Top 10 Simple Home Automation tips to improve the quality of life for older people

(Offering peace of mind and simple operation with minimum outlay)

1. Reduce the need to move around the home to adjust lighting

Install portable wireless light switches with dimmers. The switches can be fixed next to a chair or bed or carried around if necessary. They can be overridden using the existing traditional light switches if required.

Also install motion sensors for lighting, particularly useful for night time trips to bathrooms.

Lighting control
Lighting control

1. Reduce the need to move around the home to adjust lighting

Install portable wireless light switches with dimmers. The switches can be fixed next to a chair or bed or carried around if necessary. They can be overridden using the existing traditional light switches if required.

Also install motion sensors for lighting, particularly useful for night time trips to bathrooms.

Nest thermostat

2. Reduce the need to move around the home to adjust heating

Voice or app activated heating controls mean that the temperature can be adjusted without moving around. These systems also regulate temperature and are energy efficient, without the need for continuous adjustment unless the user likes to regularly change the ambient temperature.

An appointed family member or contact can see from anywhere in the world what the temperature in the house is, along with historical usage data.

3. Reduce trips to the kitchen

Voice or app activated kettle – No need to stand around waiting for it to boil. Simply request for the kettle to boil from anywhere in your home and providing it is filled, it will boil.

An appointed family member can also receive usage information, so they can be assured all is well.

Smart kitchen
Smart kitchen

3. Reduce trips to the kitchen

Voice or app activated kettle – No need to stand around waiting for it to boil. Simply request for the kettle to boil from anywhere in your home and providing it is filled, it will boil.

An appointed family member can also receive usage information, so they can be assured all is well.

Smart Video doorbell

4. Increase security

Install a video doorbell. See who’s at the front door on a smart phone or tablet without needing to get up and answer the door.

This can also be set up to unlock the door if required. (can also be applied to multiple devices so a family member or contact who is anywhere in the world can also see who is ringing the bell.)

5. No need to remember to set the alarm

Set up a self-arming intruder alarm – This does require the user to have a smart phone, but the alarm will set itself when they leave the house and disarm automatically when they get home.

It can also notify multiple relatives or contacts if activated.

Smart Alarm
Smart Alarm

5. No need to remember to set the alarm

Set up a self-arming intruder alarm – This does require the user to have a smart phone, but the alarm will set itself when they leave the house and disarm automatically when they get home.

It can also notify multiple relatives or contacts if activated.

Smart flood sensors for water leaks

6. Get a notification if there is a flood or water leak

Set up flood sensors around baths or major appliances to get an app notification on smart phones. It can be set up in the home as well as on a family member or contact’s device, so they can be notified anywhere in the world.

7. Have an appointed family member or contact notified if the smoke or fire alarm is activated

This can be set up on multiple devices. The alarms also know the difference between burnt toast and a real fire. They can be set up to turn on smart lighting in the event of being triggered.

Other key features include a self test facility, and the ability to switch off the boiler when Carbon Monoxide is detected.

Smoke Alarm
Smoke Alarm

7. Have an appointed family member or contact notified if the smoke or fire alarm is activated

This can be set up on multiple devices. The alarms also know the difference between burnt toast and a real fire. They can be set up to turn on smart lighting in the event of being triggered.

Other key features include a self test facility, and the ability to switch off the boiler when Carbon Monoxide is detected.

Improve mental health

8. Improve mental health

Studies have been carried out which suggest the interaction between an older person and a voice activation device can be helpful to their mental health.

The user can ask questions by voice to set timers, reminders and alarms. Particularly useful for those who are not dexterous enough to use computers or smart phones.

They can also be used to communicate with family without the use of telephones or a need to dial numbers.

9. Improve quality of life

Use your voice assistant to simply ask for any song, audio book, weather forecast, radio station or news update and have it instantly played for you.

Improve quality of life
Improve quality of life

9. Improve quality of life

Use your voice assistant to simply ask for any song, audio book, weather forecast, radio station or news update and have it instantly played for you.

Robot hoover

10. Clean the house

Cleaning has never been easier. Robot hoovers can take care of your floors, and robot window cleaners can ensure that the windows are clean from top to bottom.

On top of these quality of life benefits there are a whole range of monitoring devices. Sensors can inform the contact if the user has opened a cupboard or the front door or if a window is open. Internal or external CCTV can be installed which can be monitored on a smart phone anywhere in the world. Wearable devices can report health data to family members or contacts and GPS trackers can monitor location.

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