Because Seniors Need Smart Homes, too!
For younger people, smart home technology is convenient and an effective security and cost-saving system. For many seniors, and mobility impaired customers, smart devices are literally lifesaving. If anyone needs this technology, it’s our aging family members.
Why Seniors Should Embrace Smart Home Devices
There are many ways our aging population can benefit from living in a smart environment. The most important reason is that it prolongs their ability to live independently – which translates into an improved sense of well-being and quality of life.
A well-designed smart home solution combines different smart devices, management applications, and safety monitoring functions into one user interface. Put simply, the right system does a lot of different things by bringing them all together in one place to give the user full control from a single mobile, web, or TV application.
Elderly consumers may think they can live without the convenience of a smart home, but the system’s security aspects are what often sell the product.
Older people would enjoy the freedom and peace of mind a good security system provides. They want to go about their lives without panicking at every unfamiliar sound or knock at the door.
They need to know that their home will be monitored not only for intruders, but also for fire, flooding, gas leaks, and cyber threats. Not only does a well-built smart home system detect a problem, but it can respond.
Intruder Response: If an intruder enters the yard, a motion sensor activates the alarm, turns on all the outdoor lights, and locks the doors. If they break into the home, a contact sensor on the door or window activates the alarm, turns on all the indoor and outdoor lights, and alerts the security company.
Access Visibility: An integrated smart home system also gives the user continuous access to the video stream from indoor and outdoor cameras so they can see anyone who has approached or entered their home.
Presence Simulation: For people who travel, the system can make it look like they are home. It does this by using a “presence simulation” smart scene, which is based on everyday habits. The TV comes on, as usual, the smart speaker plays music periodically, and the lights in the house turn on and off as they would if they were home.
Cyber Security: The system includes protection from fake website scams, malware, and more. The system’s cybersecurity monitors and protects all devices on your network – not just the router.
If subscribers have a monitored alarm service, the smart home system can notify first responders immediately if there is a problem.
Another powerful safety feature that may be mistaken for a simple convenience is the ability to monitor and shut off appliances from an armchair or sofa. One of the greatest concerns for senior safety – after injuries from falling – is fire due to cooking accidents.
If a senior has mobility issues, every step can be a potential fall. Saving steps through automation of home lights, fans, appliances, etc., can minimize the risk of falls. Also important is to make sure there is enough light for an elder to see potential hazards. The ability to turn on lights before they begin a journey across the house can prevent the tragic consequences of a fall.
Comfort, Convenience, & Cost-Savings
No matter how old you are, convenience is appreciated. Most seniors have had a lifetime of running around, caring for others. Even if they can comfortably walk across the room to adjust the lighting, it is a good feeling to know they don’t have to.
Control of Electric Items: Almost anything that plugs into the wall can be plugged into a smart home system. For older people, these may include a heating pad, denture cleaning machine, or stairlift.
Heating/Cooling Control: Temperature fluctuations may impact our elders a bit more than the general population. Having temperature sensors and the ability to control a smart thermostat from anywhere in the house are extremely popular with seniors. Consider an arthritis sufferer who can pre-set the heat to come on a few minutes before they wake up.
The Bonus: A smart system can create an optimal, energy-efficient, smart ecosystem in the home. Maximum comfort and minimum utility costs are often the results.
Pitching a Smart Home System to a Senior
To fulfill the needs of an older consumer, you must offer devices that are high-quality and fully integrated. More importantly – they must be plug-and-play and easy to control.
But before your first encounter with an elderly homeowner, you need a fundamental understanding of their interests, abilities, and limitations to help them understand the benefits of the technology.
Common Misconceptions About Technology and the Elderly
As with any other buyer type, you must “get inside the heads” of senior citizens to generate interest and close the deal. Many organizations don’t take the time to uncover biases that may be holding them back from capitalizing on this market segment.
Let’s look at common myths about older folks compared to the reality of their lives:
People over 60 don’t have the capacity to handle sophisticated devices.
More advanced smart home systems offer plug-and-play devices that work right out of the box. Also, the ability to manage the system through a simple mobile application means seniors can use their smartphones or TVs (for a larger screen) to set up preferences.
Older people are more likely to forget their passwords and would call the support number every time.
A well-built system includes an easy way for subscribers to reset their passwords, while it also allows the support center to quickly identify problems and fix them on behalf of customers when needed.
It’s a waste of time to market to seniors – my grandmother can’t even figure out how to send a text.
That may be true, but a comprehensive smart home system is designed to be easy to use for people regardless of their experience with technology. Selling a well-built product with plug-and-play installation and simple setup tools can save the day. Once the system is set up with the senior’s preferences, things happen automatically without much human interaction.
Common Misconceptions Seniors Have About Technology
If seniors are reluctant to get involved with technology, it is likely because they have inaccurate ideas about it, and no one has taken the time to help them understand how easy the latest solutions can be to use.
Here are some ideas to help you respond to the myths some older people believe:
I’m a retired bus driver, not a rocket scientist.
You don’t need to be a rocket scientist; you just need to shop carefully and choose a smart home system that is easy to use, with devices that work out of the box.
Technology is for the young.
If your four-year-old granddaughter can learn how to set a smart home security alarm, so can you!
I’ve gotten along for 68 years without a doorbell that shoots video.
Yes, but you had to get out of bed or off the couch to see who was at the door. Pamper yourself a little, and realize this convenience is attached to a powerful security system.
If I wire up my house, it will be like George Orwell’s 1984.
Quality solutions include strong network security to protect your devices and your information. “Big brother” can’t spy on you through your secure smart home system unless you give him permission.
Technology is a luxury, not a necessity.
Safety and security are necessities, and the best approaches to safety and security now come in the form of high-tech systems and devices.
The #1 Influencer – The Caregiver
It should come as no surprise that it is often the caregiver – usually a daughter, son, niece, or younger friend – who makes or breaks the sale of a smart system for an older person’s home. You must address the senior as the primary decision-maker but recognize the caregiver’s influence on the decision.
The caregiver will likely champion the smart home system you are offering because they want the peace of mind for themselves that comes with knowing the senior’s home is secure.
In a sales encounter with an older person, you should point out that the system would also benefit friends or relatives who look in on your potential buyer. Get them talking about the person that worries about them the most, and volunteer to meet or speak with this person to explain the system and answer questions.
When speaking to a caregiver, it is important to highlight all the ways the smart home system will improve the safety, security, and quality of life for their loved one. However, the more important benefit is the ability to monitor the senior’s well-being remotely.
Describe the monitoring activities a system with full integration offers. The bottom line: A senior with a smart home – monitored by a caregiver – may significantly delay the need for an expensive home care agency or move to an assisted living facility.
Even if a home health agency becomes necessary, the caregiver can observe the activities of these strangers in their loved one’s home.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the need for older folks to have the tools in place for a caregiver to monitor their health and personal needs. From ensuring hot appliances are turned off to making sure the temperature is comfortable, it is feasible for a caregiver to allow their elder to isolate from disease but remain connected and well-cared-for.
It is not more difficult to sell a smart home system to an older person than to a younger person. You just need to know their motivations, understand how the technology can work within their limitations, and factor in the amount of influence the caregiver may have.
At Xunison, we support your sales efforts with great products that are easy to use and don’t burden your support center or field technicians.
Check out our , and then contact us to discuss your needs.