It’s not realistic to watch over someone 24/7. We need to take breaks, go to the office, or run errands. Or, we might live far away. When you’re not able to be with your older adult in person, smart home devices can help keep them safe and give you peace of mind. Xfinity Home explains how smart plugs, smart thermostats, and smart security systems could benefit seniors and caregivers.
When you think of a smart home, you might think of video doorbells, voice-controlled music players, and speakers that answer questions and read the news.
Fun features like these are definitely appealing, but modern smart home devices like smart plugs, thermostats, and security systems can go a long way in helping seniors stay safe, comfortable, and as independent as possible.
As a caregiver, worry is a constant companion. If you can’t reach your older adult by phone or simply want to check in to make sure they turned off the stove, think about how helpful it would be if a quick glance at your smartphone could ease your mind.
Find out how these innovative smart home devices for seniors can make life safer and more convenient.
Protect seniors from fire hazards with smart plugs and outlets
Homes contain many potential fire hazards, like a stove that’s left on or space heaters overheating next to some bedding.
Installing a few smart plugs or smart outlets to use with these devices can give you peace of mind, even if you live far away.
You’ll be able to remotely control and monitor the power to those plugs or outlets via your smartphone and check in anytime to see if there are any potential dangers.
Seniors who use smartphones will also enjoy the ability to turn on the coffee maker or space heater from the comfort of their favorite seat.
These smart plugs also allow you to schedule when devices turn on and off. For example, you could schedule the lights to always turn on before it gets dark outside, keeping rooms well lit.
Keep seniors comfortable with smart thermostats
Another useful smart home device is the smart thermostat.
Many modern thermostats now include WiFi-enabled controls and intelligent scheduling – making it easy to find devices with these features.
As a caregiver, you could remotely access the thermostat to set the temperature on a schedule, turn up the heat ahead of a major storm, or turn on the air conditioner during a heat wave.
If your older adult has limited mobility, a smart thermostat can allow them to easily control the temperature from their smartphone or tablet instead of having to get up.
As an added bonus, seniors on a fixed income will appreciate how these devices can make energy usage more efficient and help lower energy bills.
Keep seniors safe with smart security systems
Perhaps the most valuable tool for live-in caregivers is a WiFi-enabled smart security system.
You and your older adult will have peace of mind knowing that the authorities will be automatically alerted if the alarm is triggered.
An added benefit is that you can use your remote access to the cameras in the house to check on your older adult when you’re not home. For example, if you’re at work, you can access the live camera feed to make sure things are going well at home.
However, it’s important to respect privacy too. Place cameras in common areas and discuss the presence of the cameras with your older adult and any hired caregiver helpers.
Where to find smart home devices for seniors
A few simple gadgets can make a dramatic difference in keeping seniors safe and comfortable.
If you’re interested in adding smart home devices to help your older adult, check hardware stores or ask your internet service provider about the smart home products they offer.
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Guest contributor: Eric Murrell is a software developer and technology contributor to Xfinity Home. He enjoys sharing tips on how people can benefit from incorporating smart home automation and security in their homes on his blog At Home in the Future.
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