Smart Devices for Seniors
Over the last two decades, the digital revolution has opened up a world of new opportunities for organizations and individuals to improve how they function; there’s something for everyone!
It doesn’t matter if you are tech-savvy, an enthusiast, or a typical consumer; there will always be something helpful technology can offer your family.
Smart home technology advancements, such as internet-connected appliances, voice assistants, and wearables, have made it the best time in history to grow old at home, as homes have become much more efficient and safer living options for the elderly.
Smart home devices are an excellent method to keep an eye on an elderly loved one. Having these will help you put your mind at ease and alleviate the need to constantly worry. This is particularly true if your senior loved one is far away from you; technology can bring families closer, even at a distance.
14 Best Smart Devices for Seniors
- Smart Home Assistants & Speakers
The use of smart home assistants is growing in popularity. Many companies now produce entire lines of smart home assistant items that make mundane tasks easier than ever before. Most smart home assistants are also voice-activated, making them simple and easy to use for seniors.
They can play music, make phone calls, look up information, read books, and operate other compatible gadgets in the house. These devices are not only convenient to use for your loved one, but they can also be entertaining.
A smart speaker is the heart of any smart home and is a must for safety, security, and home accessibility. Whether it is Alexa, Google Assistant, or Siri, a smart assistant gives you and your loved ones complete control over their smart home’s gadgets, keeps track of their schedules and reminders, lets them call for help, and more.
You will only need to log in to one app to check on your loved one or control their devices now that most smart devices have been unified on singular apps. We would still suggest confirming that you are buying devices compatible with one another before purchase. The good news is that setting up a smart speaker takes very little time and effort. You only need to connect the gadget to the home network by simply plugging it in. The smart speaker can then effortlessly connect to any other smart devices on the network, allowing voice control in all of them. You can usually integrate new devices in under 5 minutes.
- Voice Activated Trash Can
Touching a germ-infested garbage can is the last thing an older parent should be concerned about. That is why a voice-activated touchless garbage can is such a wonderful gift for an older loved one.
Because they do not have to touch any part of the trash can to toss their garbage away, voice-activated trash cans are more hygienic than traditional ones. Your loved ones can also turn this trash can off with power switches so that curious pets could not find out how to open it.
With this device in your loved ones’ house, there is no need to stop cooking in the middle of preparing meals to wash their hands and throw things away; this minimizes the risk of pollutants and foodborne infections for the elderly.
- Robotic Vacuum
These devices navigate a home’s floor plan independently, looking for dust or dirt to clean. These vacuum cleaners can move around and below furniture, allowing them to clean hard-to-reach areas.
The average American spends 6 hours per week cleaning their home. However, older adults may take longer to complete the same cleaning tasks. Thankfully, robotic advancements have brought in lots of new automated cleaning gadgets to help ease this strain.
- Smart Pill Dispenser
A smart pill dispenser allows your loved ones to load their medications and program them to be dispensed and ready according to the prescribed timetable. Some smart pill dispensers even have locking features that can prevent theft or accidental pill overdoses. For an adult in their later years, the benefit of a dispenser like this is being able to load them for a parent, and then keep an eye on whether or not they are taking their pills virtually.
Most older people are given a variety of medications to manage typical age-related conditions. Taking the proper medication at the right time can even be a life-or-death situation for some, so this device is super helpful, especially if your aging loved one is forgetful.
5. Fall Detection Sensors
While motion sensors are useful for detecting intruders in a home, some companies have developed advanced algorithms to detect human falls. Some even employ artificial intelligence and machine vision to distinguish between animals and humans.
These sensors are critical to have installed in the homes of an elderly parent. Seniors are especially vulnerable to slips, trips, and falls, and having these sensors connect directly to you or other family members can save the lives of your loved ones.
- Smart Thermostat
Smart Thermostats allow their users to keep their homes at a comfortable temperature while conserving energy. Your loved one and even you can use a mobile device to regulate the system remotely if they forget to switch off the heat or air conditioning before leaving the house.
It is vital to maintain interior temperatures low for elders because hypothermia and heatstroke can occur indoors. If your loved ones have limited mobility in their house, intelligent thermostats will allow them to control the temperature without having to get up and change the settings manually.
- Smart Locks
Although there are security concerns with integrating an internet-connected lock, the ability to control a lock remotely is a huge step forward in home management for the elderly.
Fingerprints, retina scans, voice recognition, and other biometric procedures, for example, are used to verify that the person unlocking the door is permitted. Smart locks can also include unique PINs, key cards, and smartphone integration.
Smart locks are very beneficial to the elderly. If there is an emergency, an authorized mobile device can simply provide access to a care provider, neighbor, or first responder without causing physical damage to the property.
- Security Cameras
A smart camera strategically positioned within the home, similar to smart locks, is a security device that also aids the elderly. For instance, you can place the camera next to the front entrance, allowing your senior loved ones to see who is at the door immediately without opening it.
Multiple cameras can also be installed throughout the house, with friends and family members granted view access. This will allow you and other trustworthy members of the elder’s inner circle to check on them to ensure they are safe.
- Smart Light Bulbs
Smart light bulbs are Wi-Fi-enabled LED bulbs that provide more control and efficiency. For example, you can use your smartphone to manage all of your smart bulbs. You can also customize your lighting by scheduling the lights to turn on at a specific time.
Smart lights are an excellent choice for the homes of older adults as they allow them to turn lights on quickly with their voice or smartphone when they need to get up, preventing falls and injuries from invisible items in the dark.
- Smart Outlets
Smart plugs or outlets are plug-in extensions that allow its users to turn gadgets on and off using their smartphone or voice assistant. These are used to change the temperature of a house, start a coffee maker, turn off appliances, and more.
These smart plugs can come in handy for gadgets that are easily forgotten therefore causing potential fire hazards. Using smart outlets will allow your loved one to remotely turn off an oven, curling iron, space heater, or any other electronic item that is plugged into it. Additionally, you can set timers remotely to ensure power is not run to the device for longer than necessary.
11. Smart Pet Feeder
Pets have been shown to help in healthy aging. Pet owners aged 50 to 80 reported lower stress levels, a greater feeling of purpose, a stronger sense of community, and a more physically active lifestyle.
Despite the benefits of support animals, 20% of the elderly individuals surveyed said they do not have enough time to care for one. This is why a smart pet feeder that automatically distributes food and water is ideal for older pet owners.
These gadgets ensure that animals are fed on a consistent schedule and receive the same amount of food each meal. They can also send messages to confirm the distribution of food and water. This gives older pet owners peace of mind that their pets will be well-fed, even if they are forgetful or are unable to feed them physically.
12. Smart Clothes Washer and Dryer
Owners of smart washers and dryers can track their wash and dry cycles, monitor their energy usage and receive notifications when ducts become dangerously clogged.
Every year, almost 15,000 house fires are caused by poorly maintained clothes dryers. Using a smart clothes washer and dryer will allow seniors to control their laundry loads and, more importantly, be alerted when to clean the lint filter and do routine dryer maintenance to avoid this risk.
- Smart Leak Detector
For elderly homeowners, a broken or leaking pipe can be a huge issue. They can not only damage the property, but they also increase the water bill and pose a risk of injury.
Changes in water pressure, use, and other factors are detected by smart leak detectors installed in the pipe system. These could be signs of a running toilet, water heater, outdoor hose, or faucet, among other things. The Wi-Fi-enabled device sends alerts to your loved one’s phone almost instantly. These gadgets are also useful to plumbers because diagnostics can help them locate easily missed leaks.
Benefits You Can Get from Smart Devices in Your Senior Loved One’s Home
- Remote Monitoring
You can remotely monitor your loved ones’ activities using smart home device throughout the days, ensuring that the activity levels are as planned. You can check-in through live video or ask a question while speaking directly to your elderly loved one on the other end.
Motion sensors placed strategically can help ensure that a senior is up and about during the day will ease your worry about how your loved one is doing. These sensors can also be used for more basic purposes, such as checking to see if the senior is awake so that care can be provided.
- Recognizing Patterns
Your elderly loved ones’ health and behavioral habits can be analyzed through smart home gadgets. When everyday habits change noticeably, whether it is staying in bed longer or going to the bathroom more frequently, it usually indicates that something is wrong or that a health problem is developing.
You can set up notifications on devices like motion detectors to warn you and your loved one when particular events or patterns occur, whether expected or not. Using smart gadgets to detect these events could help identify health problems earlier and inform your loved one that they may need to contact a doctor.
As your loved one gets older, you may find yourself exploring different ways to care for them. And while residential facilities are a common choice, you may also want to consider in-home care and other solutions!