As aging parents or other senior loved ones get on in years, it’s only natural for those who care about them to worry at least a little. Even if your loved one is still reasonably healthy and independent, you still may have nagging doubts about whether they’ll remember their medications at the right time or if they’ll think to turn on the lights when they get up at night.
Thankfully, there are many smart devices that can assist seniors at home, providing peace of mind to those who care about them. And, after the initial setup, most of them are very user-friendly! From making everyday tasks a bit easier to giving just a little more in the way of safety, here are a few jobs that these devices can take care of for your loved one:
1. Locking or Unlocking the Door
Smart locks eliminate the hassle of fumbling for keys. If Mom or Dad arrive home with a bag full of groceries, they can simply unlock the door with their smartphone before they even get out of the car. Many smart locks are voice activated and can be used in conjunction with smart home devices like the Amazon Echo. For safety reasons, Amazon devices will only lock the door, not unlock it.
Some devices allow you to program unique codes for different individuals, so if home-care assistants (like housekeepers) change, you simply assign a new code rather than worrying about whether or not there are any spare keys still floating around.
Many smart locks will also send out notifications when they are used, making it an easy way for families or caregivers to be aware of who is coming and going at their loved one’s home.
2. Turning Off Devices
Do you worry about your loved one forgetting to turn off the stove? An automatic stove shut off device can eliminate the danger of a forgotten stove causing a fire.
Other household items can also be controlled with a smart device. Televisions, radios, ceiling fans, and other items can be connected to a voice control that turns them on or off without the user ever having to lift a finger (or worry about losing the remote!)
3. Turning on the Lights
Voice-activated light switches can save Mom or Dad from the risky situation of having to walk across a dark room to turn on the light. Some lights can even be hooked to a motion sensor, so there’s no forgetting to hit the light switch when they’re up for a late-night snack or trip to the restroom.
4. Creating a Shopping List
There are many apps that can assist seniors, or anyone else, with making a grocery list. However, it doesn’t get much easier than making a shopping list with the Amazon Echo. Rather than having to stop what they’re doing to add something to a list, all seniors have to do is say, “Alexa, add milk to my list,” and it’s done! Alexa will also read the list, or it can be viewed using a smartphone app.
5. Remembering Medications
If you’re concerned about your loved one forgetting to take their medication, there are a number of options that can help to relieve your fears. One of these is Reminder Rosie – a voice-controlled clock. It can be programmed with up to 25 reminders, so you can also add appointments, meal times, or anything else you’re concerned might slip your loved one’s memory. The Amazon Echo can also be programmed to give multiple reminders throughout the day.
Another option that can help seniors and caregivers to keep up with complicated medication regimens is a smart pillbox like the Memo Box. It not only gives reminders, it also tracks times when it’s accessed and pairs with an app that can help seniors and their loved ones avoid problems like missed dosages or double dosages.
6. Making Phone Calls
Both Google Home and Amazon Echo can be used for phone calls. Both devices are voice activated, so if your loved one had a fall or was prevented from getting to their phone for some other reason, they would still have a way to make a call.
7. Setting the Thermostat
It’s pretty simple to program a smart thermostat to adjust at certain times. And while adjusting the temperature of the home may not be a safety issue, it can definitely impact the budget. Seniors, especially those on a limited income, will appreciate a thermostat that automatically turns down when it needs to, lowering heating or cooling bills and sparing them the trouble of remembering to do it themselves.
Smart devices can be a valuable tool for independent seniors. Whether they’re serving as a memory aid or performing a job to increase safety, they can help seniors to continue to enjoy maximum independence while their loved ones enjoy maximum peace of mind.
Visit the Davis Community’s Assisted Living and SNF in Wilmington NC
If you or loved one are no longer capable of living a safe, independent lifestyle, then call the Davis Community today at 910-686-7195 or simply complete and submit our online information request form. We provide exceptional assisted living and skilled nursing services in Wilmington, NC. We offer a strong and supportive environment where your loved one will feel welcomed and part of an active community. We are pleased to now offering customized concierge home care services to independent seniors living in Landfall, Cambridge Village, Wrightsville Beach and Porter’s Neck, NC. Get to know the difference today — schedule a visit to the Davis Community!