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How Smart Home Technology Can Help Aging in Place

by Ronald Elias

Smart home technology isn’t just for the young. 

Any new technology – and especially new technology in emerging and growing categories like smart home technology – tends to get a reputation of being for younger audiences. But that’s simply not the case. The team here at Smart Automation Solutions prides itself on being knowledgeable on the best ways, practices, and use cases for the technology we sell, and we thought it would be great to guide our customers through a not-often-talked-about, but quite important, use of smart home technology: to help older adults as they are aging in place.

There are many ways that technology can help keep users independent while assisting with their lifestyle. And as aging in place becomes more common – where older adults stay in their homes longer or multiple generations live together under one roof – using this technology is only going to become more and more important. There’s a big future for such technology out there, and it just goes to show that smart technology can help improve everybody’s homelife. Let’s take a look at how.

A Tech Sixth Sense 

It’s only human to worry, but what if there was a way to use smart technology to give seniors their space to retain their independence, while also creating a digital safety net that can report back to concerned family member, caregivers, or other health professionals?

With smart home technology, there is a way. First, let’s start right at the beginning: with the entryway to a house, or even individual rooms. A smart home security system can send alerts that an older adult has arrived home, unlocked the front door, and closed it behind them. You can also set up individual room occupancy sensors so that if a person enters one room but never leaves it, family members can be alerted. All of this can be seamlessly integrated into a home, giving older adults both the safety and space that they need as they go about their daily lives. 

That’s just one example of how smart home security can be used to create a system of alerts that balances personal dignity with a safety net in case of health emergencies. There are many different ways that smart home security can further protect your loved ones – give us a call at 240-242-7272 today and we’d be glad to go over all the options available to you and your loved ones!

Lighting the Way 

It’s no secret that falls are the leading cause of both fatal and non-fatal injuries for older Americans, and anything that technology can do to help prevent falls is going to go a long way toward creating a positive aging-in-place experience. 

This is where smart lighting can come in. With the combination of a few pieces of smart technology, you can easily have a system that manages and touches on several different aspects of home life, while providing elegant and convenient solutions. 

For example, with a pressure-sensitive pad on the bed and path lighting, an older adult can easily get out of bed only to have the lights turn on automatically, lighting the way to the bathroom. Upon returning to bed, the lights go off – no fumbling in the dark or button pressing required. Just like with the room occupancy sensor, an alert can also be sent out to family members if the person doesn’t lay back down in bed after a certain amount of time. This automatic lighting functionality could also be applied to other rooms as well, and when paired with touch panels or tables, can create a way for people of any age to easily control the lighting throughout their home. 

Voice Controlled Companionship 

While smart technology can help prevent possible physical emergencies, it can also be used to help create a better quality of life through emotional use cases. 

This is where voice control as part of an automation system becomes quite important. Not only does voice control make it easy for even the most tech-averse older adults to control all of their electronics and home technology, it can also provide companionship. 

With proactive assistants, your smart speaker can ask questions to a user, mention different ideas of tasks to do throughout the day, and then help complete those tasks. Making calls to family or scheduling reminders to take medications has never been easier, and just the sense of talking and communicating with another voice can help a feeling of loneliness, as well. Even more importantly, voice control can allow older adults to call for help if they have a medical emergency – such as calling 9-1-1 or calling a family member. 

Smart technology is just getting started in the aging-in-place space, but the continued benefits and the potential impact on quality of life are huge. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help your loved ones with a smart home aging in place renovation, give us a call at 240-242-7272 today! 

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