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Using Smart Home Devices to Help Seniors

By Allison Halliday | April 11, 2017

More people are living longer and many want to be independent in their own homes and smart home devices may be helpful. An article in CNET.com highlights the various ways that smart devices could help seniors enjoy their retirement and to safely remain at home.

It’s estimated that around 90% of seniors wish to continue living in their current home as they age, which is understandable but it can cause concern for caregivers or for adult children. By choosing a few smart home devices, it could be possible for them to remain safely at home and to live independently. The article looks at several ways smart devices can help.

Lots of elderly people are great readers and while e-books have the capacity to increase the font size this may not always be enough. However, the article suggests that using a device such as Amazon Echo could prove useful. This internet connected smart speaker responds to voice commands and can easily play audiobooks.

Kitchen at the HGTV Smart Home 2013 located in Jacksonville FL

The ability to respond to voice commands available in both Google Home and Amazon Echo smart speakers can be extremely useful for switching off lights, controlling thermostats and connecting other smart home devices for people with mobility issues. Nest Protect is a smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector which can send alerts to caregiver’s phones if anything happens to go wrong. Nest Cam or other smart home monitoring systems can provide remote monitoring.

Seniors who are getting a bit forgetful may benefit from products such as the IGuardStove Intelligent, which automatically shuts off the stove if it’s left unattended for too long. Some providers have whole home systems and will install a complete set of devices working from one single platform. One particular company based in Nashville and which is called HoneyCo is focused on the needs of seniors and can install devices such as a video intercom so there’s no need to get up to go to the door.

However, there is the problem of getting seniors to accept this kind of technology and to realize how it could help make their life easier, more comfortable while retaining their independence. It can be best to start with a fairly simple smart home gadget that requires very little interaction, and of course, there is often the need for a good Wi-Fi connection for smart devices to work properly. Picking the right first device can make all the difference to acceptance of further smart home devices.

Allison Halliday is a Realty Biz News contributing writer. She handles International Real Estate and is a seasoned blogger.
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