5 Smart Devices to Help Seniors Stay SafeFebruary 10, 2022
If you or someone you love suffered a fall at home and couldn’t reach the phone, is there an alternate way to contact help? Are you able to see who’s at the door when nobody’s there to answer the doorbell? In the event of a fire, would you and your loved ones be alerted?
Smart technology for seniors can make a home safer and give you added peace of mind. All the smart devices described here can be connected to your phone so you can keep tabs on your loved ones. Just knowing they’re OK and that you’ll be the first to know if something’s amiss can make everyone feel better.
Smart Safety Technology for Seniors
Here are 5 smart devices that can make a senior’s home safer.
1. Personal Medical Alert Devices
Falls, stroke, heart attack, and other medical emergencies are a big concern for seniors and their families. A medical alert system can be a lifesaver in these situations. You simply press a button on a wearable pendant or bracelet to summon help. Some systems can be connected to a voice-activated device, such as an Amazon Echo.
You can spend a lot of money on a comprehensive medical alert system that includes a wearable pendant or watch, help buttons you can place around your home, and a base station that allows you to call for help and speak with the monitoring company. A GPS option also allows the monitoring company to track your movement in and out of your home so that emergency services know where to find you. If you prefer to keep things simple, you can opt for a bracelet or pendant that sends a text message to people on your emergency contact list. There’s no monthly fee with these wearable devices, such as Invisawear smart jewelry.
If you have an Apple watch, you can use the Emergency SOS feature that calls 911 when you press a button. There’s also a fall detection feature that asks if you’re OK or want to contact emergency services after it detects a hard fall while you’re wearing your watch.
2. Smart Lighting
Older adults generally don’t see as well as they once did. A typical 60-year-old needs about twice as much light to read as a 20-year-old. Making your home a little brighter can help you see where you’re going and prevent accidents.
Motion-sensitive lights (or lights connected to motion-sensitive adaptors) can light the way between bedroom and bathroom at night. Smart light bulbs like the Wyze can be controlled remotely and put on a schedule using a mobile app. Wyze bulbs also feature voice-command when connected to Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant.
Smart plugs are another easy, inexpensive way to smarten up your home lighting or just about any electrical device in your home. Smart plugs like those from Kasa or Wyze plug into any standard electrical outlet. Then you simply set them up with an app to turn your lights off and on as needed. Some smart plugs also work with Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant for voice control.
3. Smoke Detectors
Everyone should install smoke detectors throughout their home, particularly in or near the bedroom. Most home fire fatalities occur between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m., when people are sleeping and more likely to become overcome by smoke before they can escape. An alarm can alert you and your family before smoke and heat harm you. If you’re concerned that a family member may not hear an alarm, look for smoke detectors that feature flashing lights, low-pitched sounds, or vibrations to signal an emergency. Smart smoke detectors such as Google Nest Protect will alert you even when you’re not at home via your smartphone; they also notify designated emergency contacts automatically if you don’t respond.
4. Video Doorbell
If you want to see who’s at the door even when you’re not home, a video doorbell can show you who’s there, regardless of whether they ring the bell.
When they do ring the bell, a normal doorbell sound plays, but a smartphone notification also comes to you or someone you’ve set up as a contact. Video doorbells typically connect to your phone, tablet or smart screen (e.g., Amazon Echo Show). Most models allow you to talk to visitors or leave a recorded message for them. Some models also feature built-in sirens.
5. Smart Speakers
A voice-controlled speaker like the Amazon Echo Dot is an inexpensive safety device for seniors. You can tell it to call a specific person on your contact list, or simply say “Alexa, call for help” and a text alert will be sent to your designated emergency contact. A smart speaker can also connect to other devices in the house, making them accessible via voice commands. Of course, they’re also great for playing music, listening to audiobooks, keeping up with news and weather, and calling friends and family.
Discover What Makes Essex Meadows a Smart Choice for Senior Living
While aging in place at home has its attractions, many older adults find the benefits of moving to a premier lifecare community like ours improves their quality of life. They don’t have to worry about maintaining a home, and they have more opportunities to do the things they love with people who share their interests. Residents also enjoy greater peace of mind with a plan in place for long-term care if ever needed.