Almost all of us have at least one member of the family who is elderly and needs special care.
From proper medication on time to safe usage of the washroom, elderly safety is something that needs to be given special attention. While it is easier to let them stay in an elderly home with dedicated caregivers, majority of the seniors still prefer living in the comfort of their own homes.
Recent technological advancements have made it possible for you to let the seniors live in the comfort of their own homes without you worrying much about their safety. Though conditions can never be foolproof as far as elderly safety is concerned, we can say that innovative and newly developed smart home devices have made living much safer.
There are a large number of these smart devices for the elderly. But not all of them will be needed. For example: while a particular device can be very useful if an elderly family member is living alone, that same device won’t be of much use if your elderly parents are living with you.
In this post, I’ve rounded up 12 types of home safety devices for seniors that can be very useful for the safety and safe living of your elderly folks.
Automatic Pill Dispenser
One big challenge that my mother faces is remembering to eat her medicines on time.
Now this isn’t a one-off problem. I’ve noticed it among other elderly people as well. It becomes a MAJOR problem if they’re suffering from a serious disease and keep forgetting to eat their medicines on time.
Upon doing some research for finding a solution to this problem, I came across a unique type of product: The Automatic Pill Dispenser. Here’s how they work.
An alarm will signal the patient that it’s time to take the medicine. The patient then has to lift the device and rotate the dispenser to let the pills fall into a cup or open hand.
This automatic pill dispenser is easy to set-up and fill. Simply load up to 20 tablets in the compartment tray. Program the unit to dispense medications up to six times daily.
What makes this smart device impressive is that it sends you an email or text message if the medicines haven’t been taken within one hour of the scheduled time. This feature helps you track the dosage adherence of your elderly loved ones.
The only downside I found was the price which can be expensive especially if you’re looking to buy a set of home safety devices. But if you’ve got the budget, it can be a pretty good investment.
Electric Bidet Toilet Seats
If your elderly folks have mobility problems, it can become quite a challenge to clean up properly after using the toilet. Stiff arms and shoulders can make it difficult to properly wipe off with the help of toilet paper.
One way of tackling this problem is using electric bidet seats in the toilet. Some specially built electric bidet toilet seats help the seniors wash with ease. All they need to do is simply push a button and enjoy different features, such as a heated toilet seat and customized wash settings.
There are different Swash bidet toilet seat models available from Brondell, one of the leading smart toilet seat makers and some of the best models are:
⦁ Swash 1400: This particular model offers solid stainless steel nozzles to offer a hygienic wash. It features a warm dryer with four temperature settings to reduce the need for toilet paper.
⦁ Swash SE600: This is an advanced bidet seat model that offers a single stainless steel nozzle, massage spray, and a deodorizer.
Smart Home Security Cameras
Home security cameras are a must these days not only for the elderly but also for the rest of us.
One of the best ways to prevent a break-in is to have a good network of cameras fitted outside. These cameras record all movement outside the house in real-time which can also be viewed later as a recording.
But in this section, I will not be talking about these security cameras fitted outside the house. I will be talking about a smart home security camera that is placed inside. A device that can be used to record the activity of your elderly loved ones as well as to detect the sound of alarms and nighttime movement – The Wyze Cam.
The Wyze Cam is a smart home camera that monitors the activities of your elderly loved ones whenever you’re away. You’ll get alerts whenever the camera senses any movement. The footage is automatically stored for future viewing.
This smart home camera features a speakerphone that allows the seniors to chat with you anytime. It shoots a 1080p full HD live stream directly to your smartphone so you can see the footage with great clarity in real-time. You can also see the footage recorded in the dark at night, thanks to its night vision feature that has a range of up to 30 feet.
When you’re worried, you can ask Alexa to show your grandma’s room. This smart camera can detect the sound of smoke alarms so you’ll get alerted when these particular emergencies happen.
Medical Alert System
A medical alert system such as the Medical Guardian is another safety device specially designed for senior citizens. This smart device allows the seniors to speak with a highly-certified emergency operator to request emergency services. All they need to do is simply press the medical alert button.
This device should be always worn around the wrist, neck, or belt area. It’s waterproof so you can even wear it in the shower. You can always expect to get immediate help because the emergency operators are available 24/7.
Some other features include regular reminders and alerts that you can set, LED display screen, protection from power outage and no requirement of a landline telephone connection to call the operator. It works on the AT&T cellular network.
The medical guardian can be worn on the wrist. Hence wherever your elderly loved one is and whatever problem they’re facing, this device can be a lifesaver.
Automatic Stove Shut Off
One of the most common causes of fire erupting in the house is forgetting to turn off the stove. If your aging loved ones are already forgetful, make sure you reduce the risk of a fire or gas leak by installing an automatic stove shut off the device.
An automatic stove shut off device comes with a control panel that’s designed with a motion sensor, appliance switch, and a linking wire. This device automatically shuts the stove off when it doesn’t detect any motion for five minutes near the control panel.
Five minutes is the default delay time but sometimes it can be too short a period to be a cause of alarm. There may be times when you are boiling milk or cooking on a low flame. For such times, there might not be a need for you to be near the stove.
There is an option to change it up to 30 minutes in the Administrator Key. Though for safety purposes, it’s advised to set the auto time no longer than 10 minutes.
One of the most popular brands today in the market with a sturdy build is the CookStop Automatic Stove Shut Off.
Remote Heart Monitors
People in their twilight years can often have heart-related problems. To keep a track of their heart rate and related health, you can use a remote heart monitor. Such a device can be integrated with a smartwatch or can be used by holding it with the two hands on the sensors. also includes other functions such as detecting changes in the body temperature, recording activity during the day among others. These devices are lightweight and hence can be worn all day long.
Some smartwatches manufactured by Apple come with an electrical heart sensor that can produce an electrocardiogram or ECG anytime. The ECG results can be forwarded to your designated doctor to interpret the results.
EMAY Portable EKG is another reliable heart monitoring system. It is an unobtrusive wireless device that records significant changes in the body, such as heart rate, heart rhythm and can also generate ECG reports. The data can be stored as a pdf report or can be emailed to your doctor.
Bending down and performing daily chores is already cruel to the joints of senior citizens. If they’re not careful, they can sprain their back when sweeping the floor or worse, stumble on an object on the floor while cleaning.
For their safety and convenience, it is advisable to seek assistance. Not always can you get a maid or a helper to help clean the floor. Moreover hiring help, again and again, can prove costly. Hence it might be a good idea to make a one-time investment and get them a smart robot vacuum that can do all the floor cleaning without the supervision of a human being.
The Roomba is the most popular robot vacuum products out there. This device is ideal for cleaning carpets, hard floors, and pet hair. It’s designed with Dirt Detect sensors to clean harder on focused areas of dirt. The full suite of sensors allows the robot vacuum to move around objects and under the furniture for more thorough cleaning.
Some robot vacuum cleaners, like the Roborock E20, can be controlled through an app. You can schedule, charge, and control the movement of the vacuum cleaner. All you need is an Android or IOS compatible device and Wi-Fi.
You might be wondering what AI-based voice assistants have to do with elderly safety.
Seniors who have mobility or even vision problems can truly appreciate the utility of artificial intelligence-based voice assistants. These voice assistants are available in tiny packages and can perform different tasks with your simple command – some of them are essential tasks like turning on/off the lights, activating AI-based security systems and answering basic queries like time, weather and date.
Here are some of the most popular voice assistants out there:
⦁ Siri: This is the first voice assistant that became popular and activates with a simple “Hey Siri” greeting. This smartphone-based voice assistant can make calendar schedules, dial calls, answer queries, send messages, etc.
⦁ Google Now: Google Now is to Android what Siri is to iOS. It is activated by a simple phrase – “OK Google”. This voice assistant can do what Siri can do, such as send messages, set timers, and set reminders.
⦁ Amazon Alexa Echo: This is a speaker-based voice assistant device which can control all smart devices in your home. It can change the thermostat settings, control the lights, and show the front door camera.
⦁ Google Home: This is quite similar to Amazon Alexa as it can control any smart devices in your home. It can control your thermostat settings, lights, plugs, and more. It can help you show your security camera on your television.
Elderly people can feel the need to go to the washroom more frequently. Since they have to take medicines multiple times during the day, they can feel the urge to go to the washroom more frequently. The problem arises at night when it is dark. They can be at risk of colliding with furniture or tripping on something.
This is where smart lighting can be of great help. Installing smart lighting in the house can be a very good decision. Smart bulbs can operate in two different ways.
- These smart lights sense motion and are switched ON/OFF whenever a person enters or leaves their area of influence. This is particularly useful when it is dark and reaching the light switch in the dark can be a problem.
- Light bulbs can also be activated through voice commands. If the light switch is away from you and the light bulb is voice-activated, you can switch it ON without getting up from your bed.
These two types of smart lighting can minimize the risk of accidental falls and collisions in the dark and hence are very handy.
One such smart bulb that is activated with a simple voice command from Alexa is the Philips Hue. Not only can you switch it ON with voice, but you can also control the brightness of the bulb.
If your elderly loved ones live alone or are left behind at home while you’re at your job, you must take extra precautions to reduce the risk of a fire. While you might have already made the best efforts to ensure that your home is fire-proof, one careless mistake can increase the risk substantially.
The first sign of a fire is the formation of smoke. To keep your aging loved ones safe from the ill effects of smoke and potential fire, it is a good decision to install a smart smoke detector at home. This smoke detector rings an alarm when it senses carbon monoxide or rising smoke.
One of the best smoke detectors out there is the First Alert Smoke Detector. This device is built with carbon monoxide sensing technology and a photoelectric sensor to detect any harmful smoke in your home. The alarm is loud enough to hear even for those with hearing problems.
Nothing beats the comfort and convenience of living in your own house. There are seniors who don’t like to stay in old-age homes and prefer living in their own homes. To ensure their safe and secure living, some of these smart safety devices can be used as and when required. Some of them might be expensive but given the security and independence they offer to your elders, I’d say they’re worth it.
So what do you think of these smart safety devices for seniors? Are there any other devices you’re aware of?
Do let us know in the comments below!