Are smart homes just for young people? No. The elderly can reap some of the greatest rewards from today’s new technology. Any type of nursing care or even assisted living can be prohibitively expensive. How can our moms and dads and grandmas and grandpas get the support they need without giving up their independence and sacrificing the equity in their homes that they’re spent a lifetime building? Smart home technology can help — in many ways.
Many homeowners have security systems installed in their homes, some with cameras and some without. Some systems can perform specific functions, such as noting how often a door is opened and for how long it is left open. If it finds the results outside the norm, the system can alert the family. This is especially helpful when an elderly relative has Alzheimer’s disease, since these patients are prone to leaving the home and wandering, which, especially in extreme weather, can be life-threatening.
You can track your memory-impaired family member with a GPS device in the form of a bracelet worn on the wrist. For those patients who are savvy at removing such bracelets, another option is a chip inserted into a shoe — they’ll never know it’s there.
Some systems can also help with dispensing medication. These systems can be programmed to dispense the appropriate meds at the correct time of day, eliminating the need for those large plastic boxes with days of the week and times of the day written on them. This function is, again, helpful for patients with memory problems who may not know what day, or what time of day, it is. Forgetting to take meds or taking them twice in one day can cost a confused patient his or her life.
Sensors can be placed throughout the home to track the movements of its occupants. These movements appear on a screen monitored by a relative who wants to make sure the person is getting around safely. If no movement is seen for a period of time, and detectors show the occupant is still at home, the relative can call to make sure everything is OK.
Most people have likely seen the commercial in which an elderly woman has fallen and can’t get up. In the advertisement, this danger is mitigated by wearing a device around the neck that calls for help at the push of a button. Granted, these devices have been important lifesavers, but they aren’t exactly fashionable or convenient. Today’s safety watches are technologically superior and trendy-looking. Older adults will be more agreeable about wearing these watches, since they look hip and don’t advertise their geriatric status.
TYM Smart Homes and Home Theaters is Utah’s go-to spot for everything technological for your home. If you are considering getting a smart home system to help protect and watch over your elderly relative, talk to the professionals at TYM.