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Home Technology Solutions for Aging in Place: Smart Homes, Virtual Healthcare, and More accent

March 13, 2024 | By

Over time, we’ve seen the applications of technology extend to nearly every aspect of our daily lives. Older adults witnessed this expansion firsthand, from the earliest days of the World Wide Web to our modern, digitally connected world. 

Older Americans are adopting key technologies at much higher rates today than in years past, according to Pew Research. Although you certainly don’t need to jump on every new form of technology that enters the market, you may find that some tech solutions can greatly enhance your life. Plus, no matter your age, learning to use new technologies serves as a mental exercise and keeps life fresh and exciting.

Consider whether any of these forms of technology could help you enjoy an improved  quality of life in your home.

Voice-Activated Assistants

Voice-activated assistants, also called smart speakers, are quite popular, with more than a third of Americans owning one of these devices. Some popular options include the Amazon Echo (featuring AI-assistant Alexa), Google Home, and the Apple HomePod. These assistants can work as a hands-free control center for other smart-home devices or as standalone virtual assistants. 

Rather than typing or pressing buttons, you use these devices by talking. Try these ways of taking advantage of your smart speaker:

  • Ask a question when you need a quick answer (e.g., “How many tablespoons are in a cup?”)
  • Check the weather forecast
  • Play music or podcasts
  • Add items to a shopping list
  • Place an online order
  • Check your messages
  • Play trivia games
  • Hear new jokes or fun facts

Smart Home Devices 

The Internet of Things (IoT) brings technology to all sorts of everyday devices, making them more sophisticated and convenient. The global smart-home market has steadily grown and is expected to reach $231.6 billion by 2028.

Smart-home devices often connect to a digital application, so you control them from a phone or tablet or through a voice-activated assistant. Here are some ways smart devices could enhance daily life in your home:

  • Thermostat: Smart thermostats allow you to remotely adjust your home’s temperature, whether you’re home or away. They can also help you lower your heating and cooling bills by optimizing energy efficiency.
  • Lighting: Smart lighting systems use LED bulbs equipped with software so you can turn lights off and on with a click or a word. This means no more stumbling around or reaching for switches in the dark.
  • Home security: Smart technology revolutionized home security, offering smart locks, doorbells, and cameras to make your home a safer place and allow you to view visitors before opening the door. These security devices can help you feel safer in your home, especially if you live alone.

 

Medical-Alert Systems

Another way to enhance safety through technology is with medical-alert systems. These consist of wearable devices or home-based systems. In either case, having a button nearby that you can press in the event of an emergency can provide enhanced peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

You may even want to consider fall-detection technology that automatically alerts emergency services when a fall occurs without the need to press a button. These systems trigger a representative to first check in with you or a family member so you can decline help if it’s not needed. If the representative cannot confirm you’re OK, they’ll send help right away. 

 

Wearable Health Trackers

Today, almost a third of Americans use a wearable device, such as a smartwatch or band, to monitor their health and fitness. If you’re working on improving your health, a fitness watch can help you measure progress and track metrics related to your physical activity, sleep quality, and more. Check these metrics daily and see trends over time to gain deeper insights into your health.

Some health-monitoring wearables can also track vital signs, such as heart rate or blood-oxygen levels. Doctors are beginning to use these devices to assist with diagnosing and managing a variety of conditions.

 

Telehealth Services

Sometimes, you need to speak with a medical practitioner, but scheduling an appointment and going to the doctor’s office can be challenging. Virtual consultations are the perfect solution when you need non-emergency medical advice from the comfort of home. See if your doctor’s office provides this service for your convenience.

You can also take advantage of apps designed to assist with medication management, symptom checking, or other aspects of healthcare. The saying, “There’s an app for that!” certainly rings true when it comes to promoting a healthier you.

 

Communication Tools

Anyone can feel isolated or lonely at times. There’s no replacement for an in-person visit from friends or family, but digital communication tools can help you stay connected when you can’t physically be together. 

Technology offers so many ways for you to stay in touch with loved ones! In addition to phone calls, you can connect with friends and family through text messaging or instant-messaging apps. You can also try a video calling app to see your loved one’s smile, no matter how far away they may be.

 

Enhance Life at Home on Your Terms

Technology comes in all shapes and sizes, and you can decide how you want to incorporate it into your daily life. From smart doorbells to video-calling apps and beyond, technology offers endless opportunities for making your life even better! 

Although technology can enhance your life in many ways, in some cases, you may prefer a real person to lend a helping hand. This is where at-home services come into play. With these services, you can enjoy regular visits from an aide or meal deliveries to make life more convenient and enjoyable. 

Want more ideas on how to make the most of this chapter of your life? Check out our guide, The Complete Guide to At-Home Services!

Learn more about at-home services in our complete guide!

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