smart device
Smart devices can make life easier for the elderly. Doing everyday chores, scheduling appointments, setting reminders and more, become easier to manage and more convenient. Image Credit: Shutterstock

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As people grow older, it’s important to prepare for the common frailties of age.

From reduced vision to decreased mobility, and increased risk of falls, the elderly face challenges that often require them to have a solid support system around them. This can include family, caregivers, and in today’s modern age, smart home devices.

Just a few upgrades to appliances and electronics around the home can help older adults accomplish everyday tasks with ease, live safely, and monitor their health more regularly. Smart devices can also help them stay connected to loved ones more easily, especially if they are not well-versed with technology.

The first step to help your ageing loved ones set up a solid foundation for smart technology is by establishing a reliable Wi-Fi internet connection in their home. Then, ensure their smartphone or tablet can pair with smart devices via Bluetooth. Finally, check out our curated list below for smart home devices that they can access and control, either via their phone, tablet, or voice commands.

While these devices can’t replace human care, they are reliable tools the elderly can count on when their caregivers aren’t around. All the devices we’ve picked are based on top-rated reviews, can be operated remotely, and are easy to use.

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1. Best for Emergency Contact: Apple Watch SE 


  • Fall detection
  • Car crash detection
  • Ability to call emergency contacts
  • Shares medical information if required


  • Works best if the individual owns an iPhone

Having a reliable way to contact emergency services is invaluable for the elderly. One of the least intrusive ways to do this is by wearing an Apple Watch SE. Since this smartwatch wasn’t designed as an emergency contact system, it’s a more discrete option than clunky bracelets or necklaces with built-in emergency buttons, for instance. While this smartwatch can be used to make or receive calls, stream music and control smart home devices via Siri, its emergency response features are what make it shine. It has built-in fall detection and car crash detection, as well as a side button that you can press to call your emergency contact. It also has the ability to share important medical information with emergency responders, from blood type and medication history to physical activity statistics, including electrocardiogram data. For a higher price, you could even opt for the Apple Watch Series 9, which has additional advanced sensors that detect blood oxygen levels, and has even more heart-related tracking statistics. Do note, however, that the individual must have an iPhone to take advantage of all the features in this device.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh81.58 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh57, and two-year extended warranty for Dh94.

2. Best Smart Speaker: Amazon Echo Dot 


  • Multifunctional device
  • Easy to access by voice command
  • Third-party app integration is useful
  • Serves as a smart home hub


  • Alexa Calling may not work in UAE

If a wearable isn’t appealing, consider setting up a smart speaker, like the Amazon Echo Dot. It uses Alexa’s voice control platform and is an easy way for your loved ones to listen to the news and weather reports, play trivia games or music, and access interesting podcasts. When integrated with third-party apps and sensors, the Echo Dot also becomes a great tool that helps you check in on your loved ones’ safety. For instance, it provides caregivers access to shopping lists and contacts if you set up the Remote Assist app. And when you pay for the subscription service ‘Alexa Together’, you can use the Activity Feed to connect to an indoor camera to occasionally view how they are doing. The Feed also allows you to set up alerts to be notified if no activity has been detected after a specified amount of time. Do note, however, that calling contacts via the smart speaker may not be possible in the UAE.

3. Best Smart Smoke Detector: Google Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm 


  • Alerts with alarm and smartphone notifications
  • Available in wired and battery versions
  • Includes a night light
  • Self-testing function
  • Alert can be hushed via smartphone app


  • Need to be close to the Nest Protect to hush it on the app

While everyone’s home should be equipped with working smoke alarms, there are often concerns about how easily an older person can hear the alarm, and how quickly they might react to it. Google Nest’s Protect uses industrial-grade smoke sensors and doesn’t just alert the individual with an audible siren, but can also alert family and neighbours via smartphone notifications. It’s available in both wired and battery versions, and once triggered, uses a loud voice alert to let you know which room the danger is in. You can stop the siren via the smartphone app, but you have to be close to the smoke alarm for it to work. The device also has a self-testing function, so it regularly confirms it’s in working order. Reviewers also appreciate the integrated motion-activated night light – perfect for late-night trips to the bathroom.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh44.08 for 12 months with select banks.

4. Best Smart Screen: Amazon Echo Show 8 


  • Responsive touchscreen
  • Excellent sound
  • Doubles as a smart home hub
  • Useful Show and Tell feature


  • No Zoom support

A smart display offers a far more personal way to keep in touch than a simple phone call. By connecting through the home’s Wi-Fi network, it offers an easy-to-use screen that lets the elderly video-call their loved ones, view their calendar for appointments, and monitor their smart home devices, among other useful functions. Amazon Echo Show 8 offers sharp images and great sound quality. Through Alexa, it also helps people schedule reminders about appointments and medication doses, as well as displays recipes, cooking videos, and shows with closed captioning whenever available. Reviewers say the device’s Show and Tell feature is also fantastic – people with low vision can hold up items from the supermarket in front of the device’s camera, and receive a response to the question: “Alexa, what am I holding?”.

5. Best Sensor: Aqara Door and Window Sensors (3-Pack) 


  • Works with most doors, windows, cabinets and drawers
  • Sends alerts when sensor is activated
  • Aqara Hub connects to 128 devices


  • Installation can be challenging

If your loved one has dementia, or is at risk of wandering from their home, contact sensors can offer a great sense of relief. These small devices can attach to any door or window, and alert you when it’s safely shut, has been opened, or has been left open for too long. Aqara’s sensor kit comes with the Aqara Hub, which can support up to 128 sensors or devices. Since it uses Zigbee wireless technology, it works well even in parts of the house where Wi-Fi isn’t that strong. The sensor collaborates with Alexa, Home Kit and Google Home. When a door is opened unexpectedly, it sends an alert to your phone and activates the local alarm on the Aqara Hub. You can even get the Aqara to collaborate with an Echo Show by setting up Routines. For instance, Alexa would be able to trigger a smart light bulb to switch on when Aqara announces that the back door is open.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh23, and two-year extended warranty for Dh33.

6. Best Smart Lock: Ultraloq U-Bolt Pro Smart Lock 


  • Six ways to unlock the door
  • Fast, quiet device
  • Tactile number keys
  • Smart features


  • Fingerprint scanner can be finicky

Forgetting to lock the front door is a common mistake. For peace of mind, invest in a versatile smart lock, like Ultraloq’s U-Bolt Pro. A fast, quiet mechanism, this lock features built-in Wi-Fi, and can be unlocked in six different ways – through an app, a numerical code, a physical key, an e-key, or a fingerprint. The biometric option is useful for ageing adults, who might find remembering codes to be difficult. Moreover, the smart lock automatically locks the door behind the individual, and unlocks it when it detects the home owner approaching, with their smartphone in their pocket. The raised number buttons are also more tactile and easier to use, for the elderly, than touchscreens or keypads. Some users complain that the fingerprint scanner is a bit finicky, however, and may need occasional troubleshooting.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh56.66 for 12 months with select banks.

7. Best Indoor Camera: eufy Security 2K Indoor Camera 


  • Crisp 2K video clarity
  • Options of both local and cloud storage
  • Syncs with voice assistants
  • Intelligent motion detection
  • UAE-based customer support


  • Does not support IFTTT or third-party apps

Placing an indoor camera in a loved one’s home can offer peace of mind, letting you monitor home visits, movement and emergency situations, but it’s a decision that should always be made with the individual involved. Some may find it frightening, especially when there are speakers and mics involved, while others may find it to be a violation of privacy. If both you and your loved one is willing to give it a go, it’s worth opting for eufy’s compact and cost-effective camera. It’s easy to install and can record both 24-7 footage or motion-activated events in crisp 2K clarity. You can use either cloud storage or a microSD card to store the videos, and speak in real time, via the camera’s built-in two-way audio. The camera also features advanced night vision, and can distinguish between pets and humans.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh23, and two-year extended warranty for Dh33.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.