The idea that cutting-edge technology is only for younger generations is becoming a thing of the past. Seniors are benefitting from easy-to-use tech at home, thoughtfully designed with their needs in mind.
We spoke to a friend who says updating her parents’ home with smart technology has been life changing–for them and for her.
Over the past couple of years it has become evident that my parents need added support in daily life. Neither of them would entertain the thought of a caregiver assisting them in their own home, though. Rather than force them into a situation that makes them uncomfortable, I sought alternative solutions via smart home technology. The key lay in showing them how this technology could help them keep their independence – something no one, at any age, wants to surrender. My dad in particular is fiercely independent. But he was a fully grown adult when Atari was released and well into his forties when we first got the internet installed in our family home. So there’s a learning curve. Luckily, there are brands on the market that make integrating technology into everyday life seamless.
Both Dad and Mom have taken to their virtual assistant Josh.ai with ease. In particular, Josh’s unique natural language processing tech is helpful. They can give compound commands like “Okay, Josh, turn off the lights, run the dishwasher and lower the thermostat” and their environment responds. They don’t have to give each command individually. (Come to think of it, they speak to Josh a lot like they speak to me…)
As they incorporate more smart tech at home, they feel more comfortable interacting with different devices. Their overall health and wellness is now benefiting from the addition of circadian lightning, air quality sensors, and health-data tracking.
My Mom is a “set it and forget it” kind of person who thrives with routine. Once we got scenes set up into her smart system, she was in love. Each evening, dinner has the ambiance she craves, each morning, water is already heating for her Earl Gray and the shades have drawn to let in all the beautiful Florida sunlight. Dad loves that the day’s weather and headlines are read to him when he enters the room.
That’s another thing: my folks don’t have the mobility they once had. Tech like automated shades, or the ability to pre-set their smart door to unlock for a select list of safe users (myself, my brother, their next-door neighbor) make life easier.
The clever smart light Nobi illuminates the room if Mom or Dad get up in the middle of the night, alleviating confusion and showing them a clear path. It can sense if either of them has fallen and will alert me if they have. Nobi can monitor sleep and behavioral patterns to check if changes occur, which may indicate an issue we should look into sooner rather than later. And Nobi also integrates with other smart devices to track data and create a single health profile.
Knowing their home is secure with intuitive security systems, video feed from security cameras that they can view at the tap of a button, and alerts sent directly to her phone if anything is amiss gives them peace of mind. Now they know if the laundry machine is leaking or if the pool gate is unlocked when my brother drops in for a surprise visit with his toddler. Less worry means lower blood pressure.
There really is smart tech for everything. We’d been relying on weekly pill organizers for my dad’s multiple prescriptions, but they proved too easy to become disorganized and sometimes Dad forgot if he took his pill or not, leading him to skip a dose or take an extra dose. I got them each a device from E-pill to manage their meds. It was easy to set up and an entire month’s worth of pills can be added at once. Then, prescriptions and medications are organized, an alarm alerts my parents to when it’s time to take their pills, the correct pill is automatically dispensed, and then the dispenser auto-locks.
As my parents navigate the balance between needing help and maintaining their independence, the aid smart technology provides makes them feel more confident. And I feel better knowing reliable technology is helping to keep them safe, healthy and comfortable.
Responsive Living, the term coined by Acoustic Architects founders, Aaron Flint and Spencer Hauldren, is the concept of seamlessly enhancing the client’s unique lifestyle using smart home technology. Responsive Living allows you to interact with your space via touch input, voice command, and predictive automation, placing you in full control of your home.
If you would like to learn more about integrating new systems into your smart home system, feel free to connect with us. We will be happy to schedule a demo with you.
For more information, visit acousticarchitects.net.
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