You may think that your parents (or grandparents) are tech averse, but there’s a good chance that they like technology just as much as you do. However, they may not have as good a bead on what’s currently available in the marketplace. If you are looking for a compelling – and useful – birthday or anniversary gift, or would simply like to gift your loved one with something you know that they need, consider these tech products. You might just find that they make a huge difference in their day-to-day lives.
Autonomous Vacuum Cleaners
The elderly individuals in your life may not be as mobile or independent as they once were. If your grandparents or older parents are less able than they used to be to get around the house, consider buying them an autonomous vacuum cleaner, like the Roomba or Dyson 360 Eye. These vacuum cleaners can learn their environment and scan their surroundings, allowing them to clean a room – or an entire house – in less than an hour. Once done, they return to their docking station automatically. No, they can’t go down or upstairs, but they are mighty impressive gadgets. After all, your loved one simply has to empty the dust bag – the vacuum will do the rest.
Medical Alert System
If your loved one were to fall in their home, suffer a mild stroke, become dehydrated and faint, or suffer some other affliction, would help be available? Would they be able to reach their phone to call 911? The odds are good that the answer to these questions is “No.” In situations like those described, a medical alerts system like the GreatCall Lively Mobile enables them to reach out to emergency services even if they are immobile or out of reach of the phone. As the device is worn on the clothes or around the neck on a lanyard, it’s never out of reach. It can provide your loved one with life-saving services in times of emergency, and you with peace of mind.
Contrary to popular belief, smartphones are incredibly popular with seniors. In fact, approximately 40 percent of seniors in the United States now own a smartphone. Of course, that also means that 60 percent don’t. If your parent or grandparent is among those who don’t yet have a smartphone, perhaps now is the time to bring them onboard. Though he or she may be intimidated or unsure how to use the device, you can vouch for how easy and intuitive smartphones are to use. Give your loved one a brief tutorial, show them the many benefits, and introduce them to the phenomenon that is texting. Once they know a smartphone will enable them to stay in touch on a day-to-day basis – rather than receiving a bi-monthly phone call – they’ll jump at the opportunity. Whether you go with Android or Apple, make sure that you choose a device that will suit your loved one’s needs, and not your own personal biases.
A smart watch lets your loved one enjoy many of the benefits of a smartphone in a more intimate and unobtrusive way. Rather than constantly have to fiddle with their phone, for example, they can simply receive incoming text messages right on their watch. Or perhaps they would like to check the weather? Again, they can do so right from their watch. And though smart watches do have small screens, which might make them difficult to use for individuals with less dexterous hands, many – like Apple’s aptly named Watch – also recognize voice commands. Needless to say, they can be very convenient.
Dashboard GPS System
For seniors who don’t have a smartphone, or who have a hard time figuring out the various mapping apps that are available, a dashboard GPS system can greatly help with navigation and driving. You may not realize it, but there are a wide range of dashboard GPS systems available. Yes, it’s true – not everyone uses their phone to find their way to their destination! The advantages that these systems have over a smartphone comes down to the fact that they are designed to do just one thing. That makes them exceedingly good at what they do, and very easy to use. Your parents or grandparents don’t have to ever get lost again!
Has your grandmother, grandfather, mother, or father ever inquired about Netflix or Hulu? If so, why not consider getting them a streaming device, like a Roku or Apple TV? Many seniors have heard of these services – and are interested in trying them – but don’t know how to view them. It isn’t that they’re completely alien to the concept; they simply don’t want to watch television on their computer. With a streaming box (which can be incredibly affordable), you can set them up on their own streaming service, and in the process, open their eyes to an all new way of consuming media.