6 Smart Home Devices for Seniorsby Reading 1 Min
While medical advances have increased life expectancy, a large number of seniors struggle to live life independently and carry out household chores or other daily activities, owing to various health concerns. Facing many challenges, they resort to hiring caregivers, become dependent on family and friends, or shift to assisted living facilities or old age accommodations, leaving the comforts of their own homes. However, these days, aging in place can be made simple with advanced technology and helpful devices. If you’re looking for that little extra help, then why not consider adding a few smart home devices to make your life a lot easier?
- What are smart home devices?
- How do smart home devices benefit seniors?
- Comfort and Convenience
- Peace of mind
- Efficient communication, especially in case of emergencies
- Here are some of the best smart home devices for seniors
- Smart door locks
- Smart pill dispenser
- Step2bed with motion-activated LED light
- Security cameras and video door phones
- Voice assistants
- Smart kitchen appliances
What are smart home devices?
Smart gadgets are devices that connect to the internet and allow homeowners to control appliances, lights, temperature, safety, security, or even entertainment through their phones, tablets, or computers remotely. They provide comfort and convenience to users even when they are not at home.
How do smart home devices benefit seniors?
While choosing to live alone can be empowering, it comes with the risk of not having that extra pair of eyes to watch out for you or that extra pair of hands to get you out of a fix. Smart devices then become that much-needed pair of eyes with advanced sensors that raise the alarm in case of an emergency.
Comfort and Convenience
Performing daily tasks gets challenging when you age. A smart home device can always step in to make things a lot more comfortable for you. Whether it’s changing the temperature of your room to suit your comfort or making coffee in the morning by switching on a smart electric kettle with an app on your phone, we all appreciate the added conveniences.
Peace of mind
There's nothing like peace of mind, knowing that you haven't forgotten to do something important or that someone can step in for you and do a task in case you're not available. You can program a smart device to perform tasks for seniors who are living alone. This will give you that much-needed peace of mind.
Many of us consider hiring an assistant to help us overcome the challenges of daily living but haven’t got the funds to do so. This is where a smart device can help you. Being affordable and easy to set up, they won't break the bank and will help you save money in the long run.
Efficient communication, especially in case of emergencies
A smart device is easily programmed to directly alert the right people in case of an emergency. This assures you that you’ll get prompt help if and when it’s needed, without having to go through several channels.
Here are some of the best smart home devices for seniors:
Smart door locks
Smart door locks are not only a boon but also a necessity for the elderly. With the added concern that they are more susceptible to unwelcome intrusions than the average person, smart door locks are a must. They add extra convenience in case seniors lose their keys or forget passcodes. A good smart lock system designed especially for the elderly is the Kwikset smart lock that offers several entry options, including a passcode, a mobile app, or an auto-lock. A tracker allows you to track door activity, while a remote access feature allows you to operate the lock from even miles away using Wi-Fi.
Smart pill dispenser
As we get older, we have to deal with more elaborate drug regimens that can get ahead of us sometimes. While it’s important to take our medications as specifically prescribed to us, many fail to do this due to difficulty remembering when or if they took their pills that day. A smart pill dispenser solves this problem and more. They are digitally programmed using a smart device to dispense the correct pills as per prescription and even feature locks that prevent the patient from taking the same pill twice. They can also feature audible or visual reminders to make sure you don’t forget to take your daily medications. The Live Fine Bluetooth Pill Dispenser features a 28-day automated delivery system and includes both a beeping alarm and flashing lights to remind the user.
Step2bed with motion-activated LED light
Getting in and out of bed can be a struggle for some. The step2bed has been created with the safety of the elderly in mind. The height of the step2bed is adjustable, and it features motion-activated LED lights that light up and give you that added benefit while getting out of bed at night. The step2bed is a perfect addition to your home if you’re looking for that assurance and assistance. When it comes to bedroom safety for the elderly, it doesn’t get any better than this.
Security cameras and video door phones
These provide an easy way to keep yourself and your home safe without the hassles of other complicated security systems. Security cameras allow you to monitor your premises, while a door video phone allows you to view and speak to anyone at the door before you let them in the house. This is especially useful for the elderly as they can communicate with visitors without any physical interaction that could potentially be harmful. Numerous smart home security systems are available in the market with a wide range of features that can suit your needs.
Voice assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa and Apple’s Siri are increasingly popular these days. The elderly can also benefit from these in several ways. From setting reminders and controlling household devices to finding misplaced phones or simply getting the latest news or weather report, voice assistants offer a range of services that can make life much easier.
Smart kitchen appliances
Whether you need just a gentle reminder while cooking or something a bit more advanced, smart kitchen devices offer a wide range of services that make cooking a more enjoyable experience. A smart refrigerator can communicate several things with its user, including what’s inside it, open door alerts, and reminders of calendar entries, to name a few. Samsung, LG, and GE all offer a wide range of smart refrigerators that offer several impressive features. There are plenty of smart kitchen devices that can make your life easy, from smart Wi-Fi instant pots and microwave ovens to smart coffee makers.
When choosing a smart home device for seniors, one must keep in mind simplicity and accessibility with regards to usage and setup to enable faster learning. Integrating multiple compatible devices into one control system will also help build a smart home ecosystem with ease and convenience.
Vince Baiera is the founder of step2health, a mobility aids and wellness company for older adults. He is a former ICU Nurse of the Cleveland Clinic and Duke University Hospital in the Cardiac ICU. With years of working on the frontlines, Vince noticed the struggles of older adults and people with mobility issues that became an impediment for both patients and their caretakers. He then designed and created the patented product, Step2Bed (and its variants) that helps seniors and those with mobility issues safely get in and out of bed. His philosophy concerning aging is to plan ahead and start with simple home and life modifications to avoid being overwhelmed at retirement.