Senior Market + Smart Homes = Opportunity
Connected aging uses unobtrusive smart home technologies to create safer, easier, attentive environments for elders aging at home. Connected aging solutions powered by Z-Wave aren’t just an ecosystem of products. The benefits they provide span the entire ecosystem of senior care, including family members, health professionals, and payors, providing all these stakeholders with rich new metrics and capabilities designed to effectively serve our graying population bulge.
More than 10,000 Baby Boomers turn senior each day in the US, and many populations across Europe and Asia are older per capita. Seniors want to age gracefully and live independently in their own home . A 2015 United States of Aging Survey revealed that 75% of people 60+ intend to live in their current home for their rest of life. The high cost and dearth of choices associated with institutional long-care facilities makes aging at home not just overwhelmingly desirable, but also necessary.
Z-Wave smart homes automatically maintain safety and comfort for seniors, and let the loved ones keep engaged through intelligent remote monitoring and alerts.
How do smart homes transform aging in place?
Meaningful New Wellness Metrics
Wellness is a state of being that includes physical health, but paints a broader picture of overall vitality through the observation of activity, habits, difficulties, and other key markers of well-being. Until the advent of smart home technologies, the only way to understand overall senior health was through a physician’s exam or anecdotal observation. Smart home technologies add valuable new information to the healthcare spectrum through individual activity metrics and intelligent analysis of activity patterns over time.
Smart homes can tell family caregivers or a third-party monitoring services whether elderly loved ones are keeping up healthful activities for daily living. Declines and pattern aberrations in activities such as mobility, dining, sleeping, and more can now be easily and unobtrusively quantified. Connected Aging by Z-Wave makes the entire home act like a wearable device, generating data beyond the five vital signs, and producing rich new depictions of overall senior health.
Proactive Care Through Monitoring
Until the arrival of the smart home, senior care at home worked on a reactive principle, but now it can be proactive. Remote family caregivers can only know of a problem in wellness once it actually gets reported. A best case scenario leads to a timely doctor visit; at worst, it’s an emergency alert. Before smart homes, nothing could have been done in advance to seek professional care sooner, or demonstrated clear risk indications for a potentially disastrous emergency event.
Wellness observation by family or professional caregivers, or by remote monitoring services, can enable proactive interventions that can save lives. Connected aging environments powered by Z-Wave can demonstrate negative changes in activities for daily living. This allows caregivers to make inquiries before a condition advances too far. In cases where reactive action is needed, Z-Wave panic buttons can send alerts without the need for copper phone lines or monthly cellular charges.
Optimized, Assistive Environments
Today’s seniors are more active than ever, but the majority of time is obviously spent at home. Connected Aging solutions powered by Z-Wave makes daily living easier, safer and more comfortable, especially for elderly seniors. Intelligent automation of lighting, climate, and water controls prevent dangerous conditions and make routines easier; they help “senior-proof” the home for safety.
Falls are the leading cause of lethal and non-lethal injury to people over 65. Stairs can be especially hazardous, but most accidents occur in the bathroom, usually by slips on wet surfaces. Simple lighting controls that provide automatic illumination for stairs and baths; sensors that light hallways at night; and humidity controls that indicate slip conditions just a few examples of how accessible, interoperable Z-Wave technology makes homes safer for seniors.
View and Manage Activity Remotely
The ecosystem of care for seniors aging at home spans multiple parties, including family members, home health services, visiting nurses, rehabilitation specialists. and physicians. A Connected Aging home environment powered by Z-Wave brings efficiency and security to the mix. Primary caregivers get the peace of mind they want through simple, accessible technology solutions they can operate from their smartphone.
Family caregivers can now remotely operate smart locks and assign temporary or ongoing codes for in-home services. They can initiate video sessions for a physician’s telehealth visit, even when they’re not there with the patient. They can see when there’s been a lack of expected activity and receive an alert. They can flash a reminder to take medications on schedule. They can help their elderly loved ones live the way want to, with less disruption of their own busy lives and schedules.
Z-Wave brings you into the Connected Aging Market
The Broadest Portfolio of Partners
The business opportunities for Connected Aging environments touch many verticals. In the US, healthcare delivery is shifting to value-driven models, where the importance of monitored home care for the elderly is vital. Throughout global markets, senior demographics are outpacing the growth of assisted living facilities to house them. Most seniors everywhere now age at home.
Z-Wave is the technology of choice for the world’s leading companies that bring services into the home. Z-Wave powers smart homes through security companies, telcos, triple-play providers, residential technology integrators, and home builders. Newcomers to the Connected Aging market, such as home care providers, nursing services and remote monitors, can forge partnerships with established vendors already trusted by consumers.
Security Beyond HIPAA for Devices and Cloud
Privacy and security are tantamount concerns for the coming home health markets. The US Department of Health and Human Services has mandated new security measures to fix the shortcomings in outdated HIPAA requirements. All devices and applications for the Connected Aging markets must be intensely focused on data security, with encryption throughout the home and into the cloud.
Z-Wave’s S2 framework provides the most advanced security for smart home devices and controllers, gateways and hubs on the market today. Devices using the S2 framework pre-empt the security risks that have been identified under the new FTC breach notification rules, and make cloud applications as safe and encrypted as the devices. Z-Wave solutions are ready-made for the coming digital health landscape.
Optimal Technology for Ambient Monitoring
Connected Aging environments run in the background of daily activity, and use a broad variety of sensors, many of which are physically installed, and operate on batteries. Achieving the longest possible battery life is critical for these applications. Z-Wave sensors offer the industry’s best battery life; with many devices able to deliver multiple years of service before battery replacement.
Z-Wave’s unique, ultra low-latency technology enables near real-time communication with battery driven devices. This ensures immediate response time for mission-critical applications, such as when an alert is necessary, all while keeping device upkeep and maintenance at a minimum for the caregiver or resident.
Consumers are Eager for Connected Aging Solutions
49% of all consumers say they would sleep better at night if their parents or grandparents had a smart home.
72% of those aged 25-34 say they would sleep better at night if their parents or grandparents had a smart home.
74% of parents say they would sleep better at night if their parents or grandparents had a smart home.
(Consumer Technologies Association 2016)
The Z-Wave Ecosystem Makes it Possible
Connected aging environments consist of numerous devices, but need to be simple enough to be operated from a single app. The market-leading Z-Wave ecosystem offers the most product and vendor choices — all guaranteed interoperable — and the smoothest path to market for companies entering this important new business sector.