Many people think seniors have a hard time with technology, but older people are becoming more and more comfortable with a variety of inventions that can make their lives easier. According to Pew Research Center, 42 percent of people 65 or older used smartphones in 2017. In 2013, only 18 percent of seniors had these devices. Here are some useful technologies that can help seniors stay safe, comfortable and independent.
1. Smart Thermostats
You can program a smart thermostat to adjust your heater or air conditioner for different times of the day, like when you’re away from the house, when you return and when you go to sleep. By putting your thermostat on a schedule, you can save energy and lower utility bills without having to change the settings manually each time. Today’s smart thermostats can be controlled right from your smartphone, allowing you to change the temp from wherever you are. You can also use a smart thermostat to get regular maintenance reminders and detailed information about your indoor air quality and power use.
If you live in a big home with more than one HVAC system, a smart thermostat can connect to motion sensors and turn down the heating and air in areas that people aren’t using. Individuals can also adjust the temperature in one section of the home without making people in other areas uncomfortable. Giving relatives online access to a smart thermostat will let them make sure that seniors are following their normal routines and make changes from anywhere.
2. Wi-Fi Security Cameras and Doorbells
Many advanced security cameras use Wi-Fi to connect to motion sensors and activate when anyone comes near your home. Using multiple cameras makes it easy for people with mobility issues to take a look at their back or front yards without stepping outside their homes. Similarly, Wi-Fi video doorbells show you who’s at the door and allow you to communicate with their two-way talk capability. This way, seniors can stay safe while social distancing and protecting themselves from COVID-19.
Cameras connected to doorbells make communicating with postal and delivery workers without opening your door easy, and you can get a notification on your smartphone whenever someone comes by. Relatives can get information when there’s unusual activity at a senior’s home as well. Security lights linked to cameras will come on to keep guests from stumbling in the dark and discourage trespassers.
3. Virtual Assistants
Smart speakers can use artificial intelligence, voice recognition and internet access to answer questions, set reminders, make phone calls, listen to music, check the weather and order groceries online. They can also adjust connected devices such as security cameras, lights and smart thermostats. People often call houses equipped with smart speakers and compatible devices smart homes. With the correct accessories connected, these virtual assistants let seniors use easy voice commands to lock and unlock doors, adjust blinds and more. They won’t have to learn how to use new technology to benefit from it, and they’ll be able to take care of daily tasks without assistance.
If you or your older family members want to make your home more convenient and reduce stress, consider a smart thermostat, a security camera and a virtual assistant. These home technologies are helpful and easy to use, and they can increase your quality of life along with the value of your home.