There are around 13 million Americans in the United States that require daily assistance and care. Most of them are seniors, and as the current generation ages, the amount of people needing care is expected to go up to 27 million by 2050.
With such crazy statistics, its now wonder that long term, senior and daily care is such a massive industry. However, that all might change with the recent advancements in smart home technology. Smart homes utilize machine-to-machine medical devices and sensors to monitor patient care and health, and send that information to caregivers, family members, and healthcare workers.
Smart home tech can revolutionize the way we care for our seniors in many ways, including:
- Easy detection of fire, water, and gas leaks, and quick alerts to the resident and emergency personnel
- Wearable call buttons to make reaching help dramatically easier and faster
- Increased and simplified surveillance of the door and outside so residents can see who’s at the door or investigate noises
- Task automation like turning off the lights and/or TV, controlling the thermostat, locking the doors, and more all from a Smartphone or tablet
- Live video feeds to give caregivers real-time updates
- Motion activated sensors for quick detection of a fall or lack or movement that could indicate a medical emergency
- Automatic door locks and sensors for added security
- Meal and medication reminders
Maybe the most important benefit of smart home tech, however, is that it can decrease the cost of care significantly. A recent survey showed that nursing home care can cost around $81,000 a year, and that number is expected to go up by 4.5 percent or more. Providing care for an aging loved one, be it a nursing home, daily caregiver, or even senior community can cost astronomical amounts.
Smart home tech makes it much safer for seniors to stay at their own homes alone, giving them more independence and saving tons of money. It costs, on average, about $2,500 to outfit a home with smart home technology, plus nominal monthly service fees. That’s $78,500 in savings!
In addition to the tech that’s already on the market, major researches like Washington State University and the University of Maryland, Baltimore County are conducting studies to develop even more effective smart home systems. They’re hoping to retrofit existing homes with thorough systems that can monitor and track a senior’s eating, sleeping, and movement, and then identify and report any signs of illness or cognitive degeneration to caretakers and healthcare providers via the Internet or mobile networks.
Smart home systems are set to revolutionize the cost and safety of aging at home. Some experts estimate that this technology can save $9 million every day in health care costs!
You can learn more about smart home technology and senior care by visiting these resources:
How will smart home technology help your life? Comment below!
Please check out some of our other articles on aging in place and the accompanying technology.