Assistive technology and smart technology can make a home safer and more comfortable for people as they age.
Assistive technology is an item that supports a person to carry out tasks that would otherwise be difficult or impossible. Assistive technology also help caregivers provide support. Some examples of assistive technology are:
- Automated entrance/internal door/s
- Automated control of devices in the home such as TV, heating or curtains
- Intercoms between rooms
- Video intercom at front door
- Flashing devices, e.g. a doorbell, which alerts the deaf or hard of hearing person that there is someone at the door
- TV Listening devices, which allow the person with hearing loss to adjust the TV volume independently and to eliminate background noise
- Amplified telephones, which provide amplified and higher quality sound that assist some people with hearing loss to use the telephone.
- Vibrating pillow pads, which alert people while sleeping. This can include an alarm clock, doorbell or fire alarm
- Stand-alone devices such as memory aids and alarms
Smart Home Technology
A smart home refers to one which has technology, appliances and devices which are connected through the internet. These devices can be controlled via a mobile phone or other devices with access to the internet. Examples could be security systems which remind users if a window has been left open, or a smart smoke detector which warns of food beginning to burn. Smart technology such as smart screens and voice communication devices can make it easier to keep in touch with friends and family.
There are many different types of smart home technology, the needs and preferences of the older person will determine which smart technology will bring the most benefit. The requirements of caregivers may also be considered.
- Dementia Research Ireland is an online resource that provides a summary and overview of research and policy in the area of dementia. The section on assistive technology provides some useful reports.
- Living Made Easy is a UK organisation that provides advise on the solutions, gadgets, adaptions and aids to support independent living. Their website has factsheets that provide advice of a range of equipment.