Here are just a few ways that technology can make it easier and even safer for seniors to remain living in your home, or aging in place.
- Smart kitchen appliances are those which have sensors that can detect whether or not an appliance is in use and/or if it should be turned off. For example, GE has a variety of ovens that have auto shut-off features and temperature overrides. A less expensive alternative is CookStop ($325), a device that attaches to an electric stove or cook top and includes a built-in motion detector. This monitors movements and will shut off automatically if a user isn’t in close proximity within a predetermined amount of time.
- A house-cleaning robot called the iRobot® Roomba can help clean up spills or messes. The Scooba® will wash your floors on its own. (Visit irobot.com to learn about both products.)
- A temperature-activated flow reducer in the shower helps to prevent burns from water that gets too hot
- Optimal lighting can significantly decrease the likelihood of falls in the home. An excellent option is motion activated light controls which will light a room, hallway, entrance way or stairway when it senses motion.
- A voice-controlled wireless communication system can enable you to turn on the lights, lower or raise the temperature, or turn on your favorite music. Many of these activities can be done from the comfort of your home or from a remote location.
- If you’re worried that you will miss a phone call or leave a visitor standing outside the door, look into a doorbell-telephone flashing-light signaler. These systems enable a ringing doorbell or phone to trigger a flashing light to let someone know when they have a call or a visitor has arrived.
Purchasing some or all of these devices can enable you to remain independent, to “age in place” and to enjoy the comforts of your own home for as long as possible.