The Role of Technology in Enhancing Home Safety for Seniors

As your loved ones age, they may become vulnerable to health and safety issues, even in their own home. If they are at risk of a fall or other in-home dangers but aren’t yet ready for an assisted living facility, you can take preventive measures to enhance the safety of their home.

A home safety evaluation can uncover hidden dangers and offer professional recommendations for improving home safety. Hiring an in-home care aide can provide your loved one with companionship, assistance with the tasks of daily living, and transportation to medical and social appointments.

Technology is also playing a much greater role in home safety these days, especially for people who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Let’s take a look at the role of technology in enhancing home safety for seniors.

 Wearable Health Devices and Trackers

Wearable health devices like Fitbits and smartwatches can monitor seniors’ health. The information can even be accessed remotely so that you and your loved one’s physician can review the data.

These devices can monitor vital signs, detect falls, remind the wearer to take medication and track their activity throughout the day and their sleep patterns at night. Some devices can notify loved ones if they detect irregularities in heart rate, oxygen levels, or activity.

 Remote Monitoring Systems

Remote monitoring systems like security cameras, video doorbells, and sensors allow family members to keep an eye on a loved one, even if they live in a different city or state.

Some tech companies have designed sensors that can be installed under a bed and provide notifications if a senior gets up during the night. Other sensors can let you know if a loved one leaves the home, which is a crucial warning for people who have a loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia and is prone to wandering.

Installing a remote monitoring system can also act as a lifeline and alert family or law enforcement if there are warning signs of a fall, illness, or other safety issue.

 Video and Telehealth Services

Not all seniors are able to get to doctor’s appointments easily. Since the pandemic, healthcare providers have significantly expanded their video and telehealth services, making it much easier for people with limited mobility or who don’t have reliable access to transportation to attend doctor’s visits.

Signing your loved one up for telehealth services will give them access to doctor’s visits and professional medical services from the comfort of their own home.

They can schedule a video conference or telephone call to ask health questions, get a checkup, request a medication refill, or get professional advice about specific symptoms. Many mental health professionals also now offer telehealth services as well, which can help your loved one avoid depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other common mental health issues that seniors face.

Remote Patient Care

Even if you have hired a senior care specialist for in-home care, your loved one may still need additional care from a medical professional. If your loved one has a serious health issue, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia, or is recovering from surgery, illness, or injury, they may benefit from remote patient monitoring.

Remote patient monitoring connects your loved one to their physician through a wearable device that transmits vital signs. Other devices include electronic tattoos or bio-ingestible capsules that can be swallowed.

Combining this technology with video conference and telehealth services will allow your loved one’s physician to stay on top of their recovery or the progression of their illness or condition.

 Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology and automation can increase your loved one’s safety at home as well as enhance their convenience and quality of life.

For people with limited mobility or who are wheelchair-bound, using voice-activated devices makes it easier to adjust lighting, temperature, and home security systems to their needs.

Smart home systems can also allow them to see who is at their door when the doorbell rings and can provide alerts to family members if the alarm system or fire alarm is triggered or if there is a suspected break-in.

Virtual Home Visits

Another technological advancement that has taken off since the pandemic is the ability to schedule a virtual visit with a friend or loved one.

Whether you live in the same city or in a different country, you can check in on your elderly loved one at home through a video call through Facetime, Skype, WhatsApp, Google, or other apps or devices. Social connection can help your loved one stay safe physically and mentally.

By checking in with your loved one, even if it is by phone or video call, you can provide support and companionship and help them avoid isolation and depression.

Fall Detection Sensors

Elderly people are at a much higher risk of falls and injuries in the home. A fall detection sensor is a smart device that is worn around the neck or on the clothing.

The device monitors for signs of a fall and also allows the wearer to request help at the press of a button. Family members or a monitoring company can request emergency services if they suspect a fall.

The devices track orientation, sway, and surface impact and are relatively affordable, even when you factor in monthly fees for monitoring services.

 Smart Medicine Dispensers

A smart medication dispenser can be programmed to dispense specific doses of specific medication at specific times of day. If your loved one needs Alzheimer’s care or dementia care, they may be at risk of forgetting to take their medication or accidentally double-dosing.

A medication dispenser is an electronic device that emits an alert when it is time to take medication. It only dispenses the appropriate dosage amount. If a dose is missed, it can alert family members or an in-home caregiver.

Schedule a Home Safety Evaluation in Southern Arizona Today

If you’re concerned about your loved one’s safety at home, our team at Placita In Home Care can help.

We offer free home safety evaluations in Tucson and the Phoenix metro area. During your evaluation, one of our professionals will go through a comprehensive home safety checklist and assess the interior and exterior of the home to check for hidden safety dangers. We will then provide a report outlining our professional recommendations to mitigate safety risks and improve safety in the home.

We can even refer you to a local handyman service to get safety issues fixed and install safety features like grab bars. We also offer flexible, high-quality in-home care services, including Alzheimer’s care and memory care services.

Our experienced, compassionate caregivers provide assistance with the tasks of daily living and can provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, companionship, and comfort and safety. If your loved one is ready to transition into an assisted living facility, we offer free assisted living placement services.

To schedule a home safety evaluation in the Tucson or Phoenix metro area, call us today or fill out our contact form online.