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Smart home tech helps older Americans age in place

May is Older Americans Month and this year’s theme of connecting, creating and contributing is made easier with smart home technology that helps our aging population connect with family and friends wherever they are in the world, create a safe and healthy home environment, and continue contributing their invaluable knowledge and life experiences in their community.

Smart home technology also makes it easier to “age in place,” which is important considering 90% of adults age 65 and older say they prefer growing older in their current home rather than uprooting and moving to an assisted-living facility.

Not only does technology empower seniors to live independently longer, it is often a less expensive option than moving. And it can be less intimidating than people think.

Technology is made “smart” by connecting devices to a high-speed Internet connection.

Through a national smart home tour of “Connected Independence” homes that had its origins in San Diego, Cox Communications has been demonstrating to communities across the country how smart-home technology gives seniors the ability to live independently at home, while providing adult children and caretakers peace of mind that their loved one is safe.

The connections technology can also combat the feelings of isolation common in older adults, as it’s easier to connect with friends, family and caregivers without leaving the home.

A connected home allows seniors to get the things they need in their daily routine while maintaining the quality of life at home.

Here are some technology highlights from Cox’s “Connected Independence” smart home tour:

Telehealth allows patients to have live, personal interaction with their doctors via video conferencing while at home. This technology relieves patients from having to find transportation or physically traveling to a medical facility for every consultation;

Home automation and security features, including the ability to see who is at the front door and lock and unlock doors remotely through Cox Homelife, make it easier for seniors to let visitors and caregivers in and out of the home safely;

“Smart” pill dispensers provide audible and visual alerts up to 30 minutes when pills are scheduled to be taken;

Automatic pet feeders can be controlled through an app, making it easier to care for a pet;

Smart toothbrushes report brushing habits and provide oral health advice through an app;

Smart forks help track eating habits, which help older Americans with their nutrition;

Smart kitchen appliances make it easier to cook for one;

Voice-activated TV remotes such as those available through Cox Contour gives users the ability to find their favorite shows without pressing buttons or navigating through on-screen menus;

Life-like pets that have built-in sensors such as a cat that meows when being petted. These pets provide comfort and relaxation, and are used with Alzheimer’s patients, but don’t require the stress of physically caring for a real pet.

To maximize the power of a smart home and all the potentially life-changing devices and services in it, you’ll need a fast and reliable high-speed Internet connection and in-home wi-fi. Cox Communications now offers gigabit internet speeds to homes throughout its service area in San Diego County, as well as Panoramic Wi-Fi, making it easy to run 50 connected devices simultaneously.

For more information on what kind of internet is right for your smart home to help you or a loved one age in place, go to


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