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Home Automation for Seniors: Safety, Security & Convenience

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Home Automation for Seniors: Safety, Security & Convenience
May 8, 2020
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Home Automation for Seniors: Safety, Security & Convenience

Smart home

security for seniors provides much more than protection against intruders

Utilizing home automation for seniors may be a novel concept, but it offers significant value to a large portion of the world’s population. The oldest members of the Baby Boomer generation are now in their mid-70s, and some are beginning to facing the challenges that we all must meet as we grow older. Our bodies get weaker, senses wane, and memories become less reliable. Some individuals are more likely to fall, mix up medications, or forget to eat regularly. It’s harder to move quickly, hear the doorbell or smoke alarm, and see where we’re going.

Luckily, lifestyle changes and advances in medical science mean that this generation of septuagenarians is healthier and will live longer than previous generations. Generally speaking, it’s easier for Baby Boomers to continue living in their own homes—with significant independence—than it was for their parents or grandparents.

Hiring round-the-clock care for aging loved ones can be expensive and is often unnecessary. But adult children may live far away or be too consumed with work and parenting demands to check on their parents as often as they would like. This poses a dilemma, even when seniors are in good health. Fortunately,  the new wave of smart home technology makes it easier for this generation to “age in place.”

Let’s look at the ways home automation for seniors make living independently safer, more convenient, and increasingly secure.

Seniors

are more comfortable using modern technology than many of us realize

Although many younger people think that elderly individuals haven’t embraced technology, studies show that this is not the case. According to the Pew Research Center, 73% of seniors over the age of 65 use the internet, and more than half own smartphones.

Some of the most innovative technology on the market today is designed to be full-featured but remarkable easy to use. Even retirees who balk at operating a desktop computer may enjoy using a touch-screen tablet or well-designed smartphone. And once they’re set up, many smart home devices can be controlled with nothing more than a voice command to a smart speaker.

Smart home

security for seniors combines the benefits of home automation with the security

of intrusion detection and 24/7 professional monitoring

Modern home security systems do much more than just sound an alarm if a burglar breaks into your home. System components are connected to a smart hub that not only notifies your professional monitoring service in an emergency, but also provides real-time notifications to users via email, text, and push notifications.

Smart system devices can be controlled remotely via an internet browser or a mobile app. This allows both seniors and their caregivers to manage things like locks, lights, thermostats, and more from the comfort of an armchair or an office across the country.

Wireless home security systems are simple to install and use. Many components are easily attached with double-sided adhesive or can be simply set on a shelf. Frontpoint’s systems arrive pre-programmed, with typical DIY installation times of around 30 minutes. Even elderly relatives who don’t want to be a burden or who recoil at the idea of allowing strangers into their home to install a security system are unlikely to balk at having a loved one spend half an hour setting up this type of package.

Picture of the Frontpoint Premium Indoor CameraPicture of the Frontpoint Premium Indoor Camera
Frontpoint’s Premium Indoor Camera combines true HD video, a Bluetooth speaker, and an echo-canceling microphone with digital pan and tilt and enhanced zoom capabilities.

Existing Frontpoint customers can add Premium Indoor Cameras to their accounts and install them in the homes of elderly relatives who don’t have or want their own home security systems. This makes it easy for adult children to regularly check on the well-being of an aging parent who feels overwhelmed by the idea of an entire smart system.

Doorbell cameras

and smart door locks provide convenience and home security for seniors

As hearing loss advances with increasing age, elderly individuals may not always hear the doorbell ring. They may also struggle to get to the door before impatient visitors decide no one’s home. Important guests may leave, and packages may remain on the doorstep for days—tempting bait for porch pirates.

Frontpoint’s Doorbell Camera provides instant push, text, or email notifications when someone approaches the front door, even if they don’t ring the bell. Motion-activated real-time video allows older adults to see who's there, and 15-second recorded video clips let them know who they've missed. Two-way audio even enables seniors to talk with unexpected visitors through the Frontpoint app without opening the front door. No need to allow access to potential burglars, risk falls rushing to get to the door in time, or miss essential package deliveries.

With Smart Door Locks, elderly adults can use Frontpoint’s mobile app or Keychain Remote to lock and unlock the door for trusted loved ones from the comfort of their favorite armchair, or the floor if they've fallen and are unable to rise. You can also create unique entry codes for family members, hired caregivers, and other in-home service providers.

Picture of stair lightsPicture of stair lights
Linking smart lighting to motion sensors effortlessly illuminates stairs, hallways, and rooms for older adults at risk of tripping or falling.

Smart

lighting systems present a wide range of benefits for retirees

Replacing basic light bulbs with Smart Light Bulbs or plugging lamps into Wireless Light Controls allows lighting to be adjusted remotely or programmed to turn on and off at certain times of day. Schedule porch lights, kitchen light fixtures, and living room lamps to turn on at dusk and turn off after seniors are in bed for the night. Lights can also be set to automatically operate in conjunction with Motion Sensors, lighting the way to the bathroom late at night, for instance. And elderly parents living alone may appreciate having a house that’s well-lit at night without having to go through the whole home turning lights on and off.

Creative use of smart lighting can also help seniors who struggle with memory loss or tend to lose track of time. Schedule smart lights to flash to remind seniors it’s time to take their medication or plug a radio into a wireless light control and program it to turn on as a pill reminder. Televisions and radios connected to wireless light controls can also be set to turn on just in time for your loved one’s favorite program—and turn off at a time when they’ve usually fallen asleep in front of the TV.

Smart

home devices are easy to manage for maximum safety and convenience

This on-demand lighting also helps conserve energy costs for seniors on a budget. Smart thermostats can be programmed to automatically adjust to the correct temperature, depending on the time of day and local weather. These devices are easily incorporated into Frontpoint’s smart security system.  

Home automation devices like smart locks, lights, and thermostats are a breeze to control with Frontpoint’s mobile app, Keychain Remote, or a voice command—when connected to virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, or Google Assistant. Even retirees who aren’t comfortable with computers or smartphones can easily say, "Alexa tell Frontpoint to turn down my lights” or “Hey Google, lock the front door.”

Frontpoint also enables smart devices to be incorporated into customized "scenes" that can be set to a timer or controlled manually through a mobile app by seniors or their caregivers. A “nighttime” scene might lock exterior doors, turn off a home’s lights, arm the security system, and lower the thermostat at 10 p.m. every night without forcing elderly folks to take care of these tasks room by room. Scenes can also be initiated verbally with connected smart speakers.

Smart

home security supplies a monitoring system for elderly individuals in the home

Many seniors wish to stay at home and maintain their independence as long as possible but are at odds with adult children who fear for their safety. A smart home security system can be designed to provide both aging individuals and their children the peace of mind required for many seniors to age in place.

Indoor security cameras, properly placed motion sensors and door/window sensors, environmental sensors, and panic pendants come together with 24/7 professional monitoring to ensure that elderly adults are as safe and secure as possible.

Indoor

security cameras allow family members to see and speak with elderly residents

for daily check-ins or in the event of a problem

With Frontpoint’s Indoor Cameras and Premium Indoor Cameras, adult children can check in on their aging loved ones at any time from anywhere using a computer, smartphone, or another mobile device. These cameras are motion-activated and provide real-time video as well as 15-second recorded video clips for viewing footage at your convenience.

This enables you to find out what’s going on if seniors aren’t answering their phone, see if alerts triggered by smart sensors require attention, and make sure hired caregivers are treating your loved ones properly. You can also use the two-way audio to quickly speak to elderly relatives and assure them that help is on the way in case of an emergency.

Frontpoint takes personal privacy seriously, using bank-grade encryption on all video feeds. Camera footage is never viewed by monitoring service personnel—it’s accessible to account users only. If you would like to make real-time video temporarily unavailable, cameras can also be put into privacy mode.

Door/window

sensors and motion sensors do more than sound the alarm in case of a home

invasion

Most people think of door/window sensors and motion sensors in the context of alerting homeowners to intruders. But they can also be used strategically to discretely ensure that older adults carry out their daily routines. Remote caregivers can receive notifications when sensors are triggered, keeping them up to date on their loved one’s movement and activities.

Picture of the Frontpoint Motion SensorPicture of the Frontpoint Motion Sensor
Place a motion sensor outside mom or dad’s bedroom, so you know they were able to get out of bed in the morning.

Door/window sensors can be placed on anything that opens and closes. Check whether your parents are taking their medications on schedule or regularly eating by placing these devices on their medicine cabinet, pantry, and refrigerator. Receive an alert when loved ones leave the house, and when they return home. You can even be notified if they accidentally leave doors or windows open at night or when they’re away, and ask a trusted neighbor to deal with the problem—removing a tempting invitation to burglars and stray animals.

Frontpoint also provides Smart Schedule Activity Patterns. Rather than delivering regular notifications as elderly parents carry out routine activities, this function can alert caregivers if something is amiss. A new Artificial Intelligence (AI) Engine quickly learns a senior’s patterns and behaviors. If it detects a change in routine, it provides mobile alerts.

For example, installed motion sensors may trigger a warning if a parent has fallen or is unable to get out of bed in the morning. Similarly, door/window sensors can generate alerts if a confused relative goes all day without opening the fridge for food or wanders out of the house in the middle of the night.

Combining

24/7 professional monitoring with security and environmental sensors provides rapid

response in case of emergency

As part of a smart home security system, smoke and heat sensors and carbon monoxide sensors provide tremendous safety benefits for older adults. Whether they’re unable to hear alarms, have difficulty getting to the phone quickly to dial 911, or are unable to exit the house rapidly in case of emergency, professionally monitored environmental sensors ensure that help will be on the way ASAP. These smart devices can also provide notifications to seniors and their loved ones, keeping them apprised of the situation.

The American Academy of Family Physicians reports that falls are the leading cause of death in people over the age of 65, and that “one-third of community-dwelling elderly persons fall each year.” Advancing frailty, vision loss, and certain medications contribute to this increased risk. Many elderly individuals fear falling when home alone and being unable to communicate their need for help.

Frontpoint’s Panic Pendant is a wireless wearable that sends customizable alerts to the Frontpoint Hub, which can then alert medical responders, family members, and other designees. Worn around the wrist or neck, it makes calling for help during an emergency as simple as pressing a button.

In most cases, the pendant's calls are routed to the police if the monitoring service can't immediately reach the homeowner. But caregivers of aging parents can customize the default panic alarm dispatch so that medical help arrives instead. Frontpoint's 24/7 monitoring service ensures that no panic alarm goes unanswered, alleviating the concern that a senior living alone could lay on the floor for hours.

Home

automation truly makes life easier for seniors—and gives assurance to their

loved ones

As more and more of us enter our golden years, it’s comforting to know that technology exists that can simplify daily activities that may become more difficult with advancing age. And that these devices can help our loved ones look out for us even when they can’t be there in person. Customizable smart security systems with integrated home automation components help maintain safety and independence for the many seniors who prefer to remain in their homes as they age.  


Frontpoint keeps homes safe whether families are there or not. We've been revolutionizing the home security industry for over a decade. And we're just getting started. To shop DIY home security systems, check out our Security Packages. If you have questions or would like to discuss a quote, contact us at 1-877-602-5276.

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