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HelloEd Collection

Top 6 Home Independence Products

Better outcomes for independence and safety, whether living alone, managing a condition, or helping someone you love across the miles and generations.

Always consult your doctor or health professional.  See also How we Chose, How to Get Outcomes.

Home Hub & Voice Assistant

Why we like this type of product..

Home hubs are smart devices, that deliver a range of functions and benefits. Functions include: - Voice Assistant - Voice & Video calls - Calendar, time, date, and reminders for appointments, medication, or paying bills - Controlling home lights and appliances - Dropping in to check a room, doorbell, or camera - Detecting movement - Access to news, entertainment, and productivity apps Home hubs, when combined with family and routines, can assist with - Independent living - Loneliness & isolation - Physical mobility limitations - Help with medication, reminders, and appointment - Home Safety Both offer routines, high levels of customization, and privacy, and work with thousands of apps, skills, other devices, and ecosystems, to control lights, taps, doors, windows, calling, banking, etc. They are best placed in frequently used areas. They are available with screens and in mini versions. We'd suggest a screen in living areas and paired with a no-camera device in bedrooms depending on needs. Note you will need internet connectivity. This can be achieved by connecting to wifi or setting up mobile broadband ie. a small mobile unit from your telco that gives access to 4G or 5G.

Why this one?

Our two top picks are from the two major players, Amazon and Google. They have similar features & performance and it's hard to go wrong with either.  They are also available in bundles with products like cameras and doorbells.

The Amazon Show ("hey Alexa") 10 is our pick due to its swivel capabilities for face tracking, allowing you to move throughout the room. Amazon offers integrated services like music, parcel delivery notification, movement alerts, and a Care service.

The Google Nest Hub Max ("hey Google") is super reliable, can recognise a person/face or voice, and has a slight edge with Search.

Set it up with family, connect phone numbers, customize music and news preferences, add reminders, and let the family know how to call in or check movement. Leave a note on the bench with what you can say to the voice assistant eg 'Play Trivia', 'Tell me the news', 'What's in my calendar today', 'what's 12 x $8' or 'Turn on the lights'.

Arlo Camera

Why we like this type of product..

Home cameras can bring peace of mind for you, or someone you love and want to check on. It might be to alert you to someone leaving the house, see who's at the door, or for peace of mind if noise or an intruder is detected or you're away from home. In some cases, it's allowed people in the early stages of dementia to stay home longer, with the family checking in before bed that loved ones have made it up the stairs, or are up ok and downstairs in the morning with the movement notification sent. Another strong benefit of these devices is the ability to connect with the world by simply asking the voice assistant to tell you the news, play a youtube clip, get a recipe, do a calculation or listen to a podcast or audiobook.. just by asking. ..Other help provided is with daily routines, messaging, calling and reminders.

Why this one?

We like the Arlo range of cameras, especially the Arlo mobile/Go.  It can detect movement, send alerts or notifications, allow you to drop in live, and let you talk both ways.

The easiest version is the wireless version with a sim card included - so it can be moved anywhere.  Options are available for indoor or outdoor, battery, power plug or solar charged, and siren and light.

Devices are managed via an App, and can be controlled or viewed by a Home Hub. eg. "Show me the front door camera".

Smart Door Lock

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Yale Smartlock

See other options

Why we like this type of product..

A smart door lock has the benefit of helping to know if a door is open, closed, or locked, granting access to others, or keeping track of visitor access via a mobile app. The lock can be set to lock or not lock automatically. Feature choices include a key, keypad, fingerprint, one-time access for visitors, or remote opening when a carer arrives, you ask a neighbor to check in if there's a concern or no answer, or a tradesperson or cleaner arrives when the occupant is away or in temporary care somewhere else. This option can bring convenience and added security when there are multiple visits, carers, family checking in, or the security risk of leaving doors open or unlocked.

Why this one?

The Yale products are highly rated by customers all over the world. 

We like the flexibility to fit with individual preferences such as:

  • Multiple access options to open the door such as pin, one-time pin, remote opening, or key

  • With 24/7 lock activity, you can see who and when people accessed your lock.

  • Add-ons and options including keypad, handle, and key-entry

  • Yale is made by Assa Abloy, a world leader in door locks

  • Extension to fit with home devices like doorbells & security systems

  • Good support and DIY videos (or get a professional)

Smoke & Air Quality

Why we like this type of product..

Smoke and air quality detectors bring peace of mind to you and your family. These products will detect smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, or gas leaks, and alert you and others.

Why this one?

We like the Google Nest Protect for its ability to detect:

  • Smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide

  • Fast and slow burn fires

  • Self-test

  • Wired and battery versions

  • Ability to talk to you and alert others

  • Shows light rings of green to let you know all is ok (or red)

Smart Plugs

Why we like this type of product..

Smart plugs turn appliances into smart devices, enabling them to be scheduled, remotely operated, and voice-controlled. This can make life easier for those with health, age, or mobility challenges - making homes cozier, daily routines easier, energy use more efficient, and appliances safer. If need be, the ability to turn on a light at a certain time or event, or turn off a coffee machine, can assist families and carers to help out remotely.

Why this one?

There are several good smart plugs available. This one is:

  • Highly rated by thousands of customers

  • Works with remote control and voice control including the ecosystems of Apple, Amazon, Google & SmartThings

  • No hub required

  • Approved and with security protection (surges)

TopHome - How we chose

How we Chose

These products have been selected as a subset from our larger product scans, covering hundreds of sources and providers.  See what we do for the 10+ factors we assess.

We've selected these for this list, (and give you options for each) based on the additional relevance of:

  • Highly reviewed and rated

  • Good technology compatibility (eg. works with what many people have)

  • Reputable brands

  • Relevant for common needs ('most people would benefit..')

  • Quality of product design and/or multiple functions for value

Why do we sometimes choose to link to Amazon? Our scans use the product providers' material directly, however, Amazon is valuable for the largest base of customer reviews, the latest dynamic pricing, and delivery and shipping across our global community.

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Getting help

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