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Aging in Place in a Connected World: How Smart Technology Can Help

While the computer revolution of decades past seemed to favor only younger generations, the technology advances of this decade have developed on a completely different trajectory. Our gadgets and computers aren’t just more helpful; they’re becoming much easier to use, introducing users of all ages. A recent study shows that almost 70 percent of seniors use the internet and 80 percent own a cell phone—double the number of just a few years ago. The increasing rate of adoption means older generations are recognizing the value and convenience of these devices.

For seniors who are living out their golden years in their own homes and caring for themselves, today’s technology is more than just convenient—it can be a huge boost to both their quality of life and their safety. Here are a few of the best modern tools to consider.

Keep a Watchful Eye with Smart Cameras

Today’s Wi-Fi smart cameras are among the most popular smart home devices, and for good reason: Their uses are virtually limitless. Installing a few smart cameras -- available from many retail stores or your local internet service provider -- can offer aging consumers a significant home security solution. Users can remotely see, via a mobile app, who is at their front or back door, be alerted to visitors, and keep an eye on their property. With 24/7 monitoring options, cameras can be an essential safety tool, especially for people who are homebound. Paired with smart devices like video doorbells, users can communicate with the outside world.

Seniors may also find it makes sense to give healthcare providers and caregivers  access to the cameras. These helpers also will appreciate the ability to check on family members or patients who aren’t responding to other forms of communication.

Get Assistance with Voice Assistants

Many seniors already enjoy smartphones and tablets, but voice-activated smart speakers are an increasingly popular purchase for aging homeowners. From simple tasks like setting kitchen timers and playing music, to advanced functions like voice controls for smart lighting and the thermostat, there’s a lot to love about a powerful computer mixed with a simple user interface. Even the television remote can employ a voice command to show the view from the security cameras on the TV screen, without homeowners having to fiddle with an app.

Some smart assistants and speakers now include both voice and video chat, making them excellent communication tools for the elderly and their caregivers. Even better than smartphones, video chats can be initiated and answered with a simple verbal command, making it easier than ever to check in with a family member or just chat with a familiar face.

Make Use of Connected Health Gadgets

Those with medical concerns will appreciate some of the smart health gadgets that have entered the market in recent years. Some manufacturers make a range of Wi-Fi connected scales, thermometers, and blood-pressure monitors that include extra features and stat tracking, while functioning just like their traditional counterparts. This data easily syncs to the user’s smartphone, giving the user an easy way to track their health and a painless way to share that data with their healthcare providers.

New Ways to Stay Healthy and Safe

The best part about these new gadgets and tools is that they make life easier, not more complex. Whether you’re aging in place or caring for someone who is, consider integrating a few of these new technologies into your home to handle daily routines such as turning lights or TV on or off. It’s never been easier to make your home work for you.

About the Author

Eric Murrell's picture

Eric Murrell is a software developer and writer covering home automation and security for XFINITY Home. He enjoys sharing tips on how people of all ages can benefit from incorporating smart home technology in their homes on his blog At Home in the Future.  


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