There are many seniors who plan to live long lives at home independently, but as they get older the more challenging it could be just to perform simple tasks like turning on the lights in various rooms or even answering the front door. Then there’s safety and security to think about. Unfortunately, seniors do run the risk of injuring themselves if they fall due to poor visibility because of inadequate lighting, and some may even experience memory loss that could cause them to accidentally leave the front door unlocked, which could lead to a home burglary.
But living at home independently doesn’t have to be hard or challenging; in fact, it should be quite enjoyable all while being safe and secure. This could be accomplished with home automation. By adding home automation technology to a property, not only will the lives of seniors be easier, but also the lives of their caregivers. Below are several ways home automation devices and independent living products can do just that.
But please keep in mind that some of these devices will need to be connected to a home controller in order to be programmed and not all home automation products can work together since there are different technologies such as Z-Wave and Zigbee to consider.
Adding automatic lights to a home means seniors won’t have to worry about turning on lights when they enter a room or turning them off when they leave. Occupancy sensors do all of the work when motion is detected, and because they automatically turn off the lights when motion is no longer detected homeowners will save a lot of money in energy costs. There are even outdoor security lights with motion detection that can help keep unwanted intruders from sneaking onto the property as well as provide plenty of light for when seniors exit their homes at night.
Security: Video and Locks
Home security systems including smart door locks are a great way to keep seniors safe at home. Having video surveillance cameras set up not only help deter criminals from entering a home, but also give caretakers an extra set of eyes when checking up on seniors. Video cameras can also help seniors see who is at the front door without getting up from the couch since many IP cameras transmit live video to tablets and other mobile devices. Adding smart door locks to a senior’s home is a great way to ensure that all doors that lead into the home are not accidentally left unlocked. They can be programmed to automatically lock if left unlocked for a set period of time.
Automated Pill Dispensing
Simple pillboxes found in local pharmacies and drugstores aren’t really the best way for seniors to manage medication because their main function is to simply hold the pills. However, there are now medication dispensers that can be remotely accessible by caregivers via the Internet, making it easier for them to monitor the medication of their patients. These medication dispensers feature audible alarms and flashing lights to notify patients of when to take their pills. Some dispensers also send wireless alerts to caregivers when doses are missed and only make the most recent medication dose available to prevent patients from overdosing.
Smoke & Heat Detection, Sensors
Keeping seniors safe from fires and preventing home floods can be accomplished by adding smoke & heat detectors and water leak sensors. By connecting a smoke & heat detector to a home security system, caregivers can receive alerts in case of a potential fire and notify responders remotely if a senior is unable to. To prevent flooding in a home that could cause expensive water damage and unsafe walking conditions for seniors, flood prevention devices can be used and connected directly to the plumbing of a home. When a water leak is detected, some of these devices will not only alert seniors and caregivers of a leak, but also automatically shut off the home’s water supply to prevent flooding.
Other Independent Living Technology
There are other smart independent living devices to keep in mind that can make the lives of seniors a lot easier at home. For those who suffer from hearing loss, there are some amplified phones with big buttons that are designed with hearing aid compatible handsets, and, there are even visual doorbell and phone call alerts with flashing light notifications for those with severe hearing loss. Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) are also available. They allow seniors to call family members, caregivers, or emergency staff for help in case of an emergency by pressing a button located on a wrist pendant, neck pendant, or directly on the main console. For seniors that don’t own a computer but still want to receive emails, photos, and documents, there is a special printer called the Presto Computerless E-Mail Printing Mailbox. No Internet or computer is needed, just a low monthly service fee. Basically, when the Printing Mailbox receives a message from a loved one it will automatically print it out – it’s that simple.
Home automation technology has really come a long way and is a perfect solution for making the lives of seniors a lot easier and safer so that they can enjoy their home independently for many more years to come.
If you have a senior loved who is living at home independently and looking to add home automation technology to their home, please don’t hesitate to contact us for free support and product advice. Just call our toll-free number at 858-693-8887 (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific, Monday – Friday). Home Controls is always willing to help and make sure your home automation needs are taken care of.