The great majority of older adults have a strong desire to live in their own homes and communities; but many adaptations need to be made in our homes to accommodate this. Technology is one piece that empowers older adults to live in their homes with dignity.
Technology has been challenging for many mature adults to comprehend and use; first it was computers, then came smartphones, both of which required investments to own and skills to use. With the advent of voice enabled technologies and AI software (artificial intelligence), access and interaction with technology has never been friendlier. Voice assistants like the Amazon Echo or Google Home which start to retail at $49, users can in their own native language interact with a whole slew of services and hardware products which earlier could only be accessed using a computer or a smartphone.
Increasingly, the ground zero of senior well-being is now shifting to their lifestyles at home; sensors are becoming more context driven, data captured and analyzed by non-intrusive sensors and wearable devices help us predict potential health situations and challenges ahead of time moving us to the realm of predictive healthcare.
Here are the many ways that technology enables us to interact with our homes to enhance our well-being and lifestyle:
Comfort and Convenience
Control lighting switches, thermostat temperature and your entertainment system with voice commands.
Security & Safety
Routine activities and social support are especially suited for elders suffering cognitive decline. These systems detect changes in patients location or environment and provide verbal assistance as needed, or if needed, notify caregivers.
Isolation and Loneliness
Using voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home to communicate with family friends and caregivers, staying informed, ordering supplies, booking transportation, conducting basic banking, restaurant delivery services.
Monitoring & Predictive Health
Smart sensors for monitoring activity and behavior; which serve as advance warning systems for potential health challenges.
Video devices for security.
Video cameras with AI for facial recognition, automated door locks for locking, video doorbells managing visitors without getting to the front door.
Wearables for Health Analytics
Health monitoring systems to monitor blood pressure, pulse, and movement of the patient as well as environmental data, such as ambient temperature.
Fall Protection and Management
Sensors that can detect a fall both inside and outside the home and notify emergency services and caregivers in real time.
Lighting for Well-being
LED circadian rhythm lighting for normal sleep patterns, and creating a positive environment.
The next phase of technology for seniors is being designed using Ambient intelligence; which combines AI (artificial intelligence) and IoT (internet connected devices), will provide real-time monitoring of an environment and event-driven response to changes in that environment. Sensors designed to detect changes in sound, motion, physiological signals, as well as more generalized image processing are core components of an ambient intelligent environment.
About Smaart House
Smaart House is a San Diego based technology provider for senior care, our purpose is to empower mature adults to live independently and with dignity in their home environment and communities. We work with individual homeowners, senior care communities and assisted living facilities to integrate and adapt technology in their environments. Please visit us at www.smaart.house for more information.
The author Bijou Lulla is the Founder and CEO of Smaart House, he can be reached at [email protected].