By Hannah West
These days, more and more seniors are able to age in place, thanks to technology. This means that they don’t have to be uprooted from their homes, and can instead continue to live where they are most comfortable. Thanks to accessible smart home technology and services like those provided by Great Call, even seniors with low mobility can stay independent.
Here are a few examples of home automation systems that might be interesting to you:
Lights and Blinds
Falls are an enormous health risk for aging individuals. Vision problems and unseen obstacles increase those risks. Consider installing motion-sensor lights for nighttime trips to the bathroom or kitchen. Some automation allows you to set “scenes”—different light schematics for different areas—at the touch of a button, to prevent both traveling in the dark, as well as unnecessary journeys across the room to adjust the lights.
You can also automate window blinds to help give more control of privacy and the view of the outdoors.
Older adults can be easy targets for scams or home intruders. But automated security can help. Footage from security cameras can be sent to a mobile device, allowing them to see who’s at the door without walking to a peephole.
For those hard of hearing, consider alarms that send a notification to a mobile device, for a visual cue about danger.
Heating and Cooling
Don’t fumble with the temperature—try a smart thermostat that will adapt to your parents’ habits automatically, keep track of their energy use, and most importantly, easily adjust to their needs via a smart device. Some models even allow you to place sensors in certain rooms so that the heating and air system automatically adjusts the temperature in the room based on occupancy.
Automation can even make caring for a pet easier. Automatic pet feeders, dog doors, and chore apps help aging adults stay on top of their pets’ needs. Of course, you can always continue to help out by walking the pet or giving it extra play time.
Connecting with the World
Help you parents stay connected to friends, family, and even doctors and pharmacists, through technology. Easy-to-use smartphones mean seniors can video chat with grandkids and easily get around town. The Jitterbug Smartphone even offers voice typing.
Automating a home can be a sizeable investment so consider taking it one step at a time. For more information on preparing your home for aging, check out our post on the decision to downsize.
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