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Age-appropriate living in the smart home. Is that possible?

19. May 2020 Published by Jana Greyling

A smart home not only offers convenience when we’re young. Age-appropriate connected assistance systems can also enable us to lead a self-determined life in old age. But just what is possible now? What do experts advise? And how open-minded are Germans toward technical support in old age? finanzen.de has published a fascinating study on the subject.

Demographic change is proceeding apace, posing challenges for our society that we need to tackle together. Studies show that most Germans want to live in their own four walls for a long as possible – moving to a care home is a last resort for them. Although life expectancy is rising and seniors also remain mentally active for longer, physical impairments often make them dependent on relatives.

Smart, age-appropriate assistance systems enable them to lead an independent life longer and so reduce the burden on family, friends and, not least, care workers.

Gigaset went a step further in 2018, honing the experience it had gathered with its Smart Home system over the years to create an extensive Smart Care system for people who want to lead a self-determined life despite their old age. Yet Gigaset has to keep on asking whether this technology is also accepted by the elderly and the system truly meets the needs of its target group.

So it’s all the more pleasing that finanzen.de, an online consumer platform that provides information on insurance and financial matters and leverages the aid of competent consultants in selecting a specific product, addressed this issue in a recent study. It involved 1,121 participants and revealed what level of acceptance for ambient assisted living (AAL) there already is, the target groups where it is especially high, and what many see as barriers to using smart devices in their everyday life.

Overview of the key findings

  1. There is an extremely high level of acceptance for smart home solutions for ambient assisted living: 8 out of 10 Germans are considering using one or are persuaded of their benefits.
  2. Nevertheless, more than 53% do not want to make the life of their parents and grandparents in old age easier with smart devices.
  3. In particular, anyone planning to become a home owner has made up their mind: Almost half of the surveyed men definitely intend to use smart home solutions to enable ambient assisted living. The figure for women is just around every one in four.

The detailed and extensive study is worth reading. You can go directly to the finanzen.de study here. “The study’s second key finding is shocking in our view,” says Edgar Schollmer, VP Smart Care at Gigaset. “How can it be that more than half of all relatives don’t want to help their parents install or buy an AAL system?”

 

It does indeed seem that the industry needs to do more educational work in this area. Our tip for affected persons: Find out more yourself and talk to your family about how you would like smart helpers in your home. We have written a lot about the subject in our blog. Simply search for “Smart Care.” A good starting point is reading this article or the study by finanzen.de, which illustrates and presents the results in a clear and instructive manner.

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