This Smart Home Framework Helps People Better Care For Senior Citizens
The elderly are proving to be a large target for the connected home market at a time when many are disinterested in leaving their homes
If there’s any generation that truly stands to reap the benefits of smart home technology, its the aging baby boomer collective – particularly individuals starting to need care. With the U.S. Census concluding that approximately 15.9 percent of the population is above 65 years old, which will further increase to 21.7 per cent by 2040 according to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the need for technological solutions is evident, especially with the growing trend of elders bucking retirement homes in favor of their own quarters. But syncing the many disparate elements of a smart home can be daunting even for tech-savvy millennials, which is why Nashville-based startup HoneyCo Homes has emerged as a one-stop shop for building an integrated smart home comprising of products of your choosing.
Whenever it’s time to take medication, a purchasable in-house system changes the color of one’s light bulbs, and remains that way until the connected medicine box is opened. Flush-sensing toilet devices offer an indication of how hydrated an individual is. Voice assistants even enable elders afraid of keyboards and monitors to interface with Google, opening up a whole new world of knowledge at their fingertips. Video intercoms can surface (possibly through a mixture of voice recognition and a projector system), which can prove especially useful when someone has fallen and can’t get up. A remote stove shutoff and lock ensures the house never catches fire.
The key to all this technology is to make sure it stays non-invasive, meaning no cameras, a sensitivity to the varying methods and uses of data collection, and an intelligent home that learns behaviors and tailors to individual needs over time. To that effect, HoneyCo offers multiple ‘tiers’ of purchasing plans—presumably based on the products selected—which start at $150 and cap at $350, for a more tailored assortment of home goods. Having recently announced a pilot program sporting two currently unnamed care companies, the ultimate plan is to produce a technological framework for multigenerational single-family homes. Until then, baby boomers will ironically prove to be the evangelists of this niche, ahead of the bell curve for connected home utilities.