Streamline Your Responsibilities With Smart Home Technology
Make managing your home, parenting and caregiving easier with smart home technology.
There are numerous ways to control the lights, television or thermostat in your home, whether you’re in the next room or another country. All you need is a smart phone and a few apps.
But do you know how smart devices can make your life easier if you’re a caregiver, parent or pet owner? Scroll down for smart device options to consider.
Smart home products for parents
Parenting in the Smart Age is more than bellowing from your front door when it’s time for dinner. Now, there’s a lot to consider. Here’s how you can help ensure they get to sleep and do their homework, plus a way to manage it all.
Bedtime doesn’t have to be dread time. Smart bulbs are designed to pair with an existing lamp or fixture and then react to a schedule so that the light stays on as your kid falls asleep, but shuts off later. Some bulbs are even available in color spectrums so that kids can fall asleep illuminated by a gentle green, blue or red hue. Gadgets, such as the Remi sleep companion from UrbanHello, can incorporate alerts, lights, and music, and even monitor how much sleep kids are getting.
Struggling to keep up with all the meetings, doctor’s appointments, carpool schedules, rehearsals and practices? With the help of technology, you don’t have to remember it all. Use a voice-controlled assistant like Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant to set reminders, create schedules and make to-do lists. Use smart speakers to track homework schedules with automated reminders.
The pull of YouTube, games and social networking apps is strong. But you can interrupt their internet usage during certain hours, like at bedtime or for homework. One option is Circle by Disney, which can also monitor activity and track how much time they’re spending online. Install the app on one device to monitor everything at home. Norton Lifelock also offers antivirus and cybersecurity protection.
Smart home products for pet owners
Our most beloved family members are often home alone, and while they’re always on our minds, it’s sometimes difficult to rush home to let them out or feed them. While it won’t make up for the times when you’re not there, smart technology can help you keep them watered, fed and active.
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Did you ever think your pets could use a FitBit? The Whistle Go Explore can track your pet’s health and location. See what they’re up to and monitor their daily health via the app. It can log data such as average activity minutes, distance traveled, calories burned, scratching habits and hours of rest.
Be sure they’re never hungry or thirsty with automated fountains and feeders. Some fountains have replaceable filters and ways to aerate water. Feeder options include those that pair with your smart phone or that can keep wet food chilled.
For about $3,000, the Pet Portal pet door opens when it senses your pet nearby. The doors allow them out if they’re wearing the collar, which is Bluetooth-compatible. Owners can also operate the door via a mobile app, which also sends notifications of how often pets go in and out per day. There are also smart door options through Chewy for about $550.
Smart home products for caregivers
More than one in six working Americans report assisting with the care of an elderly or disabled family member, relative or friend, according to caregiving.org.
Smart devices can’t eliminate the stress or responsibilities of caregiving, but they can help ease your mind and allow you to monitor your loved one while you’re away. Here are a few devices for consideration.
A smart screen allows caregivers and telemedicine providers to stay in touch with older adults in a way that’s more personal than a phone call. It uses voice commands and can interact with other devices to play music, view video from security cameras, control lights or make phone calls.
Place smart sensors—tiny, battery-operated wireless devices—on doors, windows, cabinets and elsewhere to monitor activity. Caregivers can receive notifications of activity. Pair them with other smart devices such as a motion sensor, which can send alerts whenever a person crosses its field of view. Security solutions from SimpliSafe offer monitoring, inside and out.
A smart medication dispenser like Hero Health can send an alert—either a sound or blinking light—when it’s pill time. It can be managed through a mobile app and allows remote caregivers to monitor, schedule and refill medications.