“Old age isn’t so bad; when you consider the alternatives” – MAURICE CHEVALIER
And over here by the term ‘alternatives’, we mean the various smart technology options that can be embedded in our homes to restyle them into smart tech home for our grey-haired beloved ones. After all, every individual wishes to age gracefully in his/her own abode where he has the hard-earned treasure of memories. And as the children or relatives or caregivers of our seniors, it is our allegiance to equip our elders with all that we can and they need to age with grace. Talking specifically about the in-house essentials which can inflate the lifestyle of our seniors, here are some tech essentials.
AUTOMATED VOICE CONTROL TECHNOLOGY
Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa and Cortana are the outcomes of voice recognition or voice controlled innovative devices. Our elders are not that flexible with innovative technological trends like we are. So to ensure that they receive the benefits of technology without being erred by it, we need to equip them with options which though are technological, sounds very easy to them. The voice recognition devices are like virtual assistants to your elders in your absence. These virtual voice-controlled assistants can entertain our elders, answer their queries, raise alarm, send or receive notifications and even control the connected or synced smart home devices.
TECH SMART CAMERA
Although one never wants to go away from his/her parents or grandparents, duties and responsibilities leave them with no option. And so it becomes essential to opt for smart hi-tech cameras. With technology reaching its advanced stage, the security cameras function more than simply eyeing or keeping watch on the elders. One can even have two-way communication cameras or the one which sends notification or alarms in case of need and is synced to your smartphones. Reolink Go, Wyze Cam Pan, Nest Cam Indoor are few of the multiple camera options available in the market which provide round the clock peace of mind to both your elders and yourself.
SMART LIGHT AND FANS
Smart lights and smart fans swipe out the need of getting up every time one wants to switch on or switch off the device. By means of a simple command either on the app or via voice, the job is done; hence making the life of our seniors simpler. Also sometimes our elders forget to turn off the lights and fans which adds on to the electricity bills. In such a case, instead of knocking them and reminding them, let’s take the charge in our hands (smartphones). These smart lights and fans are also of great assistance in the case when our elders have mobility issues. These smart devices can either be based on motion sensor technology or timer based or both or even Wifi connected. Echo, Philips Hue and WeMo smart lights and Haiku Ceiling Fans, Modern Forms Fan and Hunter Ceiling Fans are some of the trending examples.
A smart home thermostat like Ecobee 3 Lite, Ecobee 4 and Nest simplifies the life of elders and their caregivers to a large extent. Our elders who are sensitive to temperature variations can set the temperature of the room they are in, by means of synced smartphone applications or voice controlled devices. Not only this, the use of smart home thermostats brings down the electricity bills by big numbers.
SMART LOCKS AND DOORBELL
Safety and security of our elders is our 24*7 responsibility as well as a duty even when we are physically not present around them. For this purpose, we should ensure to equip our homes where our elders reside with smart doorbells and locks. Smart doorbells come equipped with live video streaming, wifi enabled apps, two-way communication and ease of compatibility with home automation devices. By use of these smart bells, our elders are able to eliminate the risk of opening door to unwanted people and strangers. Ring Video Doorbell, SkyBell Wi-Fi Video Doorbell and Chui Face recognition doorbell are some of the examples. Talking about smart locks, they can be brought into use without any key. Moreover, they are equipped with sensors and alert notifications of who is entering or going out can be set up with limited access and can be remotely locked or unlocked. So even if your grandparent forgot to lock the door, you can do the same for him even while working in your office. Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolt, Kwikset Kevo and August Smart Lock Pro + Connect are some of the trending options of this category.
SMART SENSORS AND ALARMS
The presence and application of smart tech alarms and sensors in homes help to upgrade the level of safety and security we try to embed in the life of our elderly parents and grandparents. Smart sensors placed anywhere in the home detect and study the routine of the housemate and thereafter in case of any sudden change in activity, raise the alarm. There are other motion sensors for lights, fans, beds and more which further ease the living pattern of the elderly people. Samsung SmartThings Motion Sensor, HomeSeer HSM200 and Netatmo weather sensor are some of the smart sensor examples trending in the market today.
Smart stovetop products are for those elderly people for whom their culinary skills have not aged with their years. So to assist them in their passion, but with extra care, there are the options of automatic stove turn off devices. These products also relieve their caregivers of the tension when their elderly loved ones are busy trying their cooking skills at home. Fire Avert Electric Auto Stove Shut-off Safety Device, Wallflower Smart Monitor for Electric Stoves and iGuardStove Intelligent Stove Shut Off Device are certain examples of these smart category products.
Customize and control every aspect of the bathroom experience when your elderly parents or grandparents wish to execute their private chores independently. A smart tech bathroom should have fall detection sensors like Walabot Home, smart showering system like SmarTap and DTV showering system, smart toilets like Numi Intelligent toilet which is a voice and app-controlled toilet, smart mirrors like Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror and more.
All the above-mentioned tech innovations were designed for the mutual benefit of the caregivers as well as the elders. Also, I would like to remind you that these are the smart home tech options; one can always make use of other tech elder care products exclusively crafted for elders to further smoothen their living. By effective and smart use of technology at the home, we can render our support and care to our elders even when we are out with our essential chore. Moreover, these tech smart options are a great means to stay connected with the people we wish to even when the GPS distance is long enough. Smart tech homes bring in the much-needed comfort, convenience, safety and manageability along with the confidence of independent living in the life of our elders.