Most of us want to stay independent and live comfortably at home for as long as we can, and that’s more possible than ever thanks to new technology.
Whether you’ll be helping an aging parent soon or want to prepare for your future, here’s what to know about the latest gadgets and systems that make growing older at home easier and safer.
Many companies now offer in-home motion detector systems that track a resident’s movements and alert trusted individuals if activity levels have changed in a meaningful way. For example, variations in habit can indicate problems such as depression, insomnia or injury.
These sensors can even tell how a person’s activity levels have changed in a particular part of the home. More time in the bedroom or bathroom could signal that daily tasks like bathing or getting dressed are becoming more challenging.
Simpler, more familiar technology like smart locks and thermostats can be controlled remotely to help keep seniors safe at home. The kids can make sure Dad has locked the door each night before bed, and on a hot day, they can make sure the house isn’t too warm for Mom. Home assistants and smart speakers can also be set up to provide medication reminders and allow seniors to use voice commands to control lights or make phone calls.
Benefits and Goals
These technologies can help keep many seniors out of assisted living facilities — or at least prolong their time at home. This means potentially significant savings and reduced exposure to serious diseases like pneumonia.
Perhaps most importantly, high-tech systems can allow people to feel autonomous but connected, which is beneficial both physically and emotionally.