Though you may not think that your parents or grandparents are interested in the latest tech devices, seniors actually embrace technology. It connects them to the ones they love, enables them to maintain their independence, and helps them in a myriad of different ways on a day-to-day basis – just as it does in your life. Knowing that, here are some helpful tech devices that are perfect for aging seniors.
Dedicated GPS Device
The mapping functions on our smartphones are certainly capable, but there is nothing quite like a dedicated GPS device to aid in navigation and driving. The screens are large, the directions are clear, they are highly legible, and they benefit from having to do just one thing: get us from Point A to Point B. If your parents or grandparents are starting to find it difficult to navigate, consider a dashboard or window-mounted GPS device. There are a wide range of devices to choose from, to meet all budgets.
Automatic Vacuum Cleaner
An automatic vacuum – like the Roomba by iRobot or 360 Eye by Dyson – makes life easy for seniors by doing the housework for them. Okay, so they won’t dust or take out the trash, but they will vacuum the floors – and every day, too! Using artificial intelligence, onboard cameras, and various sensors, these vacuum cleaners learn their environment in order to efficiently and effectively clean their surroundings. Once done, they navigate back to their docking stations and plug themselves in. All that your parents or grandparents have to do is empty the dust bag occasionally. Voila!
If the seniors in your life have recently shown an interest in Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, or any of the other streaming services, it might be time to recommend a Smart TV. Though streaming devices like the Apple TV and Roku are certainly cheaper, they aren’t quite as intuitive to use. A Smart TV works in much the same way as a normal TV, albeit with many, many more features. Assuming your loved one has a wireless router in his or her house (if they don’t, it might also be a good idea to recommend Google Wi-Fi), setting up a Smart TV is a breeze. Your loved one will then be able to watch all of the programming that they want, without ever having to worry about syncing a laptop or smartphone to their television.
A smartphone is an undeniable asset in the modern world. Beyond the many features and benefits that they provide, they also play a crucial role in modern communication, with texting all but replacing talking on the phone. If your parents or grandparents don’t have a smartphone, they are missing out on a key social aspect of modern life. Not only will a smartphone enable your loved one to stay in touch on a day-to-day basis, but they’ll also be able to enjoy sharing and receiving photos, videos, web links, and more. Gift your loved one with a smartphone, show them the bells and whistles, and bring them into the fold – they’ll thank you for it.
Medical Alert System
For peace of mind, you may want to consider a wearable medical alert system for the seniors in your life. Should they fall, faint, suffer a mild stroke or heart attack, or be incapacitated in some other way, a medical alert system can help them contact emergency services when it’s needed most. Truth be told, a medical alert device can mean the difference between life and death. Devices like the Lively Mobile by GreatCall feature fall detection, GPS tracking, on-call assistance, and incredible ease of use. They’re even waterproof, making them useful in the bath or shower.
To encourage your loved one to remain active and fit, you may find that a fitness tracker (like the much-loved Fitbit) does the trick. They’re stylish, easy to use, and offered in a variety of different configurations to meet your loved one’s needs – they can be worn around the wrist, or clipped onto clothing. With a fitness tracker, the aging senior in your life can track a wide range of performance indicators, including steps, elevation, sleep, exercise, heart rate, weight, and more. This information can help them achieve fitness goals, and provide motivation to stay active as they age.
The seniors in your life have probably reached the point where they have no need for an actual computer, yet they still want access to the many features and benefits that a computer provide – for example, Internet, email, games, and more. This is where a tablet comes in to the picture. The latest tablets are terrific multimedia platforms that are easy to use, fast and powerful, fun, and incredibly portable. And believe it or not, they can be bought for much less than you might realize. The Amazon Fire tablet, for example, starts at just $50 and offers everything they could need.