Technology continues to expand in hopes to make everyday life easier. For those who need assistance at home, these smart technology innovations could be exceedingly helpful in making life at home not only easier, but also safer. Companies like Hero, Apple, and Google are providing technologies to assist in caregiving and giving family members an irreplaceable peace of mind.
Hero Digital Pill Dispenser
One of the most critical requirements that older adults, or those who need assistance, have is their medications. Unfortunately, this is also one of the easiest to confuse or forget. Hero Digital Pill Dispenser works to ensure this is never a problem again. Programmed via the Hero app, the dispenser will store, sort, and dispense up to a 90 day supply of medications. The app delivers reminders of which medication, or combination of medications, the user should be taking at that time. Upon notification, the user can simply push a button and Hero will sort and dispense the correct pills. If the user is traveling, they can inform the app that they need a supply of medications and the app will continue to notify them which pills to take and when. The dispenser will also notify the user or caregiver when the pill supply is running low. There is an initiation fee of $100, as well as subscription fee of $30/month. The dispenser is provided free.
Apple Watch Series 7
It is essential for anyone needing assistance at home to have an emergency contact system in the case of a fall, or other emergencies. According to the CDC, one in five falls leads to serious injury such as a brain injury or hip fractures. The Apple Watch doesn’t carry the same stigma as activation required bracelets or fobs to be worn around a user’s neck. This smart device and fitness tracker is equipped with a fall-detection feature, notifying emergency services and ICE contacts if no motion is detected 60 seconds after a fall. It is important to note that the feature only works if there is an iPhone nearby, or the watch has been equipped with GPS and cellular services. The watch also measures blood oxygen levels, monitors the user’s heart rate, and can detect atrial fibrillation.
Google Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
For someone living alone, Google’s Smart Smoke Alarm is ideal as it detects both smoke and carbon monoxide, automatically alerting family members or other emergency contacts of the emergency via phone. The smart device detects two types of fires, smoldering or fast-burning, and has the ability to distinguish between smoke or steam. The alarm operates as a human voice notifying a user what the emergency may be and where it is coming from. The device syncs with Nest Protect alarms in other rooms to notify other household members as well. In addition to the voice, the smart alarm has a green, yellow, and red light system that lets users know very quickly how significant their emergency is. Users can turn off or test the alarm with their phone.
Google Nest Doorbell
Answering the door when you’re unsure who is there can be frightening for elderly, or vulnerable, people. Google’s Nest Doorbell not only allows the resident, or caregiver, to see who is at the door via their phone, but also communicate with that person even if they aren’t at home. The battery-operated smart doorbell provides an HDR image with a vertical aspect of 4:3, allowing users to see the person from head to toe, as well as if there is a package they’ve set down. The Nest Doorbell is also equipped with night vision and video snapshot retention, for up to three hours prior.
Lutron Caséta Smart Bridge, Smart Dimmer, and Motion Sensor
Unlit hallways can be a major fall hazard for vulnerable adults. Lutron’s smart lighting system allows the user to turn on in-wall smart lights or dimmers manually with a remote, or on a programmed lighting schedule set via the Lutron app. With the addition of the motion sensor, one or more Caséta lights will turn on automatically when movement is detected. This eliminates the need to search for light switches in the dark. Lutron’s lighting system can be built and expanded over time with separately sold elements and can be connected to other smart home devices such as Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit. Both the Smart Dimmer and Motion Sensor, as well as other Lutron devices, require Lutron’s Wi-Fi-free Smart Bridge.