Can a Smart Home Help Make Life at Home Easier for the Elderly?

Smart home tech is more than just about slick features as it can help give peace of mind to senior citizens.

The following is a guest post from Anna Visioli with Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

For many of us, smart home technology makes our lives easier, provides additional security, or simply makes everyday activities more enjoyable. However, for the elderly and disabled, smart home gadgets can provide independence, peace-of-mind for family members, and even allow them to stay in their homes longer.

At Coldwell Banker’s smart home panel, Lutron’s Michael Smith shared his perspective on the power of the smart home, “there are social issues we can address here.” Smith explained that for the disabled, an automated lighting system or remote-controlled shading systems provide more than convenience, “they can actually provide daylight” to those who would otherwise not be able to operate conventional window coverings. He also added that the falling price-points of many of these products have made them much more affordable for entry-level buyers.

And prices have certainly fallen. The CES floor was jam-packed with feature-rich but low-cost security cameras that could provide a convenient way to keep tabs on the elderly or disabled from remote locations. One standout was Spot, part of theiSmartAlarm system. Debuting at CES, this camera detects sound and motion, provides streaming video in HD, has a time lapse feature and provides 2-way audio that could be used to communicate with loved ones. The camera can even recognize and notify users when carbon monoxide and smoke detectors alarm in the home. This peace-of-mind comes at an incredibly low price—the camera will retail for $99 when it goes on the market later this month.

Another great multi-functional product to keep tabs on loved ones is sen.se’s Silver Mother. The system offers an internet hub named “mother” and comes with 4 “cookies”, multi-functional, interchangeable sensors that can be used to track a loved one’s activity. For example, whether they’ve taken their medicine, when they left the house or returned, their sleep patterns or the temperature of their home. The system provides detailed activity reports and can provide alerts via text, email or phone calls. The system is available for $299, and four additional cookies can be purchased for $99 more.

A more traditional option is the Iris Senior Care Pendant, which allows an individual to press a button on the pendant in the event of an emergency, and can alert care givers when the wearer leaves their home. The pendant, part of Lowe’s Iris Smart Home Management system is a bargain at $29.99, but requires an Iris Smart Hub, which retails at 49.99.

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