Technology Enables Seniors To Age In Place - U of I Extension

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Technology Enables Seniors To Age In Place

This article was originally published on December 3, 2018 and expired on February 28, 2019. It is provided here for archival purposes and may contain dated information.

A recent conference theme was “Aging in Place” and focused on how modern technology enables seniors to remain safely in their homes, with greater independence. The list of household items and services was far longer than I had imagined. Greater security and comfort for seniors, plus their family and friends built my interest and better answered – is the effort and cost worth it? The list of possibilities is so long that individual priorities and needs must still be the basis of how to proceed. Current usage of a smart phone, smart pad or other wireless devices certainly makes new learning faster but when in doubt, let a tech-comfortable person work out the details.


Video and intercom equipped “doorbells”

LED lights on the exterior and also indoor entranceways

Auto shut-offs for stoves

Indoor motion sensors that turn lights on and off in rooms

Versatile alarms that alert for smoke, carbon monoxide and intrusions plus letting others know

Phone-based services that allow trusted people to monitor things in your home



A clock with prompts about taking meds

Less intrusive monitors of vital signs, falling and more

Emergency response systems that switch on video so responders and family can see what’s happening

Safe and scheduled dispensing of medications

Locators that show where you are

Phone-based scheduling of caregivers, food delivery and more



Echo and Alexa devices read out loud, give weather updates, play music and follows voice commands

“Roomba” will vacuum your floors

“TV Ears” enable individuals to set differing volume levels for the television

Lots of leisure and social items keep your mind engaged and active

Memory and cost saving habits are built into thermostats, lights, water heaters + more


Now that I understand their potential, terms like SMART HOMES and SMART DEVICES are less irritating. When it comes to enabling a better quality of life for seniors, I am now willing to learn more about the ideas presented. Best wishes, Steven Groner- Educator

Source: Steven Groner, Extension Educator, Community and Economic Development,

Pull date: February 28, 2019