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Stay-at-home gadgets

Stay-at-home gadgets 

There are a range of brilliant gadgets and devices available that can aid with independent living.

Beyond smartphones and tablets, beyond apps and the internet, there’s a range of assistive technology that can help us with certain tasks as we age. On the larger end of the scale we have things like stairlifts, which have long been helping seniors with mobility issues to stay in their own home. But there are also many small, more modern offerings in the area of assistive technology that can be useful.

The CSIRO has made enabling seniors to stay at home longer a major branch of its research at the Australian e-Health Research Centre ( “As we grow older, certain day-to-day activities can become difficult. Within our own homes, the risk of falls and related injuries increases. Our ageing population requires improved and cost-effective ways to reduce these risks and manage age-related health issues,” the CSIRO says.

“To help older people live in their own homes for longer and reduce the strain on them, their families and the health and aged care systems, there is an opportunity to create smarter and safer homes for the elderly and help improve their quality of life.”

A smarter and safer homes package might include sensors, video-conferencing facilities and smart appliances that can help with everyday needs. Here are a few options to make it easier at home.

Help with medicine

We’ve all seen those little plastic packs where you sort various medications by the days of the week, but they’ve received a high-tech upgrade. PharmaClock is a product that takes this concept and adds a digital readout and an inbuilt alarm so you never forget to take your medicines at the right time. It’s small enough to travel with.

Reminder Rosie goes one step further. It’s an alarm clock that reminds you about medication, but also acts as a voice-operated personal organiser. Check them out online – both can be found with a simple Google search.

Sense of safety

Medical alert bracelets get an upgrade with the advent of home sensors like the locally made Billy ( Billy places unobtrusive sensors around your home that can alert someone you love if you need help.

It may sound like a loss of privacy, but Billy doesn’t use cameras or mics, so your privacy is protected. Its sophisticated monitoring is designed to spot a fall, and to let people know that you need a hand.

Help in the kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home, and there are a range of high-tech gadgets to make sure you’re able to complete kitchen tasks. Try Aidacare (, where you’ll find one-handed jar openers, kettle tippers for safe pouring of boiling water, and even automatic bottle openers.

Smart appliances

You mightn’t think your fridge needs and onboard computer, but a smart fridge can detect what you keep in your refrigerator and it can keep track of use-by dates and remind you to buy certain products. Using a barcode to keep track of the items, some fridges can even order online for you, and then the supermarket can deliver the items to your door.

Voice-activated devices

Whether you set up a home assistant device from Google or Amazon, or invest in voice-activated remote controls for your TV, this new branch of technology can be a boost for those who have trouble using, or losing, their remotes.

Home help is making incredible strides, so it’s certainly worth checking out any technology that can make your retirement easier and help you to stay at home longer.

“Our ageing population requires improved and cost-effective ways to reduce risks and manage age-related health issues”

Voice-activated assistants like the Google Home Mini are among the new wave of tech that can help make life easier for retirees