automation systems allow you to have more control over your house’s heating and electrical systems. For example, you can schedule your smart light bulbs to turn off automatically after a certain period when there’s no one in a room.
For seniors, this will allow them to manage lights throughout the home without having to manually turn them off and on, climb stairs, or get up when they’re tired.
Here are some more reasons why smart lights are perfect for seniors:
- They can schedule ideal brightness, depending on the time of day.
- Most come in impressive shades of white.
- They are enabled by a voice assistant (which works with Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Home kit).
- They are easy to install.
- They are affordable.
- No hub is required.
- They are incredibly simple to use (no extra hardware or technical skill required).
Similarly, smart thermostats can also regulate a home’s temperature by cooling or heating the house only when it is needed. This can help save energy and reduce monthly utility bills.
Preparing meals can be a strenuous task for anyone, and especially seniors, without the right tools. A smart can opener, kettle, or coffee maker will automatically function with a simple push of a button, making these perfect solutions for older adults living with arthritis.
There are many more smart kitchen devices that can be integrated into a smart home, depending on the senior’s specific cooking needs.
With smart display devices, elderly individuals can make hands-free video calls. This way, they can speak to their loved ones or caregivers at great length without having to go through the stress of holding their phones with their hands.
The devices can also be programmed with family and emergency phone numbers, so an aging senior won’t have to worry about finding (or remembering) the right number when they need to make a call. Most systems will dial the appropriate number based on a simple command.
Some elderly individuals are prone to roaming aimlessly throughout their homes. This is fine as long as they don’t wander outside the house. But if they happen to go beyond their premises, the chances are, they can get lost or utterly bewildered. To prevent this, smart homes can incorporate the creation of safe zones for seniors through geo-fencing.
When seniors living with dementia move out of these GPS-enabled safe zones, the caretakers or family members will instantly get a notification via a mobile app, which will help locate their wandering relative in no time.
While home automation can provide a greater sense of security, convenience, and comfort, one of the biggest benefits it can offer–especially to seniors–is medical assistance. There are numerous devices today that can assist with monitoring a senior’s health, activities, and can make reaching emergency assistance easier than ever before.
Personal emergency response systems are ideal for seniors because they can alert others to a medical emergency. However, there are some important factors to consider about medical emergency devices:
- Battery life: Medical alert systems like smart wrist watches that require daily charging, might not be a great option for seniors. They might not always remember to charge their medical alert systems. With a dead battery, the medical alert system will do no good.
- Waterproof: It is not uncommon to find older adults having shower falls. A shower fall is a very common reason for emergency visits for seniors. This is why considering a waterproof medical alert system is highly important.
- Contract: Medical alert systems run a periodic contract. This contract involves connecting your medical alert device to an emergency service center. This service will rush to your aid in no time once you press the help button. So, you may be charged a service fee depending on the pricing options you choose.
- Automatic Fall Detection: In this case, a senior falls and becomes unconscious. As a result, they might not be able to push the emergency button on their medical devices. Most medical alert systems now feature automatic fall detection systems that can tell when a hard fall occurs and alert the emergency center without any button pushed.
- Subscription plans: Most medical alert systems feature different pricing options ranging from monthly, quarterly to semi-annual and annual payments. In other words, you can pay once a month or every 3 months, 6 months, or annually. Generally, the overall cost will reduce when you pay many months upfront.
- Device costs: For some companies, you pay for the medical alert system and subscription plans separately. Others simply include the fee of the device in the subscription plan.
- Activation fees: For some companies, the cost of the medical alert system comes along with a one-time activation fee.
- Set-up fees: While some companies charge installation fees, others like Medical Care Alert Home and Yard, do not.
Now, let’s take a look at some of the best smart devices available and what they can do to improve a home. Not only are these products tried and tested, but they’re able to make any senior’s house more convenient and easy to navigate.
Each of these products can be found on Amazon.com:
Smonet Smart Deadbolt Door Locks
These smart door locks available on Amazo can give seniors a deep sense of security and peace of mind. Instead of a regular key, you just input your digital code to lock or unlock the door. You don’t need to get out of the bed at night to check if the smart front door is locked. You can confirm from your mobile app connected to the door lock.
Smart locks are ideal for seniors that are forgetful and don’t always remember to lock the door at night, or when they go out for errands.
OlideSmart WiFi Curtain
With just the press of a button, OlideSmart WiFi Curtin on Amazon can be opened or closed effortlessly, making this a perfect choice for seniors, especially disabled ones. So, they don’t need to climb or reach for something just to open or close the curtains. These curtains are also easy to close at nighttime, especially when it’s too dark to see clearly.
A/B Bluetooth Smart Key Finder
It doesn’t matter what age you are, chances are, you’ve likely forgotten your keys or misplaced them at some point. However, with a Bluetooth smart key finder on Amazon, you don’t have to worry about aimlessly searching for your keys again, and this device can be especially helpful for seniors that have a lot of personal items to keep track of.
Devices like the A/B Bluetooth Smart Key Finder are simple and efficient in finding your lost keys. Just attach your keys to this smart Bluetooth device, and it’s ready to go. There is no need for installation; just pairing with your phone.
Ring Alarm Security System
Having a reliable security home system is a necessity in today’s world, especially for seniors. The Ring Alarm Security System available on Amazon is a worthy investment in a home’s safety and an individual’s well-being. It’s easy to set up and lets you check who is approaching your home at all times.
Here is a video on smart home security devices that will help you keep your house secured:
Shark Ai Robot Vacuum
Pushing a big vacuum cleaner can be a tough job for stronger people, let alone the seniors. But smart vacuums like the Shark Ai Robot Vacuum on Amazon will do the work perfectly. You can even schedule a cleaning time and monitor everything on your mobile device.
The smart vacuum will go back to its dock once it is done with the cleaning. The only task left for you is emptying out a dustpan. This device is a great way to keep the house clean and free of dirt and dust, without having to do all the work0.
Sengled Element Classic Smart Bulb
With Google and Alexa voice assistants, there is nothing as easy as controlling your light settings. You can even set time schedules for automatic switching on or off of your smart lights.
The Sengled Element Classic Smart Bulb on Amazon is a great smart bulb that can easily be automated and set to a schedule. It also comes in soft white, so it’s simple to adjust the brightness, while still providing suitable visibility.
Medical Guardian On-the-Go Medical Alert System
The Medical Guardian On-the-Go Medical Alert System on Amazon is one of the top-rated, mobile personal emergency response systems on the market. It’s practical for seniors living alone, and can be used to contact others for help when it’s needed most. It comes with a neck strap for safe keeping, and can be used on WiFi or with cellular data.
The company also provides the first month’s subscription for free, so you have time to test it out and see how it works.
Apple Watch Series 6
Finally, an essential smart device that any senior will benefit from investing in is an Apple Watch available on Amazon. This smartwatch has a handy sensor that alerts you on your heart rate, temperature, and other health-related information, so you can act fast and meet with your doctor, when necessary.
The built-in sensor also has an internal accelerometer and gyroscope, which can detect when you fall and send an alert.
The watch displays “Emergency SOS,” requiring you to trigger it and call for immediate help.
This watch can also be paired with your home’s other smart devices, so you can quickly control any appliance, right from your wrist.
While home automation does have many advantages for seniors, there are some common concerns that arise as well, including the price of the devices and system as a whole, and the installation and usage of each device.
One of the biggest concerns is the cost of a home automation system. Smart home systems can be quite expensive and may even require professional installation and additional hubs. It even costs more if you want a complete automated smart home.
If you are on a budget, you can start with the places you occupy the most in your home. Smart lighting is one of the most common and affordable ways to start automating your house.
Installing a home automation system can seem confusing, especially if you aren’t particularly tech-savvy. If you’re helping set up a system for a senior (or yourself), you’ll take comfort in knowing that most systems can be set up without outside help and come with thorough instructions. There are also plenty of tutorials online offering tips on home automation setups.
If you’re still having trouble, smart home specialists can be called to assist with the initial installation of the devices. Home automation specialists will ensure all the devices are securely integrated into one central system that’s easy to access and manage.
Home automation specialists can also work with seniors by showing them how to operate each device, so they can get started enjoying their home’s new sense of security and comfort.
Home automation makes life more convenient and entertaining for seniors and even the disabled. Most smart home devices are simple enough for seniors to operate and even install.
In the light of how home automation technologies have simplified day-to-day activities, many more seniors are now living more comfortably on their own and with a strong sense of security.