Smart home Tech

Routine Health and Wellness

An overwhelming 87 percent of seniors prefer to age in place in their own homes, but unfortunately, age- and disease-related decline often make it difficult to handle everyday tasks without assistance. Smart technology can simplify many of these tasks, with smart thermostats that keep seniors comfortable with little to no input needed, smart door locks that can be controlled remotely and more. Especially for those with mobility issues, smart tech can be the key to maintaining a full and independent lifestyle. Smart scales, wearable fitness devices and various medical sensors also make it easier for seniors to keep track of their own health and diet, empowering them to make healthy choices and take an active role in their own wellness. Smart doorbell cameras and smart video surveillance systems also help to keep seniors safe and allow their caregivers to monitor them remotely, ensuring that they can stay connected and informed even from a distance.

Connected Medical Support

The average elderly person takes five or more prescription medications, and remembering to take each medication exactly as prescribed is often difficult. One solution to this problem is a smart medication dispenser, such as MedMinder, which can be programmed by a caregiver to trigger an audible alert and dispense medication on a specific schedule. Because many seniors require ongoing care, smart medical sensors have also become popular in recent years. These sensors can monitor everything from heart rate to blood glucose levels, collecting tremendously useful data that doctors and home care providers can use to deliver a higher quality of personalized care.

Connection and Communication

Social isolation among seniors is a serious health issue, and those who require home care are often the most vulnerable. Many seniors also live far away from their families, making it difficult to stay in touch on a regular basis. A smart speaker, such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home, offers a simple, hands-free way for elderly people to connect with their friends and loved ones. Many senior-oriented smart home systems, such as the popular GrandCare, also offer built-in video chat, making face-to-face communication easier than ever. Smartphone apps like CareZone, Caring Village, and AARP Caregiving also feature communication tools to help seniors, loved ones, and care providers stay in touch and support one another.

Aiding Alzheimer’s and Dementia

More than one in every ten adults over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease, and much more suffer from other forms of dementia. These insidious diseases are exceptionally challenging for both patients and their caregivers, but smart technology can help to ease the burden. Products like Reminder Rosie can be used to provide reminders for everything from taking medications to walking the family pet, and it can even be programmed to use the voice of a loved one for added comfort. Connected home technologies also make it easier for caregivers to monitor Alzheimer’s and dementia sufferers in a non-intrusive way. Systems like Lively and Wellness employ a variety of sensors throughout the home to keep tabs on seniors and their activities, monitoring for any irregularities or potential signs of trouble and helping caregivers better understand their needs.

 

The number of seniors aging in place is expected to skyrocket in the coming years, and the home care industry must be ready to adapt to meet this new challenge. Smart home technologies promise to make life easier for both seniors and those who care for them, enabling more seniors to live safe, healthy, independent lives in the comfort of their own homes.


Author

Beth Kotz is a freelance writer and contributor for numerous home, technology, and personal finance blogs. She graduated with BA in Communications and Media from DePaul University in Chicago, IL where she continues to live and work.