How Smart Home Technology is Keeping Caregivers One Step Ahead
By Melanie Stewart Henson
Smart Home Specialist
Founder & CEO of TechHomePro
The Baby Boomers have always been an independent minded generation. Even as they become senior citizens—at the rate of 10,000 per day—that’s not changing. Committed to their families and communities, many aging adults—87 percent — want to remain living at home, for as long as possible.
Maintaining this independence will require care and support, particularly for older adults aged 75-plus. Traditionally, that’s where families step in, nearly 35 million Americans currently provide unpaid care for a family member over age 50.
However, this approach is running into modern challenges. Adult children often live hours or days away. Those nearby are supporting their own families and working demanding hours, making regular visits and check-ins difficult. Now, smart home technology is stepping into the gap with affordable connected living solutions designed for caregivers.
More Than a Panic Button
Originally developed to alert homeowners to unwelcome activity, connected home security technology can keep both family and professional caregivers connected to aging adults and one step ahead of emerging health issues.
Alarm.com’s Wellness solution, powered by a smart home security platform is a leader in intelligent solutions that combine hardware and software to benefit caregivers and aging adults alike. While traditional independent living solutions only let you know about a problem after the fact, smarter technology can keep you several steps ahead.
Real-time alerts can give you a discreet, 24/7 connection that enables you to know about and respond to immediate needs quickly. Enjoy peace of mind that comes with being in the know without impacting your loved one’s independence. Cynthia Leclair uses Alarm.Com’s Wellness technology to stay connected to her parents. She states, “It has made a difference in my life. As the only child living near my parents it is good to know their home is secure at night and monitored for unusual activity.” When Cynthia wants to check in on her parents she simply logs into her account on her phone or computer and checks the status of the discrete sensors and the Alarm.Com WellCam that is installed in her parents’ home. Customized notifications and analytics provide her real data to know when there is unusual activity at their home providing an additional layer of protection for them and assurance for her.
Quality of Life
Unlike an emergency pendant or other standalone devices, smarter technology like Alarm.com’s Wellness connects you to a broad range of sensors and devices around the home to monitor overall quality of life.
Machine learning algorithms analyze activity data to understand routines and patterns, detect changes that may indicate a risk or issue, and proactively alert loved ones or caregivers. Smart home technology can allow for notifications when your loved one is:
- Inactive during normal active hours
- Away from bed for a prolonged time at night
- Opening a door outside of normal hours
- Accessing medication at prescribed times
- Not opening the refrigerator door daily
Smart technology can also take care of everyday tasks around the home. Rules and automation schedules can be used to help control things around the home. Adjusting lights, thermostats, locks and security can be done remotely with advanced security solutions. Hands-free voice control with Amazon Echo and Google Home are also a popular way to easily control things around the home.
Homecare Providers and Senior Living Communities
As more and more family caregivers incorporate these advanced technologies into their lives, commercial care providers are also experiencing the benefits of smart home solutions. The Alarm.Com platform offers commercial solutions that are scalable and can be installed throughout a residential community, enabling staff to develop personalized care plans, based on data-driven insights, that better serve individual residents’ needs. Commercial installations can also include smart devices for greater safety and efficiency, with access card readers and other commercial-grade hardware available to increase operational efficiency.
Closing the Gap
With the ability to detect emerging situations early, smarter security solutions refine independent living technology as well as the wider scope of home security, offering family and care facilities tools to empower independent living through connectedness and awareness.