The Best Smart Tech for Families: How to Set Up a Smart Home for Kids and Elders

Our home is our sanctuary. It’s a place where we should feel safe, comfortable and relaxed, minimising chores and inconveniences as much as possible. Smart living helps us achieve this, introducing intelligent appliances and innovative solutions to make our lives better.

While many people associate smart living with neon lights and tech-savvy young couples, smart living is much more than that and can absolutely be beneficial (and enjoyable) at any age.

Whether you’ve got toddlers at home or you’re living with elderly relatives, here are some innovative smart home ideas to suit any household and lifestyle.

Choose appropriate smart appliances

squarerooms samsung robot vacuum washing machine blue kitchen cabinets smart appliances fridge family hub

Image courtesy of Samsung

Make sure you pick a vacuum cleaner that’s right for your floors, the size of your home and the way your family uses the space! The same goes for any air purifiers you choose to get; do your research and ensure that your purifier covers the whole area you’re looking to purify.

Automate your home theatre

squarerooms sonos home theatre elders sitting on sofa couch tv

Image courtesy of Sonos

It’s possible to automate not just your TV but also other parts of the living room to set the right home theatre ambience. For example, a family movie night might mean the blinds are drawn and the lights are dimmed, simply using a voice command or pressing a single button.

Get smart door locks

squarerooms automatic smart door luck phone

It’s always a hassle when you return home after grocery shopping and can’t find your keys, especially if you’ve got the kids on your heels. Having to put your shopping bags down to search for them is frustrating and time-consuming.

Smart door locks can be opened via face recognition, fingerprint, by entering a code into a keypad, or even via a mobile phone app, making them much easier to handle.

Some smart door locks even send you notifications when they’ve been activated, so you’ll find out first thing if your forgetful elders have wandered out of the house or left the door open by accident.

Implement smart music at home

squarerooms apple music iphone speaker

Image courtesy of Apple

If your family loves music and tends to listen to different songs at the same time, smart music will be a welcome addition to your space. Setting up separate audio zones means you can listen to different tunes in each room.

You could also set up your music to match your lighting so you can evoke the right atmosphere every time, whether it’s disco lights for a cute dance party or soft lighting for a romantic night without the kids.

Automate your mornings

squarerooms Samsung kitchen family hub fridge refrigerator family standing at island

Image courtesy of Samsung

It can be tough to get the children up and ready for the day on time, so why not help your morning routine with some automation?

This could include raising the blinds, incorporating smart lighting that helps your kids wake up naturally or even turning on the coffee machine and other kitchen appliances at a preset time.

Elders tend to wake up earlier than the rest of the household—why not set up their favourite functions around the house to ease their start to the day?

Choose smart lights for your home

squarerooms ovon design living dining room area lighting

Image courtesy of OVON Design

Your kids and elders might wake up in the middle of the night to use the toilet, or perhaps they need a night light in their room just to fall asleep.

Use motion sensors for your hallway lights so that they turn on when your child walks past—they won’t need to reach for any switches this way too. This is equally great for elders, who may forget to turn on the lights and end up stumbling through the dark.

You can also set timers on any night lights so they don’t have to be left on all night long.

Get a smart baby monitor

squarerooms ourgreennook living room tv feature wall

Image courtesy of @ourgreennook

Baby monitors can stream audio and video from your child’s bedroom directly to your smartphone. Some even include features like the ability to adjust the camera remotely, or two-way audio so you can sing a lullaby to your baby from wherever you are.

Set an automated bedtime routine

squarerooms elderly woman lying in bed smart screen home tech system settings hand pressing on touchscreen

Your smart home could check that the doors and windows are locked and the lights are off. It could even keep just the bedside table lamps on so you and your kids and elders can get into bed comfortably. This can also be great for the elders’ safety, ensuring that they don’t forget to turn off anything.

Make use of smart stoves and ovens

squarerooms smeg kitchen modern minimalist sleek luxury smart oven appliances island light wood cabinets

Image courtesy of Smeg

It’s not uncommon to forget to turn off appliances as you get older. Get a smart stove and oven to avoid this dangerous situation.

Some of these appliances turn off automatically when not in use for some time, while there are also models that can be accessed remotely and alert family members when they’ve been left on.

If you have kids, look out for smart appliances with child locks and other kid-friendly features.

Use smart medication dispensers

squarerooms medication dispenser reminder for elders online doctor consultation couple checking tablet in kitchem

Older family members might forget to take their medication or take it more often than they need to. Smart medication dispensers can be set up by a caregiver so that alerts are sent when a dose is due. You can then track when they have taken their medication and find out if they have missed a dose.

Install an elderly monitoring system

squarerooms elderly woman lady grandma in kitchen at island counter monitor

You want to ensure your elderly relatives are always safe when you’re living with them. This could include using medical alert systems where they push a button on a wearable device if they have a medical emergency.

There are even smart monitoring systems that make use of motion sensors to alert caregivers if any unusual patterns are detected.

Get a smart doorbell

squarerooms ovon design living room area lighting

Image courtesy of OVON Design

You wouldn’t want your elders to open the door to just anyone, and you definitely don’t want your kids greeting strangers at the door.

It can be hard for elders to figure out who is dropping by through the tiny peephole, whereas a video doorbell can help them see who is at the door and also speak to them without putting themselves at risk.

Some smart doorbells allow you to stream a video feed to your phone, so you can also ensure that your kids are staying safely inside.

This post was adapted from an article originally published in the June 2023 issue of SquareRooms.