Aging in Place Technology

To age safely in place, there are adjustments we must make to our homes, 

appliances, and electronics. This article provides an excellent overview of what we should consider: Aging in Place Made Easier

Advances in technology have made staying in our own space more practical. Falls or injuries when we are alone are some of the most common problems, with potentially life-threatening consequences. Here are two devices (out of hundreds) that allow you to be alone but just a button push away from help.

Medical Alert System - No Monthly Charges

Medical Alert System (without monthly fee)

SOS Senior HELP Dialer 700 with Necklace and Wrist Panic Buttons - No Monthly Fees - No Contract Medical Alert System

Medical Alert system with neck and wrist panic buttons

Vision problems are another barrier to safely aging at home. For some, diminished sight is only a minor inconvenience. Cell phones with bigger buttons or alarm clocks with both larger numbers and talking features are helpful.

Easier is better with the big-button Jitterbug Flip

Easy-to-Use Cell Phone with 5Star medical alert system

Hand-held Reading Magnifier

If blindness or severe sight loss is the issue, this clock is a simple push button solution to time and day information .My mom suffered from macular degeneration and used this talking clock for the last year of her life.

Talking Clock announces time, date, day of week (no numbers to read)

These are not the only products to help with this need, but give you an idea of what you might find with a simple Google search.

Note: the products pictured here do link to Amazon. If you order one of them directly from this article, there will be a small affiliate fee earned by Satisfying Retirement but that has no effect on your cost.

Technology offers us all sorts of ways to stay in touch with family and friends, enjoy our new-found freedom, and stay active and involved in the world around us.

Also, the proper tools can help us age more safely in place. Recently, I have been made aware of two new products that are just becoming available and may be useful in that regard. Please note that I am passing along this for informational purposes only, not as an endorsement of either one.

CareAlert monitor

CareAlert, the first of its kind well-being monitor system from SensorsCall, was developed after a frantic late-night visit to check on an aging parent after phone calls unanswered for hours.

The non-invasive technology preserves senior’s independence while providing family or caregivers with regular safety updates, among other features. Unlike cameras or other monitoring systems that can feel like a violation of privacy, CareAlert monitors senior’s environment and how they interact with and affect it, notifying contacts of any irregularities or safety concerns. 

Utilizing artificial intelligence and deep learning, CareAlert is able to collect information about the environment it is placed in, learn patterns, predict outcomes and provide insightful and actionable analysis to the end-user.  Once the devices have learned what is normal activity in a senior’s home, they can monitor the environment and relay any anomalies back to family members or caregivers via a mobile app.

If a loved one cannot be reached by phone, CareAlert has a built-in speaker that can be accessed through the app to check-in without jumping in the car or calling a neighbor. This feature can also be used to leave a timed message that will alert the senior when medication needs to be taken or for other helpful reminders.

CareAlert can be integrated with Google Assistant, Apple Home Kit, Amazon Alexa and Cortana. The device is currently available for pre-order with pricing starting at $139 for one unit, a 3-pack for $310 and a 5-pack for $520. All orders include one year of free monitoring, which is $150 per year thereafter. For more information and purchasing, visit:

CareAlert product introduction video:

Front door camera and security device

Innovative Two Screens | Two Storage Solution

Brinno DUO combines its proprietary low power WiFi technology and reconfigures the door’s standard peephole into a discreet smart home security detection camera which is un-noticed by outside visitors.

It’s ideal for all family members, young and old, living together or alone, and when at home or away. In contrast to exposed smart doorbells, the theft-proof indoor Brinno DUO camera provides a clear image of visitors via a built-in 2.7-inch LCD screen, transforming the hard-to-see peephole into clear front head-to-shoulder images. These images are automatically saved onto an SD card locally in the device.

For residents not at home, they can use Brinno’s app to see a live view of their front door area or check the visitor log remotely anywhere and at any time.  The Brinno DUO app can also send message alerts to a smart phone or an email when it detects activity at the door. The visitor images are automatically sent and stored to the designated email box of the user’s choice as a backup offering double insurance of image data storage. 

Brinno DUO is designed for DIY easy installation and removal, keeping the front door intact and unaltered making it particularly convenient for apartment dwellers. Motion and knocking sensors also included to ensure that activities at home entrance area are monitored. In addition, the DUO is a simple one price solution with no additional charges for add-on accessories or required cloud storage data plans. It is the most practical solution on the market with a minimal cost or easy installation helping residents keep their home security budget in check.

More information is available at products is inexpensive. However, consider the cost of safely staying in your home versus having to move to some other environment when calculating whether either makes sense for you.

What good is a smart speaker?

What is a smart speaker? Since only 7% of seniors have one in our home or apartment, that is a good question. Sometimes called a digital or voice assistant, these devices include a microphone, usually a speaker, and a connection to the Internet. Using a voice command from you, these gadgets answer a question, tell you the weather forecast, provide a summary of the latest news, or play your favorite music.

You can order groceries or almost anything else delivered to your home. It will set up both an alarm and a voice reminder to walk the dog or watch a favorite television show.

Amazon Echo 
The leaders in smartspeaker development are Amazon's Echo and Google's Home, but others are available or being developed. They can be controlled by simple voice questions or statement, or a special application on your cell phone.

Prices for older models can be as low as $30. The newest versions can cost over $150, though discounts and sales are often available. As with most technology, prices have been dropping since smart speakers were first introduced in 2014.

Google Home
What is particularly exciting is not that something can order your food for you, or play a favorite piece of music instantly, though those are nice skills to have. Rather, it is the potential to be a tremendous help as we age and want to remain independent as long as possible.

You can have a smart speaker remind you to take a pill at a certain time, check that you have turned off the oven, or to lock the front door before bed.

A smart speaker can be programmed to trigger devices that turn your lights on or off. You are able to lock or unlock the front door on your command, or change the thermostat. If reading becomes difficult, a smart speaker can read you a favorite book or keep you up-to-date on the latest news and weather. 

Using the "ask my buddy" setting, a smart speaker will call or text someone you have previously identified, to be contacted in an emergency. While calling 9-1-1 is not yet possible, the "buddy" feature could be a lifesaver.

A smart speaker can be a tremendous convenience feature for your daily life. Alos, it has the ability to make aging in place a much safer, more enjoyable, and longer-lasting option for you. Check out this excellent article for more information.

If you'd like more detailed information, click here for the Amazon Echo or this link for the Google Home. The Google version can also be found at Walmart and Target.


  1. I agree with the potential but I wouldn't recommend anyone get Alexa or Google in their
    home unless they need the voice controlled services now. I know from experience setting these up for my son (whose disability requires them) that the systems listen 24/7 and the privacy policies are vague. There are folks working on digital assistants with inherent privacy; Mycroft
    ( is an example. Googling 'open source digital assistant' will find others. Hope this helps.

    1. I know that has been a lot of discussion about the privacy issues. There have been documented cases where the Amazon product did actually record someone and play the recording for someone else by mistake. Amazon (and Google) say they have no interest in listening into all our conversations, but I am sure they make use of our commands and various choices to build a profile of us. My Echo has an option to turn off the microphone but that sort of defeats the purpose.

      You raise a point that folks should think about before adding this to their lives. Personally, I would bore those listening to me to death. I am more worried about hackers of credit card accounts or health providers. But, privacy is something to think about.