Technology evolves alongside the way we live, and home automation is contributing to senior living. We’ve advanced beyond feeling comfortable with trying new gadgets, to fully relying on the conveniences of smart devices – and for good reason.
When it comes to older generations, a 2020 AARP study found that people ages 50 and older already use smartphones, wearable technology, and smart home technology at about the same pace as younger adults, with an increasing interest in smart home technology.
The new tools among the Internet of Things is benefiting seniors in ways that are being increasingly explored. From saving time, energy, and resources dealing with daily tasks and responsibilities, to connecting them more easily than ever before, home automation tools enhance the human experience to help seniors enjoy living.
Let’s explore how home automation simplifies and enhances senior living.
What is Home Automation?
With an internet connection at home, smart devices will connect to and automate daily household functions. These devices are controlled remotely and securely from tablets, smartphones, or voice-enable assistants.
Whether you want to run a fully-functional smart home or use only a few convenient tools, there are many ways this technology will simplify daily tasks and responsibilities for seniors and their caretakers.
Home automation provides independence, helping seniors stay in their own homes longer, as well as improve their lives in assisted living communities.
How Home Automation Simplifies Senior Living
From the most basic functions, to fully customizing a senior’s lifestyle, home automation simplifies daily experiences that become more challenging as we age. This offers relief when managing memory care, lessened mobility, or other unique needs.
Home automation gives seniors their time and confidence back as they gain the proper tools to automate their homes and age in place.
Safety and peace of mind
With the level of smart monitoring available, caretakers and seniors can see not only the conditions within a home, from anywhere, but also important information about health and behavior. This allows loved ones to check in even when they can’t physically visit.
Smart wearables, such as bracelets or necklaces, live-track a senior’s biometric data from home, such as heart rate and sleep patterns. They’ll alert caretakers of any sudden changes. As data is collected over time, doctors and caretakers can use it to help manage the senior’s health.
Smart medication dispensers provide important alerts for taking medications that are sorted in a dispenser, with sensors that track what seniors have taken or missed.
Other applications and wearables assist seniors with self-care, such as giving reminders for eating, drinking, exercising, and personal hygiene, as well as tracking these behaviors.
Motion detection. Set up throughout an entire living space, wifi and motion detection help monitor health and safety. Caretakers or emergency responders are notified if there is unusual motion, such as from a possible intruder or if a senior appears to have fallen. It also tracks movements to show daily behaviors.
This tracking could be as simple as using a wearable that detects whether someone has fallen.
Also consider mounting smart motion sensors to turn lights on and off or to show when someone gets out of bed.
Smart security system. Taking a security system one step further, these devices automatically lock doors and windows within the home. This eliminates the need to remember keys to enter a home, as it is instead securely controlled by your chosen smart devices. Automate this to conveniently lock doors at a certain time every night.
Some devices are designed to interact with each other. A security device might connect to a wearable or a motion detector. If one of these detects that someone is in danger, emergency responders will be contacted. The smart locks will unlock, letting emergency responders enter the home.
Doorbell camera. When the doorbell rings, a camera shows who is at the door, so there is no need to rush to answer it. Past footage from the camera can also be reviewed.
Smart Appliances. Smart appliances can be set to shut off or locked after a certain amount of time, or controlled from anywhere in the house. The variety of options make them perfect for customizing safety needs. For example, a stove top will automatically turn off after a set time limit to prevent accidental burns.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors alert someone on their phone or tablet with clear information about where an issue arises within a house.
Comfort at home
Virtual assistants and voice-enabled devices are helpful in managing this area of home automation. They serve as a hub to control several smart devices, as well as provide information including news, weather, and reminders with simple voice commands.
Create the ideal atmosphere. Smart lighting and thermostats save electricity and provide a more convenient way to control a home’s atmosphere. These smart devices can be completely automated to adjust at certain times and customized in various ways. Lighting, for example, includes smart light bulbs or plugs to use with existing lighting appliances.
Feel connected. When it comes to connecting seniors to what they really enjoy, home automation provides quick access to friends and family, along with enriching entertainment. This includes classes and group gatherings, as well as various ways to connect with news and entertainment. Assistance tools are available for those with vision or hearing issues to enjoy these conveniences as well. Smart televisions, speakers, tablets, and even picture frames create high-quality engagement.
Some virtual reality tools have even become available to allow those who are homebound to explore new and old places through 3D environments.
These smart tools provide enriching mental stimulation and connection that combat loneliness and depression, giving seniors perspective on their purpose in life.
Enhancing seniors’ independence
The Kensington Sierra Madre has many resources to help seniors maintain their lifestyle so that they can age with comfort.
Learn more about how we can support your senior loved one’s independence with our services and assisted living communities.