Living with the challenges the old age brings is certainly nothing new, it’s an inevitable fact of life. Just ask your parents, they’ll be happy to tell you all about the trials and tribulations of getting older. And with good reason, getting old ain’t for sissies. But Canadians today are living in a time when the convergence of several trends make for a unique situation for the elderly and the people who care for them. The retirement of the Baby Boom generation, combined with an increase in life expectancy, has resulted in an unprecedented and growing number of senior citizens as a percentage of the population, and they’re living longer than ever before. Many of these people require assistance to accomplish everyday activities in their home. Fortunately, the simultaneous rise of new smart technologies for the home provides the capability for the elderly to live independent lives in their own homes and lessens the burden on their caregivers.
Smart home devices for the elderly are more diverse and affordable than ever before, and they are changing the way Canadians deal with their senior years. Like it or not, your own parents will one day need assistance, or maybe they do already. Smart home devices make great gifts for anyone, whether they need them for accessibility or not. If you’re looking for some thoughtful and useful gift ideas for Christmas this year, get your parents setup on smart tech. Here are some of the best smart home devices for seniors and how to use them in the home.
Considerations When Choosing Smart Home Accessibility Products
There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing smart home devices for seniors or the disabled.
- What are your specific needs? Take the time to sit down with your loved one and talk to them about the things they feel they need help with and focus on the smart devices that will best meet their particular needs. Don’t just make assumptions, ask them for their input on the best choices.
- Is it easy to use? The level of technical skill varies greatly among older people, though many are surprisingly tech-savvy. For those that aren’t, there may be some resistance to adopting smart devices. Some products are more complicated to use than others. Choose the ones that your loved one can adapt to easily and that they are most likely to actually use.
- What’s your budget? Smart home devices for the elderly can be expensive. Check into whether some might be covered under insurance and keep an eye out for deals and discounts.
Best Smart Home Devices For Seniors
Smart Control Hubs – Smart hubs serve as the central command post for all the devices in the home. They free you from having to use a smartphone or tablet to control your devices. The user uses their voice to control lighting, turn on the TV, stereo, and other appliances, lock the doors, adjust the temperature, and more. All of these things can be scheduled. They can also record lists and reminders, like medication times and appointments. Once set up, they are easy to use, and well worth the investment if you have more than one smart device in the home.
Smart Light Bulbs – Smart bulbs that can be controlled with voice commands or a smart device or a hub are great for people who have trouble using traditional switches due to arthritis or other mobility issues, and for those who are forgetful. They can be set to turn on or off on a schedule, and they can also be connected to a landline phone or a doorbell to alert those with a hearing disability when someone is calling or at the door.
Smart Wall Plugs – If you’re on a tight budget or just have one or two smart home devices for the elderly to control, these are the solution. They plug into a regular wall outlet and do all the things that a smart hub can do. There are models on the market capable of operating up to eight devices at a time. Most work with Amazon Alexa and Google Home.
Smart Door Locks – These allow for operation with voice or remote commands for those who can’t reach or work the locks. They can also be set to lock at certain times. They usually allow a user to set up permissions for keyless access to family or friends.
Video Doorbells – These not only incorporate a motion detector to sound an alert when someone is at the door, they provide a smart display for seniors so they can see who it is and also communicate with them remotely. They provide security and are a welcome option for those with mobility issues.
Smart Camera Systems – These can be used outdoors for security of course, but they can also be installed inside the home so that caregivers can monitor their elderly loved ones at any time, which is a great advantage for those at risk of falling and becoming immobilized or with Alzheimer’s. Models are available that also have audio communications so that you can see and talk to them.
Robot Vacuum Cleaners – For those who can no longer use a regular vacuum, these can be programmed with the layout of one room or even the whole house with some models. They can be operated like other smart devices.
Smart home technology has arrived at the right time to be a huge boon to an aging population. They make it possible for the elderly to live more independent and fulfilling lives, and they improve the lives of younger people as well. Consider buying your parents smart home products for Christmas this year. They’ll appreciate it now, and need it later. Contact us or find a store near you to get your smart gift started.