Based on the World Health Organization’s prediction, life expectancy will keep increasing. In the next few decades, 65+ people may well outnumber anyone younger than fourteen. Advances in medicine are one of the reasons behind this phenomenon. However, as any innovative businessman profile will prove, technology also has a huge role to play in that. Innovative tech affects plenty of everyday actions, from travel and banking to leisure and living conditions. Today, smart homes solutions improve seniors’ life quality and keep their caretakers informed of the elders’ daily activity.
Smart homes Insteon (or similar platforms) offer full-scale control of most routine tasks. However, caretakers can also make use of other apps and gadgets to improve their loved ones’ lives. Usually, the choice will depend on the senior’s condition, both physical and mental. Let’s take a look at the top smart home technology systems that can make life a bit more comfortable for seniors and their caretakers.
Smart Home Heating Automation
Manually controlling home temperature may not seem a challenging task, but people with reduced mobility will not agree with this statement. Spring and fall are especially tricky seasons when room temperature may drop or rise drastically several times a day. Constantly tampering with heating appliances takes time and effort, but smart technology for homes that automates heating can solve this challenge for good. Smart home heating sensors may adjust the temperature automatically, react to voice controls, or work over a smartphone app. Here, the choice of the exact system will depend on the seniors’ needs and overall tech-savviness.
Smart Home Automated Lighting
Lighting is another smart homes automation tool that has plenty of benefits for seniors. For starters, installing lighting motion sensors can help prevent unfortunate accidents because your loved ones will not have to look for a switch in the dark. Ideally, you should have lighting sensors in potentially dangerous areas, i.e., staircases. In other, less accident-prone zones, you can install voice-controlled lights. Controlling lights over Wi-Fi and a smartphone is also an option.
Smart Home Water, Smoke & Gas Leak Sensors
Plenty of smart homes systems can timely react to smoke, water, and gas leaks. Smart home smoke and gas sensors are especially important because they help save lives. A water leak is not as dangerous as fire or gas because it poses no immediate life danger. Still, turning the water off at a due time can help prevent damage to wiring, furniture, and other household things — not to mention, save a lot of money on repairs.
The most basic version of such smart home sensors sets a sound alarm. Since older people may have reduced hearing, a sound alarm is not the best choice — especially, in a large home. So, it is always better to go with a smart home sensor system that sends out notifications to a smartphone. Depending on the seniors’ physical or psychological state, this notification can be sent to the home owners’ phone or directly to the caretakers.
Smart Home Locks
This piece of smart homes technology is definitely not for everyone. The one truly undeniable plus is that it allows checking if the door is locked from any place inside or outside the house. It can also help if the door shuts and the keys are left inside, which also happens. On the other hand, there is no guarantee that your phone, with all of its controls, is not locked in the house along with the keys. A passcode-operated smart home lock could help in this scenario, but it has another downside for the seniors who have difficulty remembering new information. Still, caretakers may want to consider this smart home tech because it can prove useful in some cases.
Smart Home Contact Sensors
Similar to smart locks, smart home contact sensors can be installed on doors and even windows. After, caretakers and their loved ones will be able to check if those doors and windows are open or tightly shut. However, this smart homes technology of the future has a different, more practical application. It is designed to prevent dementia patients from wandering. A perimeter of smart home contact sensors can help avoid unfortunate incidents, immediately informing caretakers if there is a perimeter ‘breach.’ As a rule, such smart home sensors come with full-scale security systems and run on dedicated smart platforms of their own. But, it is also possible to find more independent and budget-wise smart home solutions controlled over an app.
Often, investing in a single platform that controls everything — from lights and heating to leaks and door locks — is a sound idea. However, like all fully-integrated smart homes automation systems, it can be pricey. Besides, seniors may have drastically different needs, so a one-size-fits-all approach may not always be the best call. Ideally, caretakers should always weigh all pros and cons of every smart home gadget to create tailored solutions for their loved ones’ physical and psychological needs.
Emily Moore is an English & programming teacher with a passion for space and blogging. She believes that current exploration should be focused on preserving our planet’s resources. With satellites circling the orbit, it is easier to get relevant data on any environmental changes. This, in turn, should help people quickly address any challenges.