Chosen wisely, smart technology and smart home devices can be a real and significant help to both people living with disabilities and the elderly, and as prices come down, smart tech, for specific needs, is becoming increasingly within the reach of many.
Crucial to taking advantage of smart tech and smart home devices is knowing specifically how what is available can help with your needs. So, consider what you wish to achieve with smart tech to help make the most appropriate and helpful purchases.
Before everything else, consider what you want to accomplish with smart home tech. For example, video doorbells that enable people to see who is at the door without getting up are helpful for people with some cognitive impairment or with limited mobility. Also, other family members can receive notifications of who is at the door using a smartphone.
Similarly, think about the smart devices and tech you think you would like, how complicated they are to use, and realistically whether you or a family member will actually use them. Do your research and don’t waste your money on something that is ideal in theory, but nobody uses because it’s too complicated.
Usually, using a smart tech device is fairly straightforward once you’ve got used to it, and remember that they nearly all require a smartphone or tablet to use. It may be that a less complicated version will suit your needs just as well as the techiest high-end device so try to keep things simple.
As with anything you want to buy, you need decide your budget and do your research. Just like any other item, discounts can be available on smart tech devices if you shop around, and they may save you a reasonable amount of money if you are willing to find them or wait.
You also need to consider installation. It’s usually quite straightforward and since many smart devices are wireless it’s usually just a matter of having a power source, setting up wi-fi, and downloading an app onto your smartphone. If the set-up is more complicated, they usually come with installation guides and even help centres if you need to talk the process through.
So which devices can help?
Smart home hubs (like Alexa) are popular and mean that you can control your smart devices from one location. With voice assist, a smart hub can make things far simpler for those with visual impairments or limited mobility as you can give commands to turn on lights, make calls, and organise your schedule to name a few – all from the same location.
Smart light bulbs can be programmed to turn on or off at allotted times or controlled via your smart device or hub. In addition, and particularly helpful for those with hearing impairments, they can be connected to the doorbell or phone which then flashes when in use.
Automatic vacuum cleaners might be really helpful – especially as they can be activated by a voice command on a smart hub or a button your smartphone.
Often, as well as alerting you to who is at the door, video doorbells have a two-way function which means you can speak to whoever is there without opening the door. Similarly, smart locks enable doors to be unlocked and locked – again through voice command or smartphone button. They usually offer keyless entry for regular visitors too.
In the future, smart home tech is only going to become more sophisticated and more widely available, making tasks, particularly for the elderly and those with disabilities, more manageable.
With over 20 years’ experience producing and selling wheelchair accessible vehicles in the UK, you can be sure that we can offer excellent customer service with a level of knowledge that is completely unrivalled.