Smart Home, Smart Support – How Home Automation Makes Life Easier For Seniors

Seniors and technology aren’t always a natural fit. But everyone needs support as they age and smart home systems are one of the best ways to keep the elderly safe and comfortable in their own homes.

From medical alerts to sensor-activated lighting, smart home technology for seniors acts as a virtual caregiver, providing an extra layer of protection so their loved ones don’t have to worry.

Because it doesn’t matter whether you’re right next door, or on the other side of the country, you can’t be with your parents all the time. But a smart device can. A good home automation system  can be your eyes and ears, giving you much needed peace of mind as your parents head into their twilight years.

Smart home devices for seniors

Currently more than 715,000 Albertans are over the age of 65, and that number is expected to double within the next 2 decades. As these seniors age, they’ll gradually become less mobile, more forgetful, and more vulnerable.

That’s where smart home gadgets can help. These can be integrated into a whole house automated system, or purchased individually.

Of course, if you’re searching for the best smart home device for seniors, it depends on the senior. As we age, we all face different challenges unique to our situation, so it’s best to consult with your elderly relative to see what they need, what you need, and what they’re comfortable with.

To get you started, let’s take a look at some of the most commonly used apps when creating a smart home for seniors:

  • Smart security systems:
    Seniors are ready targets for criminals, especially if they live alone. An automated security system can help protect their property with 24/7 monitoring of access points and instant alerts should the worst happen.These systems can be as sophisticated or as basic as you need. They can include:
    • Video doorbells – so you can see at a glance who’s at your door, even tuning in remotely. if no-one’s home. These also contain audio so users can speak to the person at the door and vice versa.
    • Outdoor security cameras – motion-sensing cameras to provide surveillance all around the property.
    • Indoor security cameras – so loved ones can check in on their seniors in real-time.
    • Window/door sensors – instant alerts if someone tries to enter via the door or window
    • Keyless door locks – users can open the door using a code if they forget or misplace their keys.
    • Outdoor security cameras – motion-sensing cameras to provide surveillance all around the property.
  • Alarms and alerts:
    You may not be able to prevent every emergency, but you can prepare for them. From falls to fires, smart devices can let you know instantly when something goes wrong.
    • Emergency contacts – while medical alerts are generally wearable devices, a lot of seniors don’t or won’t wear these. In this situation, consider smart speakers. These allow users to call contacts via voice command. So if your loved one falls, they can shout out ‘phone Michael’ and the device will automatically dial you.
    • Fall detection sensors – recent innovation means there are now a few non-wearable sensors on the market that can detect falls when they happen at home. These sensors use camera or wireless signals to detect a fall and alert an emergency contact.
    • Medication reminders – Most smart home systems can be programmed with timers that keep track of medication schedules. Using a pre-set calendar, the unit will verbally alert seniors so they never miss a dose.
    • Alarms – smoke, carbon monoxide, a stove left on, a water leak – these can all be instantly detected by smart devices, with alerts sent immediately to emergency services, caregivers, and others.
  • Help around the home:
    Everything gets a little harder as we age, even everyday tasks. Smart devices can take some of the stress out of daily life for seniors.
    • Lighting sensors – lights can be programmed to turn on at certain times or motion-activated to light dark hallways as needed.
    • Sound control – these allow seniors to increase or lower the volume of their stereos from a single remote or, in some cases, via voice-activated controls.
    • Smart screens – seniors who are more comfortable with technology may enjoy the convenience of smart screens, a single display from which they can surf the web, video call contacts, manage their appointments, and more.