Top Smart Home Technologies For Adults Over 50

January 26, 2017

Keyless entry, smart smoke detectors, wireless doorbell cameras and other technological safety improvements are gaining popularity among adults who are 50 years of age or older. This was a recent finding based on research from the MIT AgeLab in cooperation with The Hartford.

According to researchers, these helpful technologies make life easier for all ages. However, older adults have changing lifestyles and needs and can especially benefit from these technologies. For example, wireless doorbell cameras give older adults the option of seeing who is at the door without having to get up first, and keyless entry gives them the ability to quickly unlock a door. Older adults who are fumbling for keys at the door are often targets for residential robberies.

The research performed by these two organizations analyzed 25 different technologies to identify the top 10. The top picks for usefulness include the following:

  • Wireless doorbell cameras
  • Smart smoke and CO2 detectors
  • Keyless entry
  • Smart water shutoff valves
  • Automatic lights
  • Smart home security systems
  • Smart electrical outlets
  • Moisture and mold sensors
  • Smart thermostats
  • Smart window blinds

A person's lifestyle has a major impact on happiness and wellness, and these technologies were all proven to help facilitate well-being and peace of mind. The two organizations interviewed older homeowners to see what they thought about the chosen technologies. 

When asked about their main concerns, the majority of respondents said that maintenance was their top worry. With smart home technology, security was the main concern of about 50 percent of participants. More than 45 percent said that saving energy was important, and almost 35 percent said that technologies to improve everyday life were important.

Since security and maintenance were some top concerns, experts addressed technologies that could help in both areas. Water and mold sensors, smart thermostats, smart water shutoff valves and smart smoke or carbon monoxide detectors were some of their top suggestions for these specific purposes.

According to their research, the organizations found that about 50 percent of the surveyed homeowners already had smart home technologies or were planning to purchase one or more of these items in the near future. Of those who did not yet have any of these technologies but were planning to buy some, about 50 percent said that they would spend between $100 and $500 per year if necessary. These are the top recommendations from the two organizations:

  • Research the available technologies, their benefits and independent reviews.
  • Determine which options are best for individual needs.
  • See for a digital tour of a smart home.

Some smart improvements such as smoke alarms, burglar alarms and other safety features can actually help reduce insurance costs. To learn more about smart home technology and what it means for insurance rates, discuss with an agent.

Click here to return to Amity Insurance E-Newsletter January 26, 2017.