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Digital Helpers - Smart Home

Mastering everyday (care) life with digital aids
- how the smart home can help

To be able to live at home in one's own home in old age or in case of illness - that is the wish of many people who need care and support. This is often desirable simply because the familiarity of one's own home offers a lot of security and thus often also contributes to psychological stability. At the same time, one's own home must be designed in such a way that the care needs can be met without overburdening relatives or care staff.

Today, many things can be realised with the help of digital aids. The so-called smart home has also found its way into everyday care by means of intelligent assistance systems and brings with it numerous advantages:

  • Support for people living alone
  • Carers are relieved
  • Safety in the home environment is improved
  • Independence and mobility are maintained and promoted

An overview of the many possible applications of smart assistance systems is provided in the following sections. Since there are always new developments in the field of home technology and care systems, this overview cannot guarantee completeness, but it can help you to think about the possible use and added value of such installations.

No fear of smart technology

There are many different possibilities and solutions for the use of smart assistance systems. These can be adapted to the personal needs and requirements of carers and those being cared for. However, there is often a certain fear of such technical innovations in the home: on the one hand, many people often do not feel capable of dealing technically with the smart home. "I don't know anything about computers" - just one of the sentences we often hear. On the other hand, there is just as often a diffuse fear that the Smart Home will take control and as a result, care or support will also be "dehumanised". The image of an impersonal care robot is present in many people's minds.

But both fears are unfounded. With a little open-mindedness, the set-up and operation of care assistance systems is not only easy to learn, but is generally designed for simplicity for older people. The fear of "robot domination" is also completely unfounded, because assistance systems are not capable of taking over care in its entirety or even replacing human empathy. They can only assist us in everyday life support and relieve the burden there in a targeted manner. They help to compensate for the limitations of old age - such as poor vision and hearing. Or, for example, they help with household chores so that people can continue to live alone. The overarching goal of all these networked communication systems is now called "independent living".