02 Mar Smart homes for your loved ones
One of the main selling points of having a smart home system installed is just how convenient it makes your life; from making shopping lists, hosting all your media and security to setting the lighting and timers all with a click.
While we install the vast majority of systems into family homes, there is also a large market in older people who want the system for a whole different set of reasons. These people are much less about wanting to listen to different music in the bathroom or watching the latest blockbuster in the cinema room and much more concerned with the security and health benefits a smart home system brings.
Advances in smart home technology has made it easier for our homes to feel safe. We can now check CCTV remotely and check the security status of our property, so whether you are home or away you know that you, your family and your home are safe.
We have found that families have been installing home automation systems into their older relatives’ homes, in order to keep them safe and alert a member of the family or the emergency services should the need arise.
A number of integrated monitoring services have been developed, specifically with the elderly in mind. They can supply you with data on the movements of your loved ones, a messaging service and even video calling to check in from time to time.
Carers and relatives will be able to receive alerts if doors or windows are accessed and even if a fire or carbon monoxide alarm sounds.
As you get older mobility and balance can become an issue. While it’s impossible to remove the risk of falling while home alone there are things that can be done to reduce the risks. Single storey living removes the obstacle of stairs which can be fatal if fallen down; including proper lighting can also reduce the risk of falling. Many falls are caused by tripping or unsure footing and so enabling a smart home system to activate lighting using voice commands or movement sensors can almost eradicate this possibility.
By configuring your smart home system with devices like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, your relative can ask for a room to be lit before entering which reduces the risk of injuring themselves in the semi darkness.
We have one client who is disabled and homebound with carers looking after during the day. She is unable to use a remote control so in addition to voice control lights we have configured an AV set up which enables her to change the TV channels and carry out simple volume changes via voice command. It is such a simple thing but so important in that it provides her just a little more independence, with her viewing choices at least.
You can programme your system to activate lights and heating automatically. For example, when the sun goes down you can have the lights in the property automatically illuminate, along with locking doors and windows and generally securing the property. This way you and your relative can rest assured that you are safe and sound in the property for the night.
You can set the lights to blink when someone rings the doorbell and have the extra security of a video intercom so your relative is not answering the door to a stranger.
Beyond the safety and health benefits, installing smart home system in an elderly relatives’ home can help them to feel a little more connected. Video calling and instant messaging alleviates feelings of loneliness and isolation and enables carers and family to make sure they’re healthy and happy.
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If you are looking at smarts ways to look after your family make sure you get in touch with a member of our expert team on 0345 505 1760 or email us. You can even follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or connect with us on LinkedIn.
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