Protecting the Elderly – Part one – Building a Smart Home
Firstly let me make three comments:
- We live in strange times and not all of us are safe even in our own homes, as has been seen and talked about on TV , Radio and through the internet in recent times , and this goes for every city in Australia
- Our Kids and family are often living in suburbs away from ours and even in cities away from us. So we tend to rely on other elderly friends in our area.
- Not all of us are blessed with good health and as we get older in some cases it gets worse or we find it harder to get things done.
The Result :
Too often we feel vulnerable, even if we are not and we feel that we need to get a better and safer way of doing things. Enter the need for building a Smart Home for the Elderly
What do we need to build a Smart Home
- We need to be able to contact emergency services in the event of a problem
- We need to be able to contact our kids, friends family for Assistance
- We need to be able to enter or home safely – with lights on (but not all day)
- We need to feel safe and secure at all times
- We need to be able to work it without too much hassle and trouble
- We need to understand that it is not expensive and that we can control a Smart Home without too much hassle
How do we Achieve All of This
An elderly Lady or Man living alone slipped over in the bathroom and fell sustaining an injured hip and found that he or she could not get up – her bathroom was connected to the bedroom and she was all alone in the home.
An Elderly Man suffered chest pains at home and was unable to get out of the chair he was sitting in to get to the phone to call for assistance
What is the Answer? And What do we Need to resolve these three situations
An Elderly couple were coming home from being out for the day – as they approached the home it was in darkness.
What are the Answers ?And What do we Need to resolve these three situations.
- We need access to the lowest cost internet we can get, even although most most homes have access today too either a wireless internet system or a cable internet system or even a portable hand held systems at often less than $25 to $30 per month often with phone line thrown into the mix.
- A family member to connect your smart device for you if you do not understand the systems or do it yourself.
What is Amazon Echo – Current Cost $79.00
I am sure that they make these appear complex to scare us – all they are is a device that is run by software that gives the device a voice called “Alexa” that reacts to your voice ( or your partners or both) that once programmed understand your voice commands or your questions and acts upon them.
There are 4 such devices (of varying cost) We need the simplest to start with (and we may leave it at that ) and that would be the Echo Dot (more info here}
We connect the internet – then we connect the Echo Dot device – The Echo dot device finds the internet source and then we teach it to listen to our voice – DONE ( or we get one of the kids to connect it and then we teach it our voice.- Done)
Note: We have two devices one on the ground floor and one upstairs –
Once activated the Echo device can be programmed with all the required phone numbers – family, friends, emergency services, Doctors Surgery Number – etc!
So Now Lets Re-Visit SCENARIO ONE– and look at building a smart home
The injured party simply asks or commands “Alexa” – (The name given to the device communicator) to call the ambulance , Doctor, Family member – or all of them one at a time. The device will do that for you and tell you when it is done – you are now on a hands free communication with who ever you called and you can from anywhere in your home (within voice range) state your situation or call one of the family, friends and ask them to get it done for you.
Lets Visit SCENARIO TWO –
Once again the answer is we make a voice command , the echo device ensures that “Alexa” connects you to the emergency service – Done
Some may say its hard to make a command when you have chest pains – having been in that situation its not quite true , you do have the facility to speak and the requirement is simple – Alexa call ambulance service !
It is easier than that if you have a family member who is also on Echo and you initiate a call to them, and they call the emergency services for you. That way they are aware that something has happened and you need their assistance – even of they are in another state , city or town they can still be contacted. Its a damn site easier than trying to make phone calls or having to carry your phone into the bathroom etc.
Lets bring this all back into perspective.
Understanding what do we need to visit Scenario Three – There are Two options
We can do this with an Echo Dot Device – and the small phone app (free the Alexa App) that it requires to connect you to the echo device from anywhere – yes anywhere !! – Using the Internet we can through the app, tell ”Alexa” to switch on the lights at home. From anywhere at anytime.
We can also do this with a very simply power point – yes all we need is the TP-Link Smart Plug, ($39.00)
We download the KASA app for our phone (any phone) and we connect it via the internet to the Smart Plug
We will have attached or plugged in the lamps or lights that we want switched on to the TP-Link Smart Plug
Hint: We attached the smart plug to a power board – we turn the power board off using the App on my phone, when we reconnect the app , it switches on the Lamp and the TV and that gives us enough light to see our way into the house and noise .
Note again that this can be done at any time form anywhere for a total costs of $39.00 – Run the Echo and have all of the added safety values for $79.00 (plus internet)
Before we finish I am elderly as is my wife – and I am an internet marketer with Amazon so if you buy a product from me because of this article I will be supplementing my pension and I Thank You in advance