Seniors: Smart Home ensures independence in old age

Senioren: Smart-Home sichert Unabhängigkeit im Alter

Each of us would like to grow old in the privacy of our own four walls. But what if mobility decreases and memory deteriorates? Do you have to capitulate to the consequences of getting older? No! Seniors who want to live independently at home for as long as possible can upgrade their home with intelligent technology. The technical term for this is Smart Home.

What are the benefits of smart home technology for seniors?

Smart home technology makes life within your own four walls more comfortable and safer because many technical functions run automatically - without the occupant having to actively take care of them. Windows, heaters, roller shutters, sockets, motion detectors and other building technology components operate all by themselves. In this way, the smart home makes an important contribution to barrier-free living in a familiar environment.

How smart home technology enables seniors to lead a self-determined life, shows the "Bavarian Radio" impressive in his report on an 83-year-old lady: Despite mobility restrictions, the Franconian woman continues to run her own household - and is enthusiastic about modern technology. The following three examples also illustrate how smart assistance systems relieve seniors in everyday life:

The home thinks along with you

Werner Müller (80) lives with his wife, who has dementia, in a 150 m² single-family house. Since he can no longer walk well, he finds it difficult to walk around the house in the evenings and check that all the heating is turned down, the lights are off, all the windows are closed and the shutters are down.

The solution: a smart home system that covers all interior spaces and saves walking distances. One smart heating control ensures that the room temperature in all rooms is automatically reduced to "night" every evening at 10 p.m. He can see whether a window is still open anywhere in the house on a control panel in the living room. All shutters can be lowered at the same time by pressing a button on a remote control. And the light in the entire house goes out with a voice command. After he and his wife are in bed, Mr. Müller says "lights out" - and it's already dark in every room.

Smart household appliances save physically demanding work

Ms. Mayer (65) has always been proud of her well-kept, nicely decorated apartment. The weekly cleaning is a must for them. But since she broke her leg last winter - an unfortunate fall in black ice - nothing is the same as before. She still feels pain with every step. Her cleaning routine is now giving her a lot of trouble. Nevertheless, she does not want to do without a clean apartment.

Now she has found the perfect solution: a smart cleaning robot takes care of cleaning windows and mirrors, and she can help her fight against dust bunnies smart vacuum robots . Meanwhile, she can rest her leg and focus on her recovery.

Smart sockets know everything

Ms. Schulz (70) is as energetic as ever and therefore constantly on the move. But as soon as she's on the road, anxious thoughts shoot through her head: "Did I actually turn off the coffee machine? Is the iron still running?” She has driven back home many times to make sure that all electrical appliances are switched off. This "tick" gets on her nerves. But for security reasons, she prefers to check the apartment again.

The solution: Smart sockets nip the brooding in the bud. Instead of turning back home, Ms. Schulz now simply opens an app on her smartphone and looks at the status of her household appliances. If she sees that one of the devices is actually not switched off, she can virtually "pull the plug" by deactivating the smart socket.

The smart home keeps unwanted visitors away

Mr. Müller (75) lives alone in a ground floor apartment. Last year his neighbors were broken into - since then he has felt unsafe at home. He also keeps reading in the newspaper about scammers who use a pretext to gain access to the apartment. What if this happens to him too?

The solution: one smart alarm system with motion detector and alarm siren that thwarts break-in attempts. If a window or the front door moves while the alarm system is armed, it triggers a loud signal which causes burglars to flee. In addition, Mr. Müller has a smart camera system installed for front door control, which has an infrared night vision function. When the doorbell rings, he can now see his visitor on a small screen even before he opens the door - and if in doubt, simply doesn't open it.

Isn't smart home technology too complicated for seniors?

Clearly: no! Of course there are smart home systems on the market that require a greater technical understanding. But there are also entry-level systems that are specially designed for laypeople and are therefore easy to use. These systems are ideal for seniors without any technical background knowledge who are at war with their smartphones. They can be accessed centrally by Remote control , clearly labeled Operate wall buttons, large panels and/or voice commands.

Checklist: what should seniors pay attention to when purchasing smart home technology?

Seniors who want to invest in a smart home system should not only focus on technical features, but also consider the "all the bells and whistles":

  • Check whether the provider of the smart home technology offers you sound advice! Before you buy, you should think carefully about which functions your new smart home should have. Only then is it clear which components you really need. If you're not that deep into the topic, you can quickly feel overwhelmed. That's why you should look for a provider who can advise you in detail and help you plan a tailor-made smart home solution.
  • Check whether you can try out individual Smart Home components at home! Nobody likes to buy “a pig in a poke”. Just as you test drive a car, you should also be able to get to know your new smart home system up close. Of course, the provider cannot install a complete system in your home on a trial basis. But at least individual components should be installed and put into operation as a test (e.g. a smart heating control or the alarm siren) so that you can experience the future smart home system in action.
  • Check whether the provider of the smart home technology offers an installation service! Good planning is a must, installation is the freestyle. That's why a good provider never leaves you alone even after the purchase. Therefore, clarify from the outset to what extent the provider will support you with the installation and with technical questions after the purchase.

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