Technology and the ease of living

Believe it or not, technology could be the key to allowing elderly people to remain living in their own homes for longer.

Older people want to remain in their own homes as long as possible to preserve their independence and community connections. An important part of achieve this daily tasks such as cleaning, laundry and security are maintained.

High Home automation, otherwise referred to as ‘assistive domotics’ or ‘smart homes’, uses technology to have housework or household activities completed automatically, with little or no assistance by any persons in the home. This could introduce an entirely new standard of living for the elderly — providing a home that is easily maintained, comfortable and safe.

What is home automation?

Essentially, home automation is a way to make things happen in the home without need for continued input or supervision.

The system is capable of opening the garage door when you enter the driveway, of turning on lights automatically when it senses someone enter a room at night, of providing a video feed of the front door when the doorbell rings, and of sending notifications for urgent assistance if it senses that a person did not get out of bed by a certain time.

The services of home automation can be modified to suit the needs of the resident, but with always one central goal — ensuring a high quality of life for the home dwellers.

How does it work?

Smart homes work under these basic components:

  • The controller — the central brain of the home automation system. This is where all information is stored and controlled.
  • The devices — these are the things within the home that are controlled by your system, like lights, security systems, doors, curtains, air conditioning, television, and so forth. The devices communicate through their own network, so only devices specifically designed to work with the system can be used.
  • The interface — the control centre from which you can interact with the system. This could be a keypad, a smartphone, a tablet or a television.
  • The network — this is where all the devices on your system can communicate with the controller.

The benefits of home automation

Smart homes can accomplish a wide range of tasks, and this is sure to improve further in the years to come.

When it comes to health care, home automation can provide remote monitoring, medication reminders, daily medical testing, and remote medical consultations, reducing the costs that might otherwise be faced in having these tasks performed by hired workers.

Smart homes could also increase home safety, with added security, lighting, and fall prevention services. The system can also raise an alarm if a stove is left on, doors are left unlocked, or it senses another risk to personal safety.
Home automation can also serve as a communication link, allowing elderly residents to benefit from long distance caregiving. They can thus maintain relationships and feel more connected to the world, all through the comfort of their own home.
Home Nursing Group believes the technology of home automation will continue to grow and develop, will become more affordable, and become a social norm in the near future. Smart homes could offer a new standard of living for elderly people, allowing them the choice to continue leading their lives wherever they please for as long as they are able.


Other technologies

Of course, they are many other technological advances already readily available that aim to improve the ease of home living.

Devices like the ‘Roomba’ (an automatic, remote vacuum cleaner) and the ‘Scooba’ (a floor scrubbing robot) allow for basic cleaning to be done at the press of a button.

Peace of mind can be offered to family members through technology like ‘Lively’, which uses small sensors placed throughout the home to detect when someone is taking medications, preparing food, leaving the house and so on. This information is sent remotely to the Lively website, which can be monitored by family members or caregivers. A change in habit or lack of activity can be immediately noted through the site, and help provided if needed.

Meanwhile, personal emergency response systems, or PERS, are highly effective as medical alert devices. A simple button is worn around the person’s neck or wrist, so should they suffer a fall, find themselves in any kind of pain, or feel threatened by a situation, they can send out an SOS and receive help quickly.

Everyone deserves the dignity of living their lives in a place of their choosing. In our modern world, we are fortunate to witness great technological advances that benefit many people, and will ideally provide seniors with the home comforts they deserve. Over the coming months, Home Nursing Group will be developing affordable home technology packages to give our customers even more choice and control over their everyday lives, and the care and support they receive from us.