When those who’ve been there for us since we were small start needing a little extra protection, we’re here for them – and that’s exactly why smart locks are an essential investment for the safety and security of our older loved ones. Smart elderly home safety calls for special attention, with a particular focus on convenient, accessible and straightforward features, especially for those who have mobility or mental health concerns. Fortunately, smart home tech is up to the task, with ever-evolving accessibility features that prove safety is for all ages.
Why Elderly Home Safety Matters
As the AARP reports in 2022, 77 percent of adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes for the long term. This preference, which can be vital for both physical and emotional security among older folks, is often dubbed “aging in place,” or a desire for safe, stable housing for the long haul.
As an alternative to nursing homes or other types of formal assisted living, Harvard notes “Ensuring that older adults have access to health care and the ability to ‘age in place’ is a national priority both from a quality of life perspective and a cost savings perspective.”
On an emotional level, aging in place helps foster feelings of familiarity, comfort and routine, which can help reduce stress, anxiety and insecurity, all while offering a greater degree of flexibility compared to often-expensive senior housing options. That flexibility also opens the door to smart elderly home safety options that can be customized to suit the personal needs and preferences of your loved ones.
How Do Smart Homes Enhance Senior Security?
Smart home security provides connected systems with layers of communication and convenience that benefit both elderly users and their families.
Smart locks in particular offer many key features that massively enhance elderly home safety. From the Lockly Vision Elite to our Secure Pro and Flex Touch, these smart locks reach beyond the bounds of analog safety measures.
Here are just a few examples of the smart lock security and the added perks in action:
- Real-time monitoring lets you check in on your loved ones right from your phone via the Lockly App, and real-time alerts keep you updated instantly, so you’ll have peace of mind from anywhere
- Auto-locks make sure the door is secure, every time – think of them as forgetfulness-proof security
- Not only can you check a lock’s status from anywhere there’s a Wi-Fi or network connection, but you can also track lock history and – with camera locks like the Vision and Vision Elite – record and monitor the site in full HD, any time of day with night vision
- Remote locking and unlocking enables you to grant access to elderly loved ones when they need help, at a moment’s notice
- Likewise, remote and fully revocable temporary access methods like e-keys and temporary passcodes mean you can let caregivers, housekeepers and other helpers in from anywhere in the world while keeping unwanted visitors out, instantly or on a regular schedule
- Solar-enhanced batteries last long-term – that’s low-maintenance, and one less thing for seniors to remember
- With the next-gen video doorbell smart lock, the Lockly Vision Elite, seniors can see who is at their door before opening it, granting them greater peace of mind when interacting with strangers or unexpected guests.
Of course, other smart home elements can greatly contribute to your loved one’s safety. Motion sensors, smart lighting and medication reminders can all help ensure to overall security for seniors.
Many home security systems include motion sensors as well as door and window sensors to work in tandem with security cameras. These sensors can help seniors monitor their homes for intruders and receive alerts if there is any unusual activity.
Per the AARP, 29 percent of elderly homeowners wished for improved interior lighting. Choose increased-wattage bulbs, let lots of natural light into the house, and install as many easily-accessible light switches as possible, especially near the tops and bottoms of staircases.
With smart lighting, seniors can program their lights to turn on and off at certain times or in response to motion. This way, they can make it look like someone is home even when they are out, thus deterring burglars and other intruders.
Certain smart home devices can help seniors manage their medication, reminding them when it's time to take their pills and keeping track of when they've been taken. These reminders can help reduce the risk of medication errors and improve overall health and well-being.
Eight Ways Smart Locks Improve Elderly Home Safety
Elderly home safety encompasses a spectrum of needs. From 8 to 80, every individual’s home safety needs vary as much as their unique preferences, but these elderly home safety staples are a solid starting point for just about anyone.
Your elderly home security system should ideally include the following:
1. 24/7 Monitoring
Careful monitoring, including for theft and emergencies, can ensure an elderly person is safe at all times. For example, the Vision Elite can keep track of visitors or detect if an older family member has left the house during the night via the HD camera and night vision.
2. Fingerprint Readers
Fingerprint readers, such as those on our Access Touch and Secure Plus locks, make for easy-access entry, eliminating the need to remember keys or codes or the fuss of a task that can be mechanically difficult for some elderly people. 3D fingerprint sensors make entry quick, easy and seamless, and multiple profiles grant access to elderly homeowners as well as their families and caretakers.
3. Remote Access to Entrances
By allowing family members or caregivers to monitor a home from a distance, senior safety can increase. Both the Secure Pro and Flex Touch with Wi-Fi Hub allow you to remotely control property access via the Lockly App. Family members and caregivers can also receive alerts on their phones or other devices to stay up-to-date with activity.Long Lasting/Backup Power
With the solar-enhanced batteries of Vision Elite, you can rest assured your senior’s security will last long-term. This way, seniors won't have to remember to frequently replace them. Moreover, in case of a power outage, they will have a security system with a backup power source that ensures their security remains functional no matter their access to electricity.
4. Easy-to-use Solution
Smart locks should be easy to use and understand, especially for an elderly person. Lockly smart locks, for example, include simple and clear instructions, large buttons and voice-activated features. Lockly network-connected or Wi-Fi-enabled smart locks, like the Secure Plus, specifically possess voice control features that allow seniors to lock and unlock doors simply by asking Alexa and Google Assistant.
5. Wander-Proof Capabilities
Some older folks, such as those with common conditions like dementia or Alzheimer’s, struggle with wandering. The Lockly Dementia-Proof Secure Plus smart lock can ease that stress with a quick-release interior thumb turn that can be removed and reinstalled with no tools, easily restricting unsafe or out-of-bounds areas.
6. Wireless Door Sensors
Wireless door sensors like those you’ll find in Lockly’s Secure Link Wi-Fi Hub kit are a simple way to alert elderly folks if a door is ajar, and for family members, smart tech sends remote alerts when a door’s not securely shut.
7. Accessibility Features
For older users, ease of access and intuitive usability are the foundation of a safe, stress-free experience. That’s why you’ll find lightning-fast fingerprint readers with 99 percent accuracy, emergency physical keys and offline access codes for when household tech hiccups arise.
Smart Home Security Transcends Age
Whether you’re an older homeowner balancing security, cost and flexibility or a grown child who’s just paying it forward with the latest tech, elderly home safety is all about connection, from the connected technology that keeps us safe to the bonds we strengthen when we protect one another.
Caring for your loved ones as they age is a responsibility, but smart tech helps you tackle that responsibility with a shared connection that’s always on. And you never have to go it alone when Lockly’s here to help.
Dan is a Dallas-based freelance and small business writer with more than a decade of experience. In the tech and business worlds, he’s been fortunate enough to collaborate with Samsung, Verizon, Motley Fool, USA Today, Linksys, Vizio and many more.
Harvard University - Aging in Place: A Resource for Health Centers
Aging.com - What Is Aging in Place and How Is It Beneficial?