Table of contents:

Smart Home for Seniors: The Best Systems
Smart Home for Seniors: The Best Systems

Video: Smart Home for Seniors: The Best Systems

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Video: Smart Home Technology For Elderly Care | Products and Usage 2023, February
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Smart technology, such as voice assistants and app-based light control, are nothing more than pleasant comfort for many. For seniors, on the other hand, these systems can only make independent living at home possible. The whole thing is called “Ambient Assisted Living”, which translates as “environment-based living”. We present AAL systems that smartly support you or your loved ones in old age.

Table of contents Table of contents Smart Home for Seniors: The best systems at a glance

  • AAL: Why is Smart Home particularly suitable for seniors?
  • The best AAL systems for age-appropriate living
  • 1. Ring Doorbell 2 as a smart doorbell and emergency button
  • 2. Ekey uno fingerprint for keyless entry
  • 3. Amazon Echo Show as a remote monitoring system
  • 4. Gigaset Elements and smart care for senior citizen surveillance
  • 5. Hager stove guard as smart fire protection
  • 6. SensFloor as smart fall protection for seniors
  • 7. Duravit SensoWash as a smart shower toilet
  • 8. MyHome Axolute as a central switch
  • 9. Philips Hue lighting system
  • 10. M-Guard emergency bracelet for seniors
  • Further household support measures
  • AAL companies help to set up age-appropriate systems
  • Conclusion on Ambient Assisted Living: Living independently for a long time in your own four walls

Table of contents Table of contents Smart Home for Seniors: The best systems at a glance

  • AAL: Why is Smart Home particularly suitable for seniors?
  • The best AAL systems for age-appropriate living
  • 1. Ring Doorbell 2 as a smart doorbell and emergency button
  • 2. Ekey uno fingerprint for keyless entry
  • 3. Amazon Echo Show as a remote monitoring system
  • 4. Gigaset Elements and smart care for senior citizen surveillance
  • 5. Hager stove guard as smart fire protection
  • 6. SensFloor as smart fall protection for seniors
  • 7. Duravit SensoWash as a smart shower toilet
  • 8. MyHome Axolute as a central switch
  • 9. Philips Hue lighting system
  • 10. M-Guard emergency bracelet for seniors
  • Further household support measures
  • AAL companies help to set up age-appropriate systems
  • Conclusion on Ambient Assisted Living: Living independently for a long time in your own four walls

AAL: Why is Smart Home particularly suitable for seniors?

Ambient assisted living (in short: AAL) is increasingly coming into focus as it provides older people with practical tools for a self-determined life. The smart home relieves seniors' everyday stress and creates additional security. Relatives are connected to the system via an app and are notified immediately in an emergency. At the same time, using the smart home is becoming increasingly easier and more intuitive, so that even senior citizens who are not tech-savvy can control the systems themselves with a little practice - often even by voice command.

The possibilities of age-appropriate living have so far not been fully exploited in Germany, although they offer great potential for relieving caregivers and family members.

The best AAL systems for age-appropriate living

1. Ring Doorbell 2 as a smart doorbell and emergency button

For older people, a doorbell can be stressful. They are worried about not getting to the door quickly enough or are afraid to open the door to strangers. With a smart doorbell, you can use your tablet or smartphone to conveniently see from your bed or sofa who is ringing and only open the door to friends and family. The bell can be operated with the existing doorbell wiring as well as with a removable battery pack. Relatives can also follow activities outside the door, which gives them an additional feeling of security.

Tip: When attached to the bed, a smart doorbell also functions as an emergency button. Relatives install the appropriate app and are informed by push message when the bell is triggered.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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2. Ekey uno fingerprint for keyless entry

Another hurdle in the entrance area is the key for many older people. If you suffer from a gout flare or arthritis, you cannot turn the key for a few days. Other seniors generally have difficulty holding the key with shaky hands. Handling a key is also difficult with a walker or other walking aids. This creates inhibitions about leaving the house in the first place. Thanks to a front door lock with a fingerprint, this hurdle is eliminated. The ekey uno fingerprint can be retrofitted to all common doors. No drilling, mortising or wiring is required for the installation. The system records up to 20 users; access authorizations and time windows can also be set using the ekey uno app. For example, nurses or domestic help can only get into the house in a corresponding time window. There are now many locking systems that can be opened directly via the app. However, the products are mostly Bluetooth-based, so they use a relatively large amount of battery and require the safe handling of a smartphone.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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3. Amazon Echo Show as a remote monitoring system

Amazon Echo is known as a practical information and entertainment device that can be easily controlled by voice. Less well known are the many possible uses that the voice assistant offers for living in old age. This means that calls can be made in an emergency, for example if you fall and can no longer reach the phone. Entertainment media such as audiobooks or lighting control can also be controlled with the voice - Amazon Echo takes many steps. For elderly people living alone, the possible remote monitoring via Amazon Echo Show with screen makes sense. The drop-in function allows relatives to access the built-in camera and thus gain an insight into the senior's apartment - without having to actively answer a call or request.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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4. Gigaset Elements and smart care for senior citizen surveillance

The Gigaset senior alarm system is called Gigaset smart care. The Smart Home System was specially developed to help seniors and their relatives to achieve more independence and quality of life. Sensors for controlling and monitoring events such as window and door movements or the activity of the blinds can be set up individually. The smart care app is a tool that family members can use to keep up to date with what is going on at home. It is the information center that provides information about the status reports of the sensors and motion detectors linked to it.

Did the father leave the house at the usual time? Did the grandmother come back on time from the weekly doctor's visit? Is there regular ventilation and are the doors locked at night? All of this can be checked via the app. The system is flexible and can be set up to suit different life situations. If something deviates from the routine, the system automatically notifies the supervisor. If sensors detect anomalies or the relative presses the alarm button, the alarm lights up in the smartphone. This allows relatives to react quickly and prevent worse things from happening. In general, “normal” smart home systems such as Telekom Magenta or innogy are also suitable for senior citizen monitoring, but these apps are not specialized in this.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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5. Hager stove guard as smart fire protection

In your own four walls, the stove is the main cause of fire. Kitchen fires are a particular risk for young families and the elderly. This can be due to a forgotten meal on the stove or simply a stove left on with a towel removed. The stove guard from Hager is manufactured according to DIN EN 50615 and consists of two modules:

  • Sensor unit
  • Control unit

The electrician either installs the sensor unit on the extractor hood or on the wall. There it registers both temperature increases and movements. Rising temperature and movement mean someone is cooking. However, if there is no movement when the temperature rises, the sensor reports an alarm. The control unit is connected to the cooker and receives feedback from the sensor via radio. If an alarm is not manually triggered within 15 seconds, the power supply is cut off. As an alternative or in addition, a smart smoke detector with an app connection can be used, but false alarms occur more often, for example due to burnt-on food.

Rating: no rating available

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6. SensFloor as smart fall protection for seniors

Thanks to the SensFloor, the floor becomes a touchpad. The SensFloor is one of the first products specially developed for Ambient Assisted Living and is therefore ideal for seniors and physically challenged people. The textile underlay sensor mat is placed under the floor - it doesn't matter whether it is a carpet, laminate, vinyl floor or parquet. The SensFloor contains 30 sensors per square meter and is just 2.5 millimeters high.

The SensFloor registers and analyzes every movement. In the event of a fall, the system notifies relatives or nursing staff, depending on the setting. It also reports the aimless wandering of a demented person. The floor can be connected to other products, such as the call system or the lighting system. For example, the light comes on automatically when the person moves in a corresponding direction. By recognizing foreign movement patterns, the SensFloor is also a smart alarm system that detects intruders.

Price: approx. 100 euros / square meter

7. Duravit SensoWash as a smart shower toilet

Personal hygiene is an important point in Ambient Assisted Living, because it is becoming increasingly difficult for many seniors in everyday life. A barrier-free toilet is extremely important so that the honor and dignity of the elderly is preserved. The SensoWash shower toilet takes the necessary steps off the elderly and ensures cleanliness. It is a combination of toilet and bidet and therefore also suitable for people who can no longer stand safely. The innovative shower toilet includes:

  • Bluetooth connection
  • Seat sensor
  • Warm air dryer
  • Heated seats
  • Night light: illuminated indoor pool
  • Descaling function

The SensoWash shower toilet can be easily controlled by remote control. Individual settings are saved in user profiles. The design is discreet and of high quality, which means that the toilet in the bathroom is no more noticeable than any other.

Rating: no rating available

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8. MyHome Axolute as a central switch

Home automation, i.e. the central switching off of all electrical devices next to the front door, is standard in modern smart homes. Such a subsequent installation is a great relief for the elderly in everyday life. With just one hand, you can be sure that every connected device is safely switched off. In addition, different sceneries can be saved: When the resident comes back to his house, he can automatically have the way to the kitchen, bathroom or bedroom illuminated. In these scenes, other devices, such as heating, a kettle or an electric blanket, can also be connected, which take further action off the elderly.

9. Philips Hue lighting system

Many elderly injuries actually come from stumbling. One reason for this is often the diminishing view, especially in unclear lighting conditions. With its Hue lighting system, Philips has developed many useful products for the smart home that are easy to install and suitably illuminate everyday life at any time of the day. Depending on the activity, the light scenes can be set with an app and operated via voice control, for example via Amazon Alexa. Smart motion sensors also complement the system. Small spots in cupboards and shelves provide an overview and maintain independence. Transitions and stairs can be indirectly illuminated with an elongated LightStrip so that trip hazards are always visible.

Tip: A cheaper alternative is the TRADFRI system from IKEA. The functions of this system are constantly being expanded. However, the IKEA lighting system is less compatible with other smart home systems. So if you want to sensibly integrate the light into smart home scenes, for example coupled to the shading system, Philips Hue is recommended.

Rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars

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10. M-Guard emergency bracelet for seniors

An emergency bracelet is a useful gadget for elderly people living alone or with dementia. Up to five emergency contacts can be reached immediately at the push of a button. In the event of an alarm, the transmitter can be located in the wristband with an accuracy of 5 to 20 meters. The location can be viewed in the app. The geofencing function is particularly suitable for demented seniors: if the person leaves the specified radius, relatives receive a message on their smartphone.

Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars

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Further household support measures

Saugroboter
Saugroboter

With a vacuum robot, the floor stays clean, even if the resident is no longer physically fit.

Photo: iStock / Mlenny

Independence is extremely important for seniors. Many do not want to be dependent on outside help in the household either. If cleaning becomes difficult, vacuum cleaning robots regularly ensure that the floor is kept clean. A vacuum / wiper robot wipes even wet afterwards. If you love your garden, but can no longer mow the lawn, a robotic lawnmower and a smart irrigation system are sensible purchases.

Tip: When buying smart home devices for seniors, make sure that they have voice control. This often makes the decisive difference whether the system is used with pleasure by the resident or is only tentatively tested.

AAL companies help to set up age-appropriate systems

Those who cannot set up the AAL system themselves with those affected or who would like advice on the current options should contact specialized AAL service providers who create concepts, carry out installations, set up apps and train residents in using smart technology.

Conclusion on Ambient Assisted Living: Living independently for a long time in your own four walls

For seniors, living in their own home is a central element of quality of life. Smart products protect seniors from the unwanted step into an old people's home or assisted living situation. An age-appropriate smart home gives you a lifetime in your own four walls and at the same time a feeling of security among seniors and their relatives.

However, the market is still in the expansion phase: if accessibility has been a matter of course for a long time, security systems, remote monitoring and smart emergency systems for seniors can only be found occasionally and are therefore sometimes very cost-intensive.

Marion Rohwedder

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