Smart Home Gadgets: The Pros And Cons Of The Digital Home

The so-called smart home gadgets are already making everyday life easier for many people. The mobile phone becomes the control center of one’s own home. For example, all electrical devices can be switched on and off centrally. Is that something special? Specially practical in any case, but admittedly it is standard. There are now countless innovations. You’d think our lives are getting smarter every day. But is it getting better? We once dealt in detail with the pros and cons of the digital home for seniors.

The List Of Gadgets, Digital Devices Is Long.

It is not possible to list all available gadgets here. It quickly becomes clear that the longing to make things more efficient and easier is great and continues to produce innovations. It is, therefore, not surprising that smart home systems are so skillfully integrated into our everyday lives. Quickly turn on the washing machine when you are out and about or monitor your own house while on vacation. Everything can be controlled centrally and intuitively from anywhere using an app.

Particularly practical for seniors who listen to the devices for their word thanks to the voice assistant. Many innovations simplify our lives and that of the elderly: from the emergency wristband to the robot mop up to the smart doorbell, which makes it possible to check who is at the door via tablet or mobile phone. This is called ambient assisted living. A real opportunity for seniors to live independently in their own four walls for as long as possible.

Will This Mean That The Nursing Home Will Soon Be Obsolete?

No, of course not. But the new technologies enable seniors who are no longer quite as fit to live much longer in their own four walls than they did a few years ago. Ambient Assisted Living, AAL for short, stands for a self-determined life thanks to digital systems that are perfectly tailored to the different needs of older people. It can take a huge burden off the shoulders of the elderly. Unfortunately, the possibilities of age-appropriate living in Germany are always not fully exploited. Everything could be so safe and easy. For example, relatives or carers are also connected to the system and are notified immediately in an emergency. But also, the daily hurdles for a senior who may have bad eyesight, restless hands, or is simply forgetful can be overcome with smart gadgets.

The future city of Ulm shows how real AAL works: a model apartment demonstrates how older people can still lead an independent life with the help of gadgets. Our senior tablet, which enables fun and easy contact with the family, is also on display there.

In this context, we were particularly impressed by four gadgets:

  1. Keyless entry via a fingerprint – Ekey uno: This device enables people to open the front door keyless with their fingerprint. 
  2. The senior citizen alarm system – Gigaset smart care: A sensor records whether all windows and doors are closed. It can also inform nursing staff or family members whether the senior has visited the doctor, left the house at the usual time, or ventilated the house.
  3. The smart fire protection – Hager stove guard: Everyone knows the concern about whether the stove has been turned off. What already concerns us is a very real danger for seniors. Whether the food was left on the stove or the towel was accidentally placed on the hot plate, digital fire protection can save lives. For this purpose, sensors are installed on the stove, and the control unit is connected to the stove, which receives radio feedback from the sensor. Rising temperature and movement mean someone is cooking. If an alarm is not issued manually within 15 seconds, the power supply will be interrupted. 
  4. The innovative fall protection – SensFloor:  A textile underlay sensor mat that contains 30 sensors per square meter, is just 2.5 millimeters high and therefore fits perfectly under the carpet, laminate, vinyl floor, or parquet. The sensors register and analyze every movement. If the resident falls, the system notifies relatives or nursing staff, depending on the setting. A person with dementia can also report aimlessly wandering around.

All-Round Protection Even With Dementia?

Of course, smart, digital solutions are also extremely helpful when caring for people with dementia. For example, the “outpatient community for people with dementia” has existed in Duisburg since 2007. Up to seven people with dementia live here together. Everyone has their room. But common rooms are also part of the facility. Everything is equipped with a wide variety of digital devices and sensors so that the residents are protected and cared for in the best possible way. The supervisor is informed of the slightest discrepancy. Very helpful, even if, of course, it cannot replace the nursing staff. It is a great relief for everyone involved. Aline Wybranietz from Alpha gGmbH explains the advantage: “The technology can improve the quality of life and care.However, it cannot and should not replace a donation. “

Our Conclusion On The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Digital Networking.

Countless smart innovations make it possible to grow old in your own four walls, despite physical and mental limitations, from our point of view, a very good development, since everyone feels most comfortable at home. Of course, this development also turns a lot upside down and challenges us, despite the many gadgets, not to neglect interpersonal support. In addition, the integration of modern smart home systems still means risks in terms of privacy. Data autonomy and data protection are topics that should not be ignored despite all the comfort. After all, every network connection with the Internet harbors the potential that remote device, consumption, or usage data can be hacked or spied on and fall into the wrong hands. But don’t worry, the EU General Data Protection Regulation (EU-DSGVO) offers protection. Now consumers can find out more about the processing of their data, and system settings can also be individually adjusted.

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