Smart homes are growing in usefulness as more interlinking devices are created. With a little technical understanding, you can take full advantage of all that’s being developed to bring our homes into the future. A smart home system takes several monitors, gadgets, and even appliances, and links them together into a network blanketing your home.

When setting up smart home, you’ll need a hub, which connects your gadgets together, and a smartphone or tablet, to control and organize those devices. Another invaluable tool to your smart home network would be a voice-control device, like the Amazon Echo or Google Home. With one of these, you can easily control many of the smart home devices with your voice.

As we become more familiar with smart homes, we continue to find more ways our integrated devices can help us out. We’ve previously discussed how a smart home can keep you secure, but you can take it a step further. In the occurrence of an at-home emergency, your smart home can save you money and your life.

Home Monitoring

Similar to how a smart home can monitor your home for security threats, you can set up a series of devices to watch for non-human dangers.

Chief among these is a smoke detector. Smart fire alarms still detect smoke or signs of a fire, but do more than make that horrible, loud squeal. Along with loudly alerting you to smoke, the alarm will send a notification to your phone and any other device connected to the hub. If you go with a smart alarm, say goodbye to that annoying low battery chirp, since you can monitor many of these factors directly in the app. Other alarms will also watch for carbon monoxide or warn you of inclement weather. If you don’t want to change out your current smoke detection system, you can also set up an alarm listener, which is tuned to the smoke alarm’s frequency. When the alarm goes off, the listener is triggered, notifying you of the alarm.

Similar to how a smart home can monitor your home for security threats, you can set up a series of devices to watch for non-human dangers.

Flood and leak sensors are another big home monitoring category. This makes sense, since water damage costs Americans more than $10 billion each year. The sooner you’re aware of the leak or flooding, the sooner you can fix it, and the less water damage is done to your home. As soon as the devices detect a leak or moisture, you’ll receive an alert on your phone. For anyone who has ever had a leak in their home, you’ll understand the aggravation of going into your basement to find yourself ankle deep in water.

Emergency Help

Beyond keeping your home safe, smart tech can be used to keep you safe. Decades ago, Mrs. Fletcher famously called out that she’d fallen and couldn’t get up (the phrase has since become a trademark of Life Alert for your phone, you can also keep it simple by having your phone handy in case you need to make an emergency call.

In the age of the smartphone, the idea of carrying around a remote control seems almost quaint.

In many cases, these apps are similar to the services provided by Life Alert, Lifeline, or GreatCall. These devices give you access to agents who can arrange emergency services for you and are light enough to carry around with you anywhere. Another advantage they have is many (though not all) have GPS services built in, which can be helpful for seniors on the go.

For the trendier out there, smartwatches perform many of the tasks of a personal safety monitor and more. This is mostly an option for the more tech-savvy of our readers, but your smartwatch can make phone calls and track your GPS in case you need help — all while looking stylish.

This is also when owning a voice-control device can truly benefit your personal safety. Let’s say you’re at home in the kitchen, getting dinner ready. You’re making a delicious pasta dish, and you turn your back for a second, and the pasta begins to boil over. In a panic, you pull the pot off the heat, sloshing pasta water on the floor. You slip in the puddle, and with a crack, you’re on the ground. You struggle to get up, but find you can’t. You look around, but find that the house phone is on the table and your cell phone is in the living room. You’re stuck.

Just before you start to panic, though, you remember that you have a voice-control device like an Amazon Echo. Calmly, you say, “Alexa, call John.” The Echo makes a phone call to your son John, who you’re able to speak with through the Echo’s speaker. Since John works close by, he leaves work to come help you up and further evaluate your situation. Crisis averted!

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As the technology matures, the focus on how smart tech can assist seniors is coming into sharp focus. This reflects a promising future for both smart homes and the seniors who live in them. You should always feel safe in your home or on the go. As smart tech continues to develop, we’ll continue to find ways that it can help make that dream a reality.

Further Reading

Medicareful Living — Why a Smart Home is a Safe Home: Home Security
Medicareful Living — Why a Smart Home is a Safe Home: Health Monitoring