Seniors and Smart Homes: Aging in Place

A wave of new, high-tech devices is helping to keep seniors safe. As the baby boomer generation ages and personal electronic technology develops, many gadgets aimed at the health and safety needs of seniors are coming to the mainstream market.

Already readily available, wireless monitoring kits allow the adult children of elderly parents to check in on seniors remotely. One kit, called Lively, comes with six tiny accelerometers that can be placed in various areas around the home to detect movement. The devices can be placed on a bed, favorite chair or refrigerator door. The senior can also carry the device on his or her person, hung on a keychain or tucked in the sole of a shoe. The senior’s adult children or other caregivers can then monitor the activity patterns through a secure website. If there is no movement after a certain period of time, an alert is activated.

Other high-tech gadgets are on the way. Soon, sensors embedded in carpet will be able to analyze walking patterns to predict infirmities, an easy chair will be able to take vital signs and prescription bottle caps will alert seniors when medication needs to be taken.

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