As a caregiver, you want the best possible quality of life for your loved one. You want them to be safe, comfortable and enjoy their home life. Well, home automation can be a help for family caregivers, helping you have more peace of mind knowing they are doing just that.
In a previous article, we discussed how home automation and aging in place are a perfect match. Obviously, no technology can take the place of human interaction. However, it can help them have a more enjoyable, safe and independent life.
What home automation can provide to your loved one
The primary concern for any caregiver is going to be knowing that their loved one is safe and healthy. This peace of mind is irreplaceable and something that home automation can help provide. Home automation also can help increase a person’s independence, which will contribute to how they feel about their quality of life.
Home automation can contribute to their daily lives in a variety of ways. It can increase physical safety through the use of sensors, cameras and an integrated security system. It also can tell lights to come at night to light the way to bathroom or in response to other events.
Automation also can help your loved one feel more comfortable and enjoy his home more by turning on the heat and starting the coffee pot just before waking or having lights or music come on or go off automatically when they enter or leave a room. Automated lights and heat also can help significantly reduce energy expenses.
Through the use of sensors on beds, appliances, cabinets or other items in the home, the system can provide indicators of appropriate personal care. These indicators can help you, as a loved one, identify patterns that may indicate illness or safety concerns, which could help you stave off a serious situation.
Obviously, home automation is not a replacement for human interaction, but it can help a person and help you as a caregiver ensure everything is OK with them.
A return on your investment
If you are helping to care for an older relative or you are trying to get ahead of the curve to build a plan for yourself, you need to know that right now home automation could be a good investment.
Home automation technology has advanced so quickly in the last couple of years that prices have dropped significantly. And, since there are so many different choices of hardware (priced comparably), you can essentially build a system with only the functionality you want. Instead, of getting a bundled system from a major manufacturer. Of course, that also means you only pay for the related services you need (security monitoring, emergency monitoring, etc.) All of those together can significantly reduce the cost of owning the system.
New “hub” hardware that has hit the market in the last year makes it even easier to setup and maintain a home automation system. Essentially, these hubs will control a wide variety of other devices from many different manufacturers. That means you are no longer tied down to a proprietary system. You can have less worry about setting the system up or keeping it working. These hubs are as close to set-it-and-forget-it as home automation has ever been.
It boils down to peace of mind
Using home automation technology is one part of an overall plan for aging in place, whether it be yours or a loved one’s.
At the heart of it, home automation for aging in place is about peace of mind. For the individual at home, their personal safety and lifestyle. For an adult child caring for an older parent, it is the same. Knowing that there are mechanisms in place to help them be more independent while still being kept safe is pretty darn good.