Smarthomes for Senior Independence
Smarthome technology offers major benefits for all home owners, many of which we’ve discussed quite a bit—things like increased efficiency, lower utility costs, and mind-blowing entertainment. But there’s one particular group of home owners for whom smarthome technology has some special and profound benefits: seniors.
According to AARP, 87 percent of adults age 65+ want to “age in place,” which means having the freedom to stay in their current homes as they age. Lucky for those seniors, smarthome technologies become more advanced every day and they offer a range of new possibilities that can help seniors maintain their independence in their own homes much longer than ever before.
For many seniors, physical limitations become the major factor that causes them to have to seek outside help as they grow older or to move into a facility that offers such help. A few new technologies, though, are making it easier for seniors to overcome physical limitations and remain both safe and at home.
Alert by HelpAround is an app that can be used on your iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch that allows seniors to message or call up to three pre-installed emergency contacts with the simple touch of a finger or even by shaking the device. Alert immediately notifies the contacts of the caller’s location, in case he or she isn’t able to speak. Alert can also sync with Apple’s HealthKit app to monitor crucial readings such as blood glucose and notify the user when those readings go above or below normal range.
Evermind is a smart sensor that connects with virtually any appliance in a senior’s home, whether it’s an oven that the kids worry might be left on or an oxygen machine that the home owner’s medical team might need to monitor. The device allows caregivers to virtually monitor any connected device to make sure that the appliances that need to stay on are still working and that none of the dangerous appliances get left on by accident.
Slip and Fall by Smart Things uses the Smart Things hubs and motion detectors to detect any “slip and fall” type situations. The system also detects when motion occurs at an unusual time, such as 3 am, followed by long period of no motion, for example if the home owner goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night but doesn’t return to bed. When any issue is detected, the system notifies a preset contact or group of contacts.
Smart Things sensors can also be used to ensure that the home owner stays safely at home. In the case of Alzheimer’s patients, for example, sensors can be installed at all entrances and exits, and the system will notify the home owner’s preset contacts if he or she exits the home.
GPS Smart Sole is a discreet, wearable locating device that can be used to keep tabs on seniors to ensure their safety. The device is implanted into an insole that fits into most adult shoes and allows caregivers to monitor the wearer’s movements using their smartphone, table or Web browser. The ergonomic insoles not only feel good to the user’s feet, but also they eliminate the need to wear a large lanyard or bracelet that might be embarrassing or—even worse—could be easily removed.
These are just a few of the many smarthome technologies that are available and putting seniors’ dreams of staying in their own homes within reach. To find out more about how you can incorporate smarthome technology into your own home or that of someone you love, give us a call at Jackson Hole AV. We’d be delighted to help.