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Smart technology has now become a part of our daily lives. However, it is not really a new idea. The smart home creation began as far back as 1898, when Nikola Tesla disclosed the development of remote controls. Soon after, vacuum cleaners, washing machines, electric dishwashers and other facilities were introduced. With time, technology has kept improving and now we have the smart home solution, which has transformed all aspects of our lives, including our homes and places of work.
It is not just the young and vibrant people who benefit from the use of smart switch technology. All over the world, the proportion of the elderly (65+ years) has been growing and, in a recent survey, they accounted for almost 10% of the world’s population. A considerable increase is expected in the future.
With age, mobility is hampered and, with the help of smart switches, it makes things so much easier for the elderly to just touch a remote control and have their lights put on, fans switched to the right degree, air conditioning turned on, curtains moved just so, without having to physically get up and do the needful.
Smart switches have instinctive interfaces which are easy to operate, irrespective of technical prowess. Voice activated systems, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, enable seniors to control their smart switches through natural voice commands, eliminating the need for physical interaction.
Safety and security:
Not only do the smart switches help in the daily use of facilities in the home, they also have enhanced safety features. Some switches are manufactured to detect movement with “occupancy sensors”, so that the lights are automatically turned on when anybody enters a room. With the motion sensors, they can automatically illuminate pathways, reducing risks of falls. Alarms can be set, doors locked or opened and surveillance cameras controlled. The devices can also be scheduled to operate at certain times so, in case a person forgets, the automatic control will make sure it is turned on or off, avoiding potential hazards.
Seamless integration with smart home ecosystem:
Smart or WiFi switches can easily integrate with other smart home devices which amplifies their scope and functionality. They are compatible with smoke detectors, door/window sensors as well as smart locks. This integration enables seniors to control multiple devices simultaneously with just a single command. This includes adjusting lights, controlling room temperature or locking doors. It makes managing their homes so much easier.
Smart switches conserve energy, which is beneficial in two ways - protects the environment and reduces expenses for the user, by optimising energy usage and curtailing bills. With a single touch, all the lights and appliances can be switched off. In addition, the integration with smart thermostats and other power saving devices maintains a comfy living environment without unnecessary wastage.
Personalisation and customisation:
A key feature of smart switches is personalisation, so that an individual’s preferences can be catered to. Lighting levels can be customized to suit their vision or comfort. The switches can be programmed to turn on/off at specific times. This can be done even if they are away from home - it adds an extra layer of security by creating an illusion of an occupied house.
Some smart switches have additional features to support healthcare needs. They can be programmed to provide medication reminders, ensuring that no doses are missed. These reminders can be provided through gentle lighting cues.
Peace of Mind:
Many senior citizens are very independent and insist on living on their own. Smart switches in the home offer peace of mind, not only to the individual, but also to family members and caregivers. Through remote access, they can check the status of appliances, ensuring that lighting and other factors are functioning in order. Notifications can also be set up to alert family/caregivers in the case of unusual activity or inactivity.
The appliances are easy to install and do not require much preparation. The choice of switches should be made taking into consideration the facilities available at the location, such as WiFi internet etc.
As people age, their abilities change and the greater emphasis is on comfort, convenience and safety within the home. Embracing safe technological innovations such as smart switches are ideal for senior citizens to maintain a sense of independence, comfort and safety. By incorporating these cutting-edge devices in homes, an environment is created to cater to the changing needs of the elderly population, providing them the support required to lead fulfilling lives.
If you are a senior citizen or if you have parents or grandparents in this age bracket, consider making life so much easier and more comfortable with the installation of these smart switches.