A Smart Home may Keep Seniors Independent

NWISeniors.com Smart Home Image, clapper, secuirtyRemember The Clapper that started in the mid-90’s?  You clapped your hands and anything plugged into the device turned on or off.  No doubt this was the start of the Smart Home idea.  But Smart Homes are so much more than The Clapper.  Read on to learn how the Smart Home idea can keep seniors living independent longer and you don’t have to be tech savvy!

Just like The Clapper, the use of technology to improve life is not new.  Electricity, cars, and the Internet are a few inventions that improved our lifestyles over the years.  But modern technology is so much more.  For a senior who prefers to age-in-place, Smart Home technology can keep you independent longer.

NWISeniors.com Smart Home Image 2, audio alarms, senior safety, age in placeSmart Home technology moves beyond alarms.  Of course security, smoke, and carbon monoxide alarms are important.  But audio alarms have limits for seniors who commonly experience hearing loss.  This is especially true for aging men who commonly lose the ability to hear high pitch sounds.  Smart Home technology is much more advanced.

Uses of Smart Home Technology

There are many uses of Smart Home Technology for independent senior living including:

  • Activities of Daily Living. Internal systems can check a resident for activities of daily living including movement and sleep

  • Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS).  PERS are voice activated systems to alert a call center in case of an emergency such as a fall.

  • Video Monitoring. Outside video monitoring may include a camera at entrances to your home to detect unwanted visitors.  Inside video monitoring can help caregivers monitor seniors from another room or while away.

  • Motion Sensors. Motion sensors are used to prevent wandering of seniors with cognitive impairment.

  • Lighting Control. Lighting control helps prevent falls and assists seniors with visual impairments.

  • Temperature Control. Temperature control helps seniors stay comfortable.

  • Social and Entertainment. Social and entertainment technology helps keep seniors connected to others.

Risks of Smart Home Technology

While Smart Home technology has many potential uses, there are also risks involved including:

Hacking.  The technology is attached to an Internet connection which can be vulnerable to hackers.

Outages.  The technology relies on electricity which may be affected during weather and other outages.

Connection.  The Internet connection must support all systems.

Cost.  Technology and the Internet connection may be expensive, depending on the type and volume of systems used.

Compliance.  The wearable technology must be used.  If the senior removes the device or is not compliant with the system, the technology is useless.

Underdeveloped Technology.  Many systems in a Smart Home rely on integration which is currently underdeveloped.

Conclusion

While we’ve come a long way from The Clapper, more work is needed for fully integrated Smart Home technology.  However, Smart Home technology is promising, especially to help seniors stay independent longer and age-in-place.  No doubt with the volume of seniors retiring every day, fully integrated Smart Home technology will arrive soon!

For more tips on real estate, aging-in-place, and not outliving your money, request a copy of our free book, The Northwest Indiana Guide for Seniors.