Smart Homes for the elderly: Technology that enhances safety and independence
What is the best way to prepare your home to meet your changing needs as you age? Which technologies will ensure that your home is safe for you to live in? In this article, we explain how to use smart lighting to enhance safety and reduce the risk of accidents in your home as you get older.
Accident risk 1 – the path to the front door: Uneven surfaces, tripping hazards, narrow passageways and inadequate lighting can all be huge risks for the elderly. Motion sensors can be used to automatically activate external lights so that elderly residents can get home safely, even in the dark.
Accident risk 2 – stairs: Physical and sensory limitations can mean that older people find stairs increasingly difficult to tackle as they age. Orientation lights help you see exactly where each step starts and ends, reducing the risk of a fall.
Accident risk 3 – toilet trips in the dark: In the hallway, socket outlets with LED lights that automatically switch on when it gets dark can provide enough light to help you find your way to the bathroom at night. In the bathroom itself, a presence sensor can be used to automatically switch on the light. Using this type of sensor means that the light will stay on even if the person in the room isn’t moving much.
Accident risk 4 – operating light switches: As you age, you may find it more difficult to reach and operate light switches – perhaps because you’re carrying something in your hands or are using a walking aid. Automatic switches enhance safety throughout the home by eliminating the need to fumble around in the dark in search of the switch. Background lighting also helps you to locate manual switches and buttons, ensuring that you can find the important Smart Home controls you need even in the dark.
Accident risk 5 – the kitchen: Adapting your home in preparation for old age also means taking a close look at the kitchen.
The consequences of forgetting to switch off appliances like the oven or the hob can be very dangerous.
Signal lights with custom symbols, colours or labels, such as “Hob on” and “Hob off”, can serve as helpful reminders when positioned in appropriate locations.
Using modern Smart Home technology – and in particular smart lighting solutions – to make a home suitable for the older generation is an important step towards helping the elderly live safely and independently.
Are you planning to enjoy growing old in your own home? How are you preparing your house for old age? Share your ideas in the comments.