Best smart home devices for aging in place

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As you enter your golden years, it’s easy to romanticise aging in place. While there’s nothing wrong with living out the end of your life in an aged care facility, staying in the home you’ve lived in all your life can help you maintain independence and live a safer and more comfortable life. 

If you or a loved one are contemplating aging in place, you might have some concerns on the safety side. How will they navigate health services, meals, and personal care as they age? While living at home does require some planning, smart home-integrated devices can ease the load. 

How Australians feel about aging in place

According to a survey by The CareSide, 67% of Australian adults want to age in place. Among the respondents, 66% of those aged 40-64 wanted to age in their homes, while only 52% of respondents 65+ preferred it.

What’s a smart home?

Smart homes use devices to automate and control functions in and around the house. These devices connect to the internet and can be controlled by voice commands and mobile apps. 

If you're setting up and purchasing devices for yourself, you’ll need to be confident in how well you can use and install apps and technology. You might also need to troubleshoot and adjust your Wi-Fi settings if anything goes awry, so it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a family member for the initial setup if you need it.

Smart speakers

Smart speakers are more than just your average speaker. Many house a digital assistant that can perform tasks for you. It won’t be able to pick up your groceries from the shops, but it can keep your mind busy with the music from your youth, podcasts, and news and weather reports.

We like the Amazon Echo Dot (5th generation), which uses the Alexa assistant to interpret your vocal commands. It can interact with any smart home device that’s compatible with Alexa, so you can ask it to set a timer, turn on the TV, or order an Uber. If you have smart light bulbs or locks, you can also ask them to check the security of the front door or dim the living room lights.

Security systems

Security systems offer more than just protection from criminals. They can keep an eye on your home when you’re away, let you know when deliveries arrive, and allow family members to monitor for falls or other health-related emergencies. 

Professional monitoring or DIY?

The biggest differences between professional monitoring services and DIY security systems are cost and convenience. With DIY systems, the installation is in your hands. You can enlist the help of a family member or friend to install the device, but it's up to you to monitor the footage and keep an eye on the areas where your security cameras are set up. 

Even though professional monitoring costs more, the installation and monitoring are taken care of. If often you’re away from the house or don’t know your way around technology, it could be worth outsourcing the monitoring part to experts.

Best DIY security camera system

*Pricing is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

There are plenty of ways to secure your home and identify or scare off any lurkers without breaking the bank. We love the EufyCam 2C Security Kit. It's easy to set up, can easily integrate with other devices on your smart home network (Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomeKit right off the bat), and has free local storage at a competitive price. Each camera in the kit has a motion-triggered alarm to deter crooks, clear, colour night vision, and two-way audio so you can chat with anyone at the door. 

They’re weather-proof, so you can mount them indoors or outdoors. They do need a charge every six months though, so either bring them inside for the day or chuck on some compatible solar panels.

Motion sensors

Motion sensors are one of the cheapest, simplest ways to monitor and secure your home. These devices detect when someone or something enters a room, approaches a door, or opens a window and sends an alert to your security system. 

They’re also helpful if you have any family members who want to keep an eye on you as you age. Most send notifications to your phone, so they can track when you’re home, tending to the garden, or out of the house.

Best motion sensor

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Our favourite is the TP-Link Tapo Smart Motion Sensor. It sends alerts straight to your phone and is compatible with devices like smart globes to illuminate your hallways during the night. 

Assembly is easy, just mount it using the built-in magnets or with some 3M adhesive. Secure it on your patio or in the front yard to keep out any animals or people roaming the area. If you decide to use sensors outside, make sure you place them in an undercover area because they’re not weather-resistant. 

The downside is you’ll need the H100 hub to use the motion sensor and other Tapo smart home products. It's around the same price as the sensor, but it can connect up to 64 devices (like smart bulbs, door sensors, and doorbells). The TP-Link Tapo Smart Motion Sensor is compatible with Apple Homekit, Amazon Alexa, and Google Home, so you can control the sensors with the smart assistant of your choice.

Smart bulbs

Best smart bulbs
phillips hue smart bulb

*Pricing is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Smart light bulbs can help illuminate dark areas and prevent falls during the night. The Phillips Hue White A60 Smart Bulb is an affordable, 75W soft white light bulb. They're around $30 each, compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, and are easy to install and operate using your smartphone

Smart plugs

Best smart plugs

*Pricing is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

Smart plugs are great because they’re budget-friendly, easy to use, and can turn anything into a smart device. Use them as timers to ensure heaters or fans aren't left on all night or use them to control smart light switches. You’ll no longer need to physically turn off or control table lamps, space heaters, fans, or Christmas lights.

Meross Smart Plugs are compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings. This means you can ask Alexa to turn off the TV or keep the heater on until bedtime. Under $50 for a pack of four is a deal too good to pass up! 

Wearable health monitors

Falls are one of the biggest concerns among older adults. Since there aren't medical staff that come to do routine checks like in aged care facilities, you might have some trouble getting medical attention if you have a fall in your home. This is why it's important to get a wearable health monitor that can make calls for help on your behalf.

Best smartwatch for seniors

*Pricing is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

The Apple SE (2nd generation) smartwatch is packed with senior-friendly features like health tracking and fall detection. The watch detects a change in speed and altitude, triggering a fall alert. It’ll ask if you need any assistance and if you don't respond, it’ll call for help in the next 60 seconds. 

It also has a side button that can call emergency contacts and share medical information (like which medications you're taking and your blood type) with first responders. 

The Apple SE (2nd generation) is pretty expensive up front, but if you have an iPhone, you won't need to fork out a monthly fee or get a compatible eSIM plan.

Best medical alert pendant

*Pricing is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

If you’re looking for something simpler than a smartwatch, the LiveLife Mobile Alarm is a pendant with an array of features. You can set up to six emergency contacts, including 000. If you press the SOS button on the pendant, it’ll message your contacts and attach your GPS location. It also has automatic fall detection, so if you take a tumble, all emergency contacts will be notified with your location. 

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors

Best smoke and carbon monoxide detector
Nest protect

*Pricing is accurate as of post date. Read full disclaimer.

We love the Google Nest Protect because it sends you an alert if it senses smoke, fire, or carbon monoxide, and in what room, so you can turn it off before the alarm sounds. You can operate it via the app so you don’t have to climb up onto a chair to turn it off. Instead of that constant beeping, you’ll get a notification on your phone. 

You can also combine it with other products like a Google Nest Cam to start recording when the alarm sounds. If you have an Amazon Echo, you can ask Alexa to turn off the alarm and control the Nest Protect with your voice.

Final word

Aging in place can have plenty of benefits, like getting to live out the rest of your life in your own home! Smart home products might be daunting, but they can bring plenty of value to your home. If you're aging in place you need to ensure you have access to medical care, and can keep yourself safe, secure, and happy. Lucky for you, this is what smart home technology is built for. 

Our methodology

We wanted to feature smart home products that will make your life easier, so you can focus on enjoying your golden years. We started with online reviews to scour the best candidates, then selected each of our products based on easy installation and remote operation, so your loved ones can check in on your well-being when needed. The products we chose are also designed to enhance your safety and security while living independently.

Learn more about the way we conduct reviews, like this one, in our full methodology.

Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time of publish and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the retailer’s website at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. SafeWise Australia utilises paid affiliate links.
Hannah Geremia
Written by
Hannah Geremia
Hannah has had over six years of experience in researching, writing, and editing quality content. She loves gaming, dancing, and animals, and can usually be found under a weighted blanket with a cup of coffee and a book.

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