This year, almost five million people in the US will require home care and the number is growing. People are choosing to remain in their own homes rather than relocate to an outside facility. There are often many reasons to remain at home including comfort and cost, but it’s crucial to address the accommodations and limitations at home, and how they can best be improved to meet a person’s current needs and lifestyle.
According to the National Council on Aging, one in four Americans age 65 and over will fall each year. Research from the National Institute on Aging shows that 60 percent of these falls occur at home where most seniors wish to remain as they age.
For many years, the most common technology used for home care support was an emergency call button. While this is still an effective device, there are many more inclusive options available which offer safety and convenience for seniors, as well as piece-of-mind for their families, while offering remote monitoring from anywhere in the world. Additionally, staffing agencies are an excellent option for on-site assistance but depending on the individuals needs and budget, it may not be feasible to have 24/7 care. This is where technology kicks-in.
The real key to bringing SmartHome technology into your home or that of your loved one, is to identify solutions that fit the situation. Cameras, sensors, doorbells, locks, thermostats and voice-activation are just some of the technologies you may consider, and it will be overwhelming to choose and identify which products you need, which you don’t, and which work best together. Perhaps even more complicated is setting the system up and ensuring it’s running properly.
Many of the inquires I receive are not limited to which types of devices or services to install, but how to properly install them and connect everything together. Often there are solutions that may not seem obvious, but can provide significant peace of mind. For example, let’s discuss motion sensors. Most people assume these sensors do what their name suggests – they detect motion and trigger an alarm at a time when you would not expect any activity. These devices however, can also be used to detect a lack of activity which can be an indication that a problem exists which requires attention. In this example, family members will receive an alert message saying: “No activity has been detected for the past eight hours, please check-in to ensure everyone is okay.” The ability to detect a problem in real-time, where old technological solutions may have fallen short, can have a direct impact on the medical and safety outcome of a situation.
Other examples of home safety solutions include smart cameras which allow for both monitoring and social connectivity to family and friends. Smart lights and thermostats can be automated to ensure the house is properly lit and heated while also providing cost savings. Voice-support is available to answer the door or to request help in the event of a fall or accident. Wireless intercoms are useful to “drop-in” and see how your loved ones are doing. Sensors can be placed on a medicine cabinet to track usage, or put on a door to trigger a light when the door is opened.
There are many possibilities for technology to enhance the safety of your loved ones and they are powerful if implemented correctly. In the past, a complete SmartHome system would cost tens of thousands of dollars and it was not unusual to spend as much as $50,000. With the advancement of technology and more user-friendly devices, a comparable system can be installed for a fraction of the cost.
SmartHouse Guru specializes in home care technology for seniors. We plan, install and set up customizable home automation systems that fit any needs, lifestyle and budget. We offer free consultations to learn about details of your home and answer any of your questions. From this information, we’ll create a solution that’s right for you. We handle assembly, installation and will even walk you through how to use everything step-by-step and make it as simple as possible. Our goal is to provide easy to use technology while offering safety, security and convenience for your loved ones, and peace-of-mind for you and your family. We look forward to helping you bring SmartHome technology into your home. We can be reached at 347.380.4006 or online at www.SmartHouse.Guru.
By Jason Jacobs