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Assisted living facilities offer an appealing solution for many seniors. But in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, some are opting for independent living and using smart home automation to make new living situations comfortable and convenient. From smart thermostats and light switches that respond to the sound of your voice to refrigerators that restock themselves, utilize these smart devices to help you or your loved one with the everyday tasks of home management.
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Front door/entrance area
Door locks and security systems
Smart door locks and security system technology is at the forefront of the independent living initiative. It’s the top tool to protect your home and give your family peace of mind.
A smart security system allows you to monitor entrance activity to your home, so you’ll always know you’re safe. Smart door locks let you lock your door no matter where you are. Give multiple security codes to caregivers and family members so you never have to worry about leaving spare keys or being away when visitors swing by.
Expecting a contactless delivery? Greet visitors from inside of your home without ever having to open the door. Most smart doorbells come with video surveillance, speakers and microphones for added home protection. Communicate with visitors from anywhere inside your home to limit your face-to-face interactions yet keep a close eye on your front door. If you’re hearing-impaired, set up vibrational alerts on your smartphone so you’re always alerted when someone’s at the front door. In case of suspicious activity, view and record visitors at your door from your smartphone or tablet.
Wi-Fi enabled refrigerators
Nowadays, it’s more than inconvenient to unexpectedly run out of groceries you thought you had on hand. Your smart refrigerator keeps track of your grocery list and delivers it to a participating grocery store near you. When you’re ready to see what you have on-hand, view the inside of your refrigerator from an app on your smartphone and receive notifications if your refrigerator needs maintenance.
Automatic stove turn-off devices
Have you ever wondered if you remembered to turn the stove off after you’ve left your home? Automatic stove turn-off devices come with a timer, motion sensors and an automatic shut-off feature to ensure that your kitchen equipment turns off when you want it to. Set a time limit of up to 40 minutes, and your stove will automatically power down for your safety and convenience.
Automatic medication dispenser
You rely on your medications to keep you at your best. Automatic medication dispensers can ensure all of your prescriptions are taken on schedule and according to the doctor’s orders. Your dispenser alerts you or your family of missed medications and even virtually provides your physician with detailed reports regarding your medication activity.
Smart home hub
Living on your own is simple and convenient with a central smart home hub to command all of your smart devices. Sync your smart thermostat, entertainment system, light switches and more to your smart home hub to connect all your smart devices to a central all-in-one unit. You’ll be able to control all of your technology from the comfort of your living or bedroom using voice commands.
Enhance the quality of living in your home with a thermostat that learns from your behaviors and gives you remote access. Conveniently pre-program your smart thermostat for when indoor or outdoor temperatures reach a certain degree and save money by tracking your energy consumption as you go. Many smart thermostats use easy-to-read LCD touch screens for effortless use, while standard thermostats can be confusing or difficult to read. Access it using your smartphone or connect to your smart home assistant for voice-controlled use.
When you’re ready to head out the door, losing your keys can be frustrating. Now you can locate them and other essentials you misplace using your smartphone or tablet. Most key finders come with a two-piece system: one that attaches to the items you lose track of the most and one to keep on your person. Attach the device to your keys, the remote control or your wallet or purse.
Smart light switch
Don’t worry about fumbling around your home in the dark. Control the lights in your home using timers or voice commands with the help of your smart home assistant or via an app on your smartphone. These devices not only help shine a light when needed most, but they can also help cut energy costs and promote home security while you’re away.
Health monitoring sensors
Remote health monitoring is a no-contact, non-invasive, cost-effective method to receive healthcare services from the comfort of your home. Wearable health monitoring sensors communicate physiological data directly to your healthcare providers in real-time. Monitoring sensors can be worn in a variety of accessories to track heart health, exercise activity, chronic conditions and more.
Voice assistants like Siri and Alexa were already seeing a surge of growth pre-pandemic. Now, analysts say it is only expected to increase as smart home users try to limit personal contact in and outside of the home.
“Voice has already made significant inroads into the smart home space, and voice control can mean avoiding commonly touched surfaces around the home from smartphones, to TV remotes, light switches, thermostats, door handles and more,” says ABI Research analyst, Jonathan Collins.
Amazon Alexa has already seen a swift uptick in digital adoption as public health institutions like the Mayo Clinic incorporate the assistant into their efforts to spread information about the virus and allow users to check symptoms. More virus-related applications are in the works with plans to use voice technologies.
Originally written, 10/26/2018. Last updated, 6/17/2020.
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Taylor is a veteran member of the Allconnect content team and has spearheaded a number of projects, most notably our holiday tech gift guide. Among her other top trafficked pieces is Best… Read more