11 Cutting-Edge Aging in Place Technology Solutions
Tech isn't just for the young. Now aging in place technology allows seniors to live in their own home happily and safely.
For seniors with mobility issues, getting up to answer the door is a struggle, and many are reluctant to open the door after dark if they don't know who's at the door. But aging in place technology provides a solution. A smart doorbell, such as this video doorbell from Ring, allows the homeowner to see who's at the door and even speak to them via the app. Battery operated, it streams HD video to a smartphone, tablet or PC, and can even be used remotely when they're not at home. Some versions can also include motion sensors and night vision for added security. Prices range from $150 to $500.
If your older relative needs a wheelchair, see how to build a wheelchair ramp for better accessibility.
Older people tend to move less, making them more sensitive to the cold. And they are also far more vulnerable to suffering in hot weather. Adjusting a traditional thermostat may be difficult with stiff fingers, so why not use aging in place technology and opt for a smart thermostat that does everything for you? A thermostat like this model from Sensi can be operated from an app or even a voice-activated system, such as Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit or Wink.
A smart thermostat will cost around $130 and is easy to install. It can be pre-programmed to take know if there are days of the week when the homeowner is regularly out and it can help save on energy bills too. For more on this technology, see why installing a smart thermostat makes financial sense.
External Security Cameras
Many older people are nervous about living alone because they worry about intruders breaking in. Give them peace of mind by installing state-of-the-art WiFi security cameras, like the Reolink Argus 2, at key points around the home. Our guide to choosing and installing home security cameras tells you all you need to know. The system will alert the homeowner if someone who shouldn't be there is near
A home security system can be as basic as a few strategically placed cameras that stream video to a smart device. But more elaborate versions include infra-red cameras for night vision and the ability to pan and zoom. Relatives can also view footage and receive alerts for added security. And of course, the cameras operate even when you're away from home.
Internal Surveillance Cameras
Whether your relative lives alone, or in a care facility, being able to check on them can be vital to helping ensure their safety. You can use aging in place technology to see if they're OK in their house, or ensure they're being well-looked after in a care home.
Modern smart surveillance cameras, like the Arlo Pro 2, offer HD video recording, day and night vision cameras, motion and sound sensors, and even the ability to communicate. You can also view live footage from an internet-connected device. Some will interact with voice-activated systems, as well. Prices vary depending on your requirements.
Smart Medication Dispenser
Many older people need to take medication regularly. It can be a headache for them to remember and a worry for relatives who need to know if they've taken their medicine, especially when the relatives live far away. A smart pill dispenser is the perfect answer.
A smart dispenser, such as one of these from MedMinder, can be remotely activated and monitored. You can program compartments to open singly at designated times, minimizing the risk of an accidental overdose, and relatives can go online and check if medication has been taken. The system also provides alerts, including a flashing light, an audible beep, a reminder to a smartphone or a pre-recorded personal message. It will also alert relatives if a dose is missed.
The cost ranges from around $40 to $65 per month. Medical Alert monitoring is also available.
Photo: Image courtesy of MedMinder
Personalized Reminder Device
As people age, especially if they begin to suffer from dementia, they often forget to perform everyday tasks. There are many aging in place technology solutions for alerts, but sometimes seniors struggle with getting them set up. So a smart reminder system like the Reminder Rosie can make a huge difference to their ability to live independently. This clever alarm clock not only displays the time, but also gives alerts to the user, such as remembering to walk the dog, take medication and when to be ready for appointments.
It's almost completely voice-activated, and you can record personalized alert messages. It can be very reassuring for the homeowner to hear a familiar voice. You can set up to 25 reminders daily, including regular tasks and one-off events, and the device has an emergency battery back-up in case of power outages. Reminder Rosie costs around $125.
Photo: Courtesy of Reminder Rosie
Simple Communication Interface
Staying in touch with family and friends is critical to older people, especially those who are on their own. Whether you live just around the corner or thousands of miles away, it's great to be able to send messages, photos and videos to your relative. But juggling a modern smartphone or tablet can be difficult for some, so why not consider a system like GrandCare, which uses a simple interface to let the user access many functions from one screen?
The system provides immediate access to messages, emails, photos and video, as well as internet access, a calendar and a place for website favorites. It can be programmed to give alerts and can also be used for smart calling to stay in touch with the family. GrandCare costs around $1,000 to set up and requires a monthly payment of about $100.
You'll need reliable high-speed WiFi for your internet devices, so if yours is running slowly, check out or advice on how to get maximum performance from your connection.
Photo: Courtesy of Grandcare
Remote Fitness Monitor
One critical aspect of aging is the importance of staying fit. There's a range of scientific studies to show that elders who keep active every day are less likely to succumb to conditions such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension and strokes, as well as diabetes. So wearing a fitness tracker will help them keep on top of their physical well-being.
Wearable trackers come in all shapes, sizes and designs. A tracker like the Fitbit Charge 2 looks stylish, so there'll be no issue about wearing it every day! It can monitor heart rate, activity levels, cardio fitness levels and sleep. It will also give helpful reminders to get up and move around if the senior been sitting still for too long. You'll spend around $150 for a FitBit 2, although sometimes you can find discounts.
And if they're up for, why not install a modified home gym to help them in their quest to keep fit and strong?
If your elderly relative is living alone, it can be a huge worry wondering if they're safe and well. You can take steps to make the home safer, and perhaps you can visit regularly, but for real peace of mind, an activity monitoring system with real-time tracing, like SAMS from M1, could be the answer.
By installing motion sensors at key points around the home, you can check whether your relative is up and moving around. For example, extra visits to the bathroom could indicate an illness, or no activity could mean they've fallen or not made it up and out of bed. Door sensors will tell you if they've gone out and not returned, or may have wandered off and gotten lost. You can receive alerts and also an activity report on your smart device.
A basic system will cost around $200, and most can be upgraded to suit each individual home. A monthly fee of around $15 to 20 then applies.
GPS Locator Watch
One of the key symptoms of dementia and Alzheimers is a tendency to wander. This can be frightening for the person senior when they discover they're lost, and terrifying for relatives who don't know where their loved one has gone. A GPS watch like this one from Bluewater Security Professionals is the perfect solution. It provides GPS tracking worldwide. You can see the zip code and address instantly, and there's also an alert system if the wearer forgets to put the watch on or gets separated from it. Many GPS watches have a panic button, and some include the ability to communicate to reassure your relative you know where they are. Batteries usually last up to 30 days.
A GPS watch could cost around $600 and a monthly use fee also applies.
Voice-Activated Smart Home
The modern voice-activated smart home provides the ideal surroundings for family members who are perhaps less physically and mentally able to manage. Take a look at these 39 awesome home tech products for inspiration. Devices such as the Amazon Echo or Google Home can do a wide range of tasks simply using voice commands. They can play music, read audio-books, make phone calls, send messages and emails, provide weather information and more. Also, they can control devices like thermostats, lighting, and outlets. They can even synchronize with smart appliances like robot vacuum cleaners.
A mid-sized device will cost around $100, and could enable your relative to live at home easily by simply giving voice commands for many everyday tasks and activities.