As parents and grandparents get older, it’s so important to prioritize their wellbeing and make sure they’re safe, happy, and taken care of.
Of course, this can be difficult to do – especially if you live in a different city or even state!
Enter: smart home technology.
While you may not be able to always help in-person, there are tons of new devices that can address many common challenges of aging, helping seniors stay safer and healthier in their homes.
To help you get started, we’ve rounded up 8 smart home devices that can help make life better (and safer!) for your aging parents and loved ones:
Tech Roundup #1: Notion the Activity Monitor
It’s so important that aging parents feel safe and comfortable in their home. But as they get older, even small tasks like unloading the dishwasher can pose a challenge – or even a danger.
That’s why more and more Americans are relying on smart self-monitoring tools like Notion to monitor their loved one’s homes in a non-invasive way.
Notion sensors can be used in so many different ways: they can be placed on medicine cabinets and refrigerators to keep track of how often they’re being opened, near bathtubs and water-based appliances to be alerted when there’s a leak or near thermostats to detect any changes in temperature
They can also be placed on doors and windows to monitor who’s coming and going, which can be especially helpful for those with parents who have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.
To learn more, check out our guide on how Notion can help monitor aging parents in the home.
Tech Roundup #2: ElliQ the Robot Companion
Social isolation and loneliness in seniors is a major risk factor for depression and other health issues.
While it’s very important to address any underlying causes of loneliness, technology can also help – like ElliQ, a digital companion aimed at keeping older adults sharp, connected, and engaged.
ElliQ is described as a “friendly, intelligent, inquisitive presence in older adults’ daily lives.” The social robot can offer tips and advice, respond to questions, surprise them with suggestions, and a lot more!
Design-wise, ElliQ is very sleek and futuristic looking. It’s equipped with a touch screen and a voice-enabled home assistant to make life for seniors easier.
Like other voice-activated virtual assistants (like Alexa and Google Home), you can ask ElliQ questions, get reminders, and bonus: you can even play bridge with it! It really is the closest thing to a real-life companion.
Tech Roundup #3: Jiobit the GPS Tracker
While it might seem slightly invasive, the Jiobit GPS tracker can be very helpful for seniors with Alzheimer's disease or dementia and are prone to wandering. It’s a small, lightweight gadget that can track real-time locations.
Our favorite Jiobit feature is its "geo-fence" alert, which alerts caregivers or family members when the GPS tracker is taken outside a designated area.
It holds a week’s worth battery and has unlimited range, which is an excellent feature given that many of its competitors only track up to 100 feet. The device can be used all over the world and is available in all 50 states!
Jiobit’s GPS tracker starts at $99.99 for the device and $8.99/month for their monthly subscription (with a 2-year commitment).
Tech Roundup #4: Amazon Echo and Alexa
Voice-controlled assistants like Amazon Echo and Alexa aren’t anything new, but they shouldn’t be overlooked!
They can be excellent tools to remind aging parents about taking their medication, turning on the lights, and so much more. Plus, they’re super easy to install and use!
Another benefit is that many of these devices can also be managed by family members! So you can ask Alexa if your parents or grandparents have taken their medication, if they went to their doctor's appointment, and more – all from the comfort of your home.
The Amazon Echo starts at $99.99.
Tech Roundup #5: Papa the On-demand Assistant
It’s so important that seniors get help with the little things: a drive to the doctor, running errands, or something as simple as watching a movie – but this isn’t always easy.
Thankfully, the mobile app, Papa, can help. It connects seniors with college students for companionship and assistance with everyday tasks.
Papa works as an on-demand assistant service to help people and their families stay independent while living at home. It’s not only an effective tool to combat loneliness, but it can be very helpful for families to know that their loved one is in good hands.
Once an elderly person makes a profile, they are matched with a student that goes through a background check.
They can be booked for an hour or for the full day and charge $20 per hour – $12 to the students and $8 to the company.
Tech Roundup #6: Honor the Professional Care Network
Finding the right person to care for your loved one can be a stressful process!
There’s no doubt that you want your caregiver to be professional, thoughtful, experienced, and friendly. But where do you even start? And how do you ensure the quality of your caregivers?
Luckily, the home care network, Honor, is making finding this important person a little easier!
They operate as both a network of registered professionals, helping families find reliable caregivers they love, and a technology platform.
On the technology side, the Honor Family App allows families to communicate with their caregiver from anywhere in the world. And each day, the caregiver will update the family with notes on what happened that day.
This makes it a lot easier for families to keep up to date with their aging loved ones.
In addition, Honor’s Care Team provides 24/7 support so that there’s always someone to help out if needed.
Tech Roundup #7: Ageless Innovation the Life-like Pet
If your elderly loved one isn’t quite ready for a robot, Ageless Innovation has created life-like furry companion pets that could do the trick!
As our elderly loved ones get older, they can often become forgetful and the responsibility of owning a real pet can become overwhelming. So a furry companion by Ageless Innovation is the next best thing!
They come in three different models: a cat, kitten, and puppy. They all include built-in sensors that respond to motion and touch. They have life-like coats and heartbeats that respond to your calming touch.
These furry friends start at $64.99.
Tech Roundup #8: TrueLoo the Toilet Seat Scanner
Brought to you by Toi Labs, the TrueLoo is a toilet seat that addresses chronic lower digestive and urinary conditions common in senior populations.
If these conditions are left untreated, they can lead to chronic health problems that could require ER visits and hospitalization.
The TrueLoo works by scanning the toilet bowl to examine the size, consistency, color, frequency and shape of the excreta.
The great thing about the TrueLoo is that it can be installed in only a few minutes and doesn't require any change in behavior.
Thanks for reading! We hope you come away with a few new ideas for keeping your aging parents safe and comfortable in their home.