Modern senior living: smart options for elderly people

As we grow older, our surroundings begin to feel differently. Maybe it will become harder to climb the stairs, find our way in the dark, or handle small objects. Even if we’d rather not face that reality now – it will affect all of us eventually. The sooner you start preparing, the better: barrier-free buildings and smart devices make it increasingly easy for elderly people to remain independent. In addition, there are more and more modern senior-living options that replace conventional nursing homes. We’ll give you an overview on new possibilities and their benefits.

Smooth transition from independent to assisted senior living

Planning facilities for residents at an older age, contemporary architects and designers now focus on both physical and mental well-being.

To that end, holistic spatial concepts are no less important than aesthetic details and smart technology. Projects such as Ravenswood Senior Living in Illinois showcase how much the quality of life can improve if all these factors come together.

In collaboration with the Evergreen Real Estate Group and Chicago’s housing department, the team of WJW Architects renovated a former hospital from the1970s. Their goal: provide affordable living spaces for low-income retirees. Ravenswood residents can choose between two senior-living options. While the lower floors, house people who require regular assistance, the upper floors are designed for people who are more independent. Whenever a resident needs more support, they can simply move downstairs – without having to leave their familiar surroundings.

Three-generation family having fun with a tablet

Retirement living 2.0: more comfort and security at home

Despite the extensive services that specialised facilities can provide, most people prefer to not move house. Staying at home oftentimes means retaining a sense of stability and autonomy.

But daily life can quickly turn into a challenge without the support network of senior-living communities. That’s where Smart Home solutions and AAL systems (short for Ambient Assisted Living) come into play. These innovations include:

  • portable sensors to monitor vital signs
  • emergency-call and alarm systems
  • communication systems with video function
  • automated lighting control and motion sensors

Smart senior-living options: from wearables to cleaning robots

Want to enjoy retirement life in the comfort of your own home? Automatic household appliances such as robots that vacuum and swipe the floors can take over tedious chores – a welcome relief especially for people with impaired mobility. In the garden, smart greenhouses and irrigation systems prove equally helpful.

Even those with a chronic illness don’t have to solely depend on ambulant caregivers anymore. Portable measurement devices, so-called “wearables”, are equipped with sensors that monitor essential vital signs (heart rate and blood pressure, for example). They keep a person’s physical health in check, remind them to take their meds, and notify a doctor or nursing service about critical measurements.

Smart watch for seniors

Automated alarm systems: senior living with maximum safety

What happens if elderly people have an accident alone at home? For cases like these, you can install special emergency systems. Smart sensors built into the floor will react when someone falls and notify a specified contact.

Moreover, you can rely on an emergency-call function to get help whenever needed.

You don’t have to worry about fire outbreaks, either: smart smoke detectors register even the smallest particles and changes of the room temperature, triggering an alarm immediately.

Another option to make senior living safer: presence alarm systems notify specified contacts if there hasn’t been any movement for a certain time.

Gira smoke alarm device +

Gira smoke alarm devices

A reliable protection against fire and gases at home: smart smoke detectors with optical and thermal sensors.

Smart alarm devices measure the density of fine smoke particles and sound off an alarm whenever the threshold value is exceeded. Source: Gira

Welcome home: senior housing with a future-proof entrance

Apart from indoor accidents, unwanted intruders may also pose a threat – no matter your age. Modern home stations ensure that you always know who’s ringing your bell, before letting them in. Thanks to a camera installed at the entrance, you can monitor your entire outdoor area and even store video footage.

The Gira surface-mounted video home station 7 uses IPS technology to record wide-angle images which are displayed on a high-resolutions screen.

You can then talk to visitors through the speaker function and open the door with the push of a button.

As we get older, we might also become more likely to misplace our keys and lock ourselves out. Gira Keyless In offers a simple solution to problems like these: instead of rummaging through your bags and pockets at the front door, you can let yourself in with your fingerprint. This smart system is particularly useful for people affected by gout, arthritis, or unsteady hands.

Gira video home station 7 +

Gira video home station 7

See who's at the door before you open it: thanks to IPS display technology, the Gira video home station 7 covers your entire outdoor area.

The Gira surface-mounted video home station 7: large display, intuitive operation. Source: Gira

Smart lights: senior living with a clear perspective

When your eyesight starts weakening, a barrier-free lighting system will help you out in everyday life. Depending on the activity or time of day, you may need different levels of brightness. That’s why smart lighting control offers a variety of functions beyond “on” and “off”. By way of example, you can configure individual time schedules to accommodate your daily routines. Another convenient option for senior living: light scenes that recreate the natural course of the sun and thereby stimulate the body’s biorhythm.

You’ve got a tendency to leave the light on? Then you’ll benefit from contactless switches with integrated presence and motion sensors. The Gira Sensotec reacts to nearby movement and ambient brightness, switching lights on and off automatically.

At nighttime, socket outlets with LEDs can guide you along in dark hallways. Their indirect, glare-free lighting is particularly helpful for children or elderly people who might feel disoriented when they wake up in the middle of the night.

Gira SCHUKO socket outlet with LED orientation lights +

Gira SCHUKO socket outlets with LED orientation lights

Lighting and power supply in one smart device: Gira SCHUKO socket outlets with LED orientation lights will guide you through the dark.

Gira socket outlets with integrated LEDs cast a dimmed, glare-free light on the floor. Source: Gira

Smart Home control: senior-friendly options for more living comfort

Thanks to modern technology, you don’t even need to leave your couch to dim your lights, lower the blinds, or turn on the radio. There are many ways to control your Smart Home: apart from a regular switch, you can use an app on your smartphone or tablet. And if you set up automated time schedules, your house will adjust the lights, blinds, and heating all by itself.

Another senior-friendly option for smart living is a voice-controlled system: with the help of Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant, you can monitor all the functions in your home by uttering a simple command. As new technologies keep evolving, staying independent at old age will become even easier in years to come. We’re excited to see what the future holds – for young and old generations alike!

Senior-friendly bathroom

Have you already made plans for your retirement? How do you imagine senior living at home? We look forward to sharing ideas.

Living Comfort Living Concepts Living Trends Smart Home Smart Living

Start a discussion about this article

This will also interest you