Elderly couple taking a selfie

One of the most challenging issues that people face is the ability to maintain their independence throughout their later years. When given a choice, most prefer to age-in-place, staying in their own homes where they are most comfortable and familiar. However, physical safety and social isolation can be problematic for those living at home without a network of family or friends nearby. The next best thing is for your senior to consider an independent living community like Sonoma Hills Retirement Living. Our loving and supportive community strives to create an exceptional lifestyle experience for all of our residents.

Of course, if your senior loved one isn’t quite ready to join us just yet, you still want to help them stay independent and safe. That’s why we’ve gathered the following resources to help.

  1. Smart Frames Smart frames are a great way for family members to share images and events from across the miles. The Strategist explains they come in all shapes and sizes—from tabletop versions to window-sized frames that hang on the wall. Some are matted, some only work horizontally, and some offer opportunities for live communication. There are slideshows, still image and video options, too, and if you scour the web, you can snag sales stores like Best Buy, Amazon or Target.
  2. Smartphones Owning a smartphone will help your loved one take advantage of the latest technology designed to enhance communication with the ability to text, email, and place voice or video calls all on one device. Smartphones typically offer an array of accessibility features that are a boon to seniors, too, like live captioning and text magnification. Seniors can search out large, easy-to-read screens that make them all the more comfortable to use, and there are providers who offer affordable and sometimes free options —a perk for those on a limited budget.
  3. Amazon Echo Show This voice-activated device has a large 10.1-inch display screen that can:
  • Provide hands-free video calling and messaging
  • Play your favorite music (while displaying lyrics or album art)
  • Live-stream TV shows, the news, or Prime videos
  • Display recipes while cooking
  • Play games like Jeopardy or Name That Tune
  • Connect to other smart devices in the home

“Alexa,” Amazon’s AI guide, can answer questions or look up information on just about anything. At a little over $200, the Echo Show is well worth the price to keep your loved ones connected and engaged.

4. Abode Iota Abode Iota is a home security kit that can connect up to 160 smart devices to protect your home and its occupants from theft, fire, and accidents. MacStories notes that it serves as an all-in-one home automation hub, and if access is granted to caregivers or family members, you can check in with the hub’s dashboard via your smartphone to monitor the temperature in the home, see whether doors or windows are locked, or be alerted if smoke detectors or other alarms are tripped.

5. TruSense Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) often come as necklaces or bracelets that need to be worn to work. TruSense is a passive monitoring system that utilizes water, contact, and motion sensors to alert you if something is out of the norm at your loved one’s home. A starter kit includes four motion sensors, one contact sensor, and a hub, and it can be easily installed and set up with the help of a user-friendly installation wizard.

Learning to use the latest technology can be intimidating for anyone, so it’s nice to know that there are products out there that are designed with simplicity and a variety of accommodations in mind. Working together, you and your loved ones can take advantage of these senior-friendly gadgets to keep in touch, keep their homes safe, and help them to maintain their independence longer. A moderate financial investment and a relatively short learning curve are a small price to pay for the quality of life and peace of mind you will gain.

When your senior loved one decides it’s time to downsize, Sonoma Hills Retirement Living will welcome them with open arms to our independent living community. We offer a sophisticated experience through luxury apartments, a wealth of activities, delicious meals, and even the opportunity to travel to our sister communities throughout California and in Utah. For more information or to schedule a tour, you can reach us at 707-939-7856