Voice-controlled lighting and heatingIf you are struggling with mobility in your later years, making sure that you are able-bodied enough to be able to control the temperatures of your home (especially in the cold, winter months) or the lighting can pose somewhat of a challenge. However, the invention of thermostats that can allow you to control heating or lighting in all parts of the house through voice control (or a hands-free remote control) or a touchscreen, could help pensioners to remain independent. There are a number of retails who sell these bundles through Amazon or Nest for example, and cost between £200 – £450.
Connected homesSmart technology has developed so much in recent years that it is now possible for the elderly or those who struggle with limited mobility to have installed a central control system. This allows the users to control through a smartphone remote any objects or switches in their home, wherever they are located. It can also remember where things are and help people to obtain items they are having difficulty reaching, and has home security features in place through controlling locks and access. Such control systems help people to remain autonomous and happy living at home, with the exact price depending on your individual circumstances and what you require from one of the systems.
Smart fridgesYes, it is possible to have a fridge that uses smart technology! This kind of freezer allows you to keep food fresher than in a normal fridge and can help you in a number of ways through the use of a touchscreen device, costing between £3,000 to £6,500.
- See what is in the fridge through using a remote
- Help you to keep track of expiry dates
- Helps to monitor amount of food you have
- Can re-order shopping by connecting online with your preferred supermarket
Robot vacuum cleaners and lawnmowersCleaning in your later years can become a difficult task when you may be struggling with mobility as there is often a lot of activity involved with cleaning, cutting grass or dusting, where you may need to do lots of kneeling, crouching, bending as well as walking. Nevertheless, there are a number of inventions that tackle this exact problem head-on, allowing you to take a step back, and still be able to enjoy living in your home, clean and tidy. The majority of robot vacuum cleaners or lawnmowers can be controlled remotely through the use of a smartphone, and you can also set it different programmes so that the cleaning product can follow it using its in-built sensor and camera. For a robot vacuum cleaner, expect to pay between £80 and £850. When it comes to robot lawnmowers, they cost from £700 up to £2,800.
Medication management systemsIf you need to take multiple medications each and every day, it can be difficult to keep a track of them all, especially in our older years where we may be suffering from a greater deal of memory impairment. Nevertheless, technology has been developed to help you manage your medication. For example, there are a number of apps available online that are specifically designed so that they can give people reminders as to the medication they need to take.
Telecare systemsTelecare systems involve sensors that are installed in the elderly person’s home, that alert a carer or call centre in the event there is a problem such as fire, floods, gas leaks, inactivity, or a fall. What’s more, each telecare system can be tailored to meet the person’s individual circumstances, and are frequently used for people who suffer from dementia. There are a number of different sensors that can be installed by a telecare services team, this includes:
- Hypothermia alert
- Incontinence alert
- Flood detector
- Gas detector
- Door opening sensors
- Medication dispensers
- Fall detectors
- Chair occupancy sensors
- Bed sensors
- After the alarm has been triggered, the operator will look at the agreed procedure to follow base on the sensor which has gone off in the property
- The course of action next will differ, e.g. if a flood detector has been signalled in a bathroom, then it may be the case that the call centre operator will call the person in the property directly to see if they are aware a bath or sink is overflowing, through the loudspeaker that is installed in the telecare system in the property, if further assistance is needed, a relative or neighbour may be called
- Whereas if it was a scenario where the smoke detector had gone off, the first port of call will be likely to call the local fire station