Home Automation Features That Support Caregiving



 
If you’re wondering what home automation features could actually support you in your caregiving role, then you’re in for a treat. In this article, we’re covering home automation that can not only help you’re loved on stay at home longer (say, an aging parent), but also help you rest a little easier.

I’ve been writing about home automation and aging in place for a while now. And, I’m here to tell you, home automation might be the technology to help family caregivers get some peace of mind.

I get asked regularly how home automation can actually help people. Well, the home automation features possible today can not only make your home life more enjoyable, but also help you care for a loved one. Some of the benefits of a home automation system for caregivers include being able to know that your loved one is safe at home, knowing that the things that should be happening are and saving money on electricity.

So, let’s get to some of the home automation features you could actually help you as a caregiver. (To be completely honest, most of these are things we could all use.)

Home automation features for caregivers

Home automation features that support caregivingDoor and window alerts – Get text messages or emails when doors or windows are opened. Also works for the garage door. (Yeah, we’ve all done that.) A great security feature, but also helpful for families caring for older parent that may “wander”.

Automatic lights – During the day, lights come on automatically when you enter a room. Each room can be customized to the appropriate amount of light. At night, lights can come on at a reduced intensity to light the way to the bathroom or to the midnight snack.

The perfect temperature – Smart thermostats can save money on electricity, ensure a constant, comfortable temperature during any season and can be controlled easily in-home or remotely.

Automatic door locks and openers – Doors are unlocked automatically when the key fob or smartphone is in proximity. No more keys to turn. You can also install motorized door openers, which will automatically open the door

Curtains and shades – Stop reaching to open curtains or shades with motorized window coverings. Open and close at specified times. That’s simple.

Go to bed mode – The system “puts the house to sleep” … at the set time it adjusts to preferred temperature, turns off main lights, locks doors, arms security system and can send a text message or email to let loved ones know.

Activity monitors – Get text messages and emails when something does (or, does not) happen. You can get a text message if a refrigerator or medicine cabinet is not opened during the day or an email if the automatic night lights come on more than once at night.

Appliances that turn on or shut-off automatically – Many appliances can be made to turn on or off automatically if they are left on. For instance, set your coffee pot to turn off at a certain time or make sure lights are turned off if no one has been in the room for 5 minutes.

Freeze or flood – Not only can you be alerted if you have a freeze or a flood, but you can have the system automatically turn off the water if it does.

See who is at the door Video doorbells that send video to your smartphone or TV can help make sure people are safe at home.

Home security – Speaking of security, keeping your home and family safe is a natural extension of a home automation system. Alarms, sensors, lights and notifications can all be used to secure your home.

These and many other home automation features are possible … it’s only limited by your imagination. (Or, that of your installer.)

Easy on your life, too

No one wants to spend all their time messing with something; you just want it to work. And, when you do have to do something, you want it to be easy.

All of these home automation features can be easily controlled from your tablet, smartphone or system control panel. And, it can be controlled from anywhere by a you, to give you a little peace of mind. (Depending on the system you get.)

The home automation features available today are miles beyond what you could get just a few short years ago. I believe home automation is ready to start using as a support tool for older people and their families. For those ready to take that step, I think you’ll find that’s true.
 

What do you think? Can you see how home automation can help you care for your loved one?

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Mark Hager About Mark Hager

By Mark Hager
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Mark Hager is an aging in place thought leader and advocate. He is the founder of AgeInPlace.com, CEO of Age in Place Networks, a leading authority in the aging in place niche and a trusted voice for both consumers and business owners serving older consumers. Over the years, Mark has provided help for thousands of consumers, organizations and small businesses.

Comments

  1. How can i automate lighting system using voice control?

    • Mark Hager Mark Hager says:

      That’s actually a complicated question, since I don’t know anything about what kind of system you have (if you do) or what (if any) devices you have. However, I will do my best to answer it.

      Some home automation systems (such as CastleOS) have the capability to use voice command. If you already have a home automation system, you should probably do some research to see if it has that capability. If you don’t and this capability is important, do the research beforehand to make sure you understand how voice control is achieved. (It may be a lot of work if you are setting up the system yourself.)

      Now, even if you have a system already, there may be a way you can add this capability if you had a VeraLite controller. I read you could cobble together a solution using the VeraLite and various Android apps to get voice control working. (See http://kinkeadtech.com/2014/09/ok-google-turn-off-downstairs-lights.)

      Finally, I’ve seen devices like Homey (https://www.athom.nl/) that allow you to control many devices, including lights. These are probably a more affordable option than a typical home automation system and may let you do what you want for a fraction of the price.

      All that being said, I’m a home automation enthusiast and not a professional, so that is all opinion. I would advise you do good research before making a purchase so you know what to expect from whatever products you get.

      I hope that helps.

  2. We want to bring technology options to our company to offer to our clients.
    There seems to be so many different products available. Do you have any suggestions as to where would we would find the largest array of offerings
    while still keeping costs to our clients affordable

    • Mark Hager Mark Hager says:

      Ernest, that’s a question I get pretty frequently. Unfortunately, the answer isn’t simple. It really depends on what types of “technology options” you are interested in. I’m happy to give you an opinion and try to get you some direction if I can. Why not drop me a note at mark@ageinplace.com. We’ll setup a quick call to discuss.

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