Smart homes allow you to connect all your electronics, from heating to security, to one single device, such as a smartphone or tablet and control everything remotely. New technology in these areas is particularly useful to seniors today, allowing them to safely age in place for longer.
Smart lighting, for example, will learn your schedule and adjust to you needs, turning on and off at predetermined intervals based on the time of day and your activities. When you approach the house, lights will turn on and when you leave they will turn off. This type of lighting system can also adjust from dark to light more gradually, giving older eyes more time to adjust, reducing strain.
But how do these technologies work for seniors needs in practice? When Helge Farsund was diagnosed with Alzheimer's four years ago, her husband Kari began searching for a system that could help both of their lives remain as normal as possible. Abilia, a healthcare technology company, had exactly what he was searching for: a smarter home system that would allow his wife to remain safe and comfortable in their house. The center of the system is a wall mounted tablet device,complete with Skype, allowing carers to check in easily with patients. There is also a planner for upcoming events and spoken reminders for patients when they need to perform certain tasks. In addition, motion sensors around the house detect which rooms are occupied, when doors are opened, or even if a stove is left on too long.
Mrs Farsund explained how the system has helped her: that it explains to her what is happening each day, allowing her to look forward to events and maintain a schedule. For Mr Farsund the benefits are more practical, for example if his wife gets up in the night and opens a door, he will be alerted. For both, a smarter home has allowed them to live more comfortably and safely than would otherwise be possible.