How Home Automation Can Help Keep Elderly Loved Ones Safe

How Home Automation Can Help Keep Elderly Loved Ones Safe

March 23, 2018 at 12:31 PM

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Today’s senior living communities offer benefits and good care for many people, but some seniors just prefer to be in their own homes as long as they can. The choice to stay at home may be made for practical or sentimental reasons, and with that choice, should come the decision to support home life. 

Technology, such as home automation, can help seniors live at home for longer. For example, security systems from Honeywell offer many ways to keep seniors safe and automation systems from Lutron can provide remote control of everything from heating and cooling to shades and door locks. 

Considering one in four seniors age 65 and over falls each year, it’s critical to protect them in any way we can. Falls are among the leading cause of accidental death and traumatic injury among older Americans, but technology can help change that. Let’s take a look at how the tools we have available today can help seniors stay safe in their own homes. 

1. Prevent Falls with Lighting Automation

Poor lighting can be a danger to anyone, especially seniors. Due to a higher risk of injury and accidental death, preventing falls is critical for senior citizens. As we get older, our quality of eyesight decreases due to retinal neurodegeneration. Over time, our eyes receive less light and take a longer time adjusting to various lighting. When an elderly person moves from room to room, their eyes may take up to a full minute to adjust, which leaves ample time for trips and falls to occur. 

Smart lighting can improve home lighting for seniors in many ways: 

Automation systems can also take care of turning off all the lights at night once your loved one is in bed!

2. You Can Keep a Close Eye on Them

For some seniors who live independently, video monitoring may be the way to go. Though it seems a bit invasive, video gives caregivers and family members who can’t be present 24/7 the chance to keep an eye on their loved one. Video surveillance can also deter potential threats such as unwanted visitors and intruders. 

Most of today’s video monitoring systems give you remote access to see the activity happening on the property via an app or the internet. The ability to stay connected while you’re at work or away is an invaluable one, so don’t discount this option. 

3. Ensure Help Can Get There

If you help take care of an elderly family member or parent, no doubt you’ve thought about what could happen if they do suffer a fall. Even if your loved one isn’t injured from a fall, they may have trouble getting up off the floor once they’re down. Because lying immobile on the floor for an extended length of time can lead to health problems such as dehydration, pressure ulcers, hypothermia, and pneumonia, it’s best to get help as quickly as possible. 

Medical alert systems, panic buttons, and other wearable devices allow seniors to get help as soon as they need it. There are newer devices on the market that come with other sensors that can detect when a fall has taken place and will call immediately for help, even if the person is incapacitated. 

If you would like to have a conversation about what you can do to keep your elderly family member safe, contact Hawkeye Communication today. We would be happy to make expert recommendations based on your loved one's needs.