Are you a homeowner living with elderly in-laws, or are you retired and want to future-proof your home for easier accessibility? Smart homes for seniors offer many benefits, such as added safety, convenient monitoring, and medical services support. Home automation can also enhance their quality of life and give seniors greater independence.
Below we’ll break down the essentials of a smart home for seniors, including the best features and devices. Whether you’re a senior looking to retrofit your home or a relative looking for additional family support, this guide will provide all the information you need to get started.
Benefits of Creating a Smart Home for Seniors
There are many smart home benefits for both families and seniors. From easy remote monitoring to added convenience, we’ll explain how elderly home automation can benefit their well-being and daily life.
Easy Access to Emergency Services Technology for Additional Healthcare Support
Whether you’re looking for devices for seniors living alone or while you’re away, smart home technology can provide additional healthcare support when needed.
Here are some elderly home automation features that can support their health:
- Fall detection that sends immediate alerts to emergency contacts and local authorities via GPS
- Fire and smoke detection that contacts local authorities
- Voice-command and speed dial healthcare services, such as caregivers or nurses
- Easier access to calling 911, when necessary, via GPS and voice-command
Our recommended go-to brand for an automated and personal emergency response system is Numera. They offer smart medical alert devices with advanced features like GPS, 4G, and fall detection technology for both mobile and home automation hubs. Smart home technology for the elderly living alone or with family members can make them more independent, safe, and secure.
Smart Devices Provide Greater Independence for Disabilities and Mobility-Limited Conditions
Did you know smart home technology can benefit people with disabilities and mobility-limited conditions? For seniors who want greater independence, smart devices can help support their needs.
Here are some assistive living features that smart devices offer:
- Remote control — eliminates the need for excessive travel with easy access to control lights, thermostats, and more from anywhere via a smart device or home automation hub
- Wi-Fi connection — provides more convenience to access the daily weather or news via voice commands since smart devices are connected to the internet
- Scheduling options — offers easier smart home management to preset daily life tasks so seniors don’t have to command a task every time verbally
- Custom comfort — automates lighting and climate control when they enter/exit a room, so they power on/off only when necessary
- Easy user experience — hands-free and voice command features make it more user-friendly, especially for those new to home automation
Making your space more accessible is essential for a smart home for seniors. Whether it’s for easier navigating now or future-proofing your home, smart devices are a must for elderly-friendly home design.
Remote 24/7 Technology Available While You’re Away
Another benefit of creating a smart home for seniors is the ability to check in with them remotely. When you have access to your home via a smart device or home automation control system, you can always know the well-being of your elderly loved ones.
This is also applicable to seniors living alone at home so they can have easy communication access to family members or emergency services. Whether it’s installing in-house cameras to monitor their caregivers while at work or fall detection devices, 96% of elderly users feel more relief with senior safety technology —and this is arguably the most valuable benefit of home automation.
Best Smart Home Technologies for Aging in Place
Now that you know the benefits of smart home technology for seniors, here are the best products and systems to integrate with brand recommendations from the AIS pros.
Virtual Assistants for Home Automation Beginners
Introducing home automation to seniors can seem daunting at first, but many beginner options are user-friendly. Virtual assistants offer voice-command features that are perfect gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent but are new to smart home technology.
For example, virtual assistants can set up a morning routine for elderly relatives by turning on smart lights, setting the smart thermostat temperature, and sharing the weather forecast. These daily tasks can be challenging for certain seniors, and virtual assistants can automate this to enhance their quality of life.
Smart Lights for Custom Comfort and Added Safety
Smart lights are now becoming popular in many homes due to the wellness benefits of human-centric lighting. The type of lights you use in your home significantly impacts your health, and human-centric lighting mimics sunlight to support your well-being.
Smart lights optimize their light intensity and color temperature to promote productivity during specific daytime hours and encourage relaxation and regeneration at night. It’s also been proven to boost moods.
Here are beneficial features of whole home lighting control for seniors:
- Customizable brightness and colors — creates ideal comfort levels that are easier on the eyes, especially nighttime, early mornings, or for seniors with sensory issues or on the autism spectrum
- Pre-set power setting schedules — eliminates the need to manually power on/off daily
- Remote power access — accessible to a smart device or home automation control system in case you forget to schedule or turn the lights off
- Energy-efficient lighting — can help lower energy bills for homeowners
- Landscape lights — illuminates dark pathways outside your home for extra safety when walking at night
At AIS, we recommend using Lutron as your choice of lighting automation in a smart home for the elderly. Lutron offers high-quality human-centric lighting features, energy cost savings, and user-friendly light control.
Motorized Shades for Easier Convenience
The perfect pair to smart lights are motorized shades. Through window and light automation, you can easily gain whole-home lighting control by managing natural and artificial lights. Motorized shades are practical aging-in-place technologies because they provide added convenience, especially for mobility-limited seniors who want to customize their natural light levels.
Since motorized shades can be controlled via a smart device, seniors with mobility-limited conditions won’t need to get up if it’s difficult for them to close the shades manually. They can do it on their smartphone or you can control it for them from any room in the house via a smartphone or home automation hub.
In addition to smart lights, Lutron offers motorized shades with high-end fabric and color options to match your ideal aesthetic, protect your family’s privacy, and preserve home furnishings from natural light damage. Smart lights and motorized shades offer total whole home lighting control to whomever you provide access to.
Smart Home Security System for Additional Protection
A smart home security system is one of the most fundamental aging-in-place technologies for seniors living at home alone or with family members who work full-time. When you can always monitor your home and enhance protection, it adds peace of mind if there’s a healthcare emergency or potential outside threat.
Some beneficial features of smart home security systems for seniors are:
- Suspicious activity and medical emergency alerts
- Real-time live view 24/7 of the home’s interior and exterior
- Image displays on doorbell cameras via a smart device or home automation hub
- Cameras with custom mapping to highlight specific areas you want to monitor more
- Wiring and wireless system integrations for the best connection and functionality, including remotely
The best automated senior safety technology brands we recommend are 2GIG and Alarm.com. They produce high-quality images, so you have clear footage to send to the police if you notice someone you don’t recognize on the property. Additionally, these systems are compatible with smart devices and home control systems to monitor your house and receive real-time alerts while you’re away.
At AIS, we can customize your smart home security design and integrate it for you for optimal security coverage. From custom camera placement to factoring in your unique home’s layout, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all smart home security solution. Monitoring the protection of your older family members or seniors living alone is crucial in smart homes for the elderly.
Home Audio System for a Better Listening Experience
Another beneficial smart home technology for seniors is a home audio system. Having high-quality home audio is more than entertainment. Home audio systems can benefit hearing loss by eliminating echoes, providing richer sounds, nuanced audio — and enhancing the entertainment experience, too, of course.
Who says aging-in-place technologies shouldn’t also upgrade the fun at home? Whether you have seniors who are music lovers, audiobook enthusiasts or enjoy relaxing to the TV, whole home audio systems provide high-quality entertainment and function with cutting-edge technology.
Home Automation Control System for Easy Management and Monitoring
Investing in a home automation control system is highly recommended if you plan to integrate multiple aging-in-place technologies. When all your smart home devices are controlled in one place instead of multiple systems or remotes, it makes it easier to manage — especially for seniors who are new to home automation.
A home automation control system centralizes the following:
- Lighting system control— manages light intensity, color temperature, and power settings for interior and landscape lighting
- Motorized shades — provides shading and natural light control
- Media control — manages volume and display settings on smart TVs and home audio systems
- Climate control – adjusts temperatures on smart thermostats to customize comfort levels
- Security camera control —remotely monitor seniors and their care providers inside and outside
- Intercom systems — offers the best introduction to smart home technology with easy communication
Our recommended smart home control system brand is ELAN. They offer custom settings in every room and are compatible with smart devices so you can manage it remotely and via a home touch panel.
At AIS, we can help design and integrate smart home control systems in existing homes and new construction. Whether you’re looking for an upgrade to your current smart home or starting a new one, our custom system integrators can help you from start to finish.
Intercom Systems for Seniors New to Smart Home Technology
If you’re concerned about integrating smart home products for seniors living at home, intercom systems are a great place to start. They provide instant whole-house communication with a simple button and are a practical introduction to home automation. From preventing unnecessary trips up and downstairs to easy communication access, intercom systems are a practical for introducing smart technology for seniors.
Senior Smart Home: Must-Have Features
Now that you know the best smart products for seniors living at home, here are the must-have features recommended by the AIS pros.
User-Friendliness for Home Automation Beginners
Home automation can seem daunting, especially for seniors or those new to smart home technology. For this reason, user-friendliness should be a top priority when creating a smart home for seniors.
Some user-friendly features to look for in a senior smart home are:
- Voice commands for daily routine tasks
- Schedule reminders for doctor’s appointments
- Video chatting with family members, caregivers, and nurses
- Easy access to emergency contacts and local authorities
When technologies for aging in place are simple to manage and monitor, it makes it easier for everyone to benefit from these systems.
Easy Accessibility Features
In addition to user-friendliness, smart home technology for seniors should also be widely accessible. Some essential features in aging-in-place technologies are voice-to-text, text-to-speech, and larger text displays so seniors can read and communicate easily. There are also hearing-impaired features such as assistive listening devices (ALDs) to help amplify sounds you want to hear or visual alerts like blinking lights for seniors with hearing loss.
Home Automation Training & Support by HTA-Certified Integrators
If you’re considering retrofitting or building a smart home for seniors, having proper home automation training and a support system is fundamental. At AIS, our system integrators are proud to be HTA-certified to provide our customers with the highest-quality home automation services.
The Home Technology Association (HTA) is made up of an esteemed board of advisors to create rigorous standards for home automation service providers. When you invest in smart home technology for seniors, you want to ensure that you’re using the HTA-certified system integrators so you and your loved ones can benefit from them fully and significantly improve their quality of life.
We can help guide you and your loved ones on how to use and manage smart home technology during the consultation and installation and are available for follow-up questions for extra help.
Build the Best Smart Home for Seniors with AIS
A smart home for seniors can significantly enhance their quality of life with improved safety, custom comfort, and greater independence. Whether you’re a senior looking to upgrade your home or a loved one looking to help their elderly relatives, AIS can help create a safe, comfortable, and easy-to-use environment for everyone.