5 High-Tech Gift Ideas for Seniors

 

When you imagine gifts for seniors, your first inclination is probably not a high-tech gadget. However, there are a number of devices that can make a meaningful difference in the lives of aged individuals. Technology has far surpassed the days of simple cell phones with giant buttons for older adults. The products available today include cutting-edge technologies that are truly useful. Here are a few great high-tech gift ideas for the seniors in your life.

Digital Personal Assistant – AI

These voice activated devices are equipped with artificial intelligence (AI) technology. They can help with reminders, answering questions, controlling household items, playing games, and so much more. In some cases, they even act as a sort of digital companion, providing conversation and preventing loneliness. The three most popular personal assistants are:

  • Amazon Echo Alexa – There are several devices that incorporate this AI. It is directly attached to a person’s Amazon account, making online shopping very simple. It is not the most conversational device, but is great for people who use Amazon’s services.

Tech Gift Ideas for Seniors

  • Google Assistant – There are three devices at various price points that utilize Google’s AI. This is the most conversational personal assistant and works with Google’s services. The app to control this device must be installed in a phone or tablet, unlike the Amazon products, which are “stand alone” devices.

Tech Gift Ideas for Seniors

  • Siri – This personal assistant is only available on Apple products. It is the most limited of all the AIs. However, if your loved one is an avid Apple user, Siri does have some interesting features.

Smart Home Devices

Many smart home devices are integrated with digital personal assistants. This allows an individual to voice-activate devices for the home. A person with mobility or vision problems may have difficulty performing tasks like adjusting the thermostat or lights. With voice activation, a person can simply speak a command, and the device will comply. For example, you could say, “turn the heat up to 74°” which would trigger the smart thermostat to adjust the temperature. Smart home gadgets require some mildly complex initial setup procedures. You will probably need a tech-savvy person to get everything ready for your loved one to begin using these products.  

Tile Tracker

These little gadgets are perfect for anyone who tends to lose important items. Simply place one of these tiles in or on an object and use your phone to locate it. You can stick it on a set of keys or slide it into a wallet. They are small, inconspicuous tiles that are easy to use.

Digital Photo Frame

Load a digital photo frame with pictures of grandchildren and relatives. You can update and change the photos over time, keeping your loved one up-to-date on the latest family pictures. This gift is a favorite among grandparents.

E-book Reader

We no longer need to haul around big bulky books. The avid reader in your life can simply download a book and read it on their e-book device. The most popular e-reader is the Amazon Kindle. The Nook by Barnes & Noble is another commonly used device. They are both similar in functionality. It’s simply a matter of whether you prefer to purchase your books from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. E-readers can be especially good for seniors with vision issues including macular degeneration as the print size can be enlarged significantly. Most public libraries now offer a wide variety of e-books that can be easily downloaded onto the e-reader.

 

 Tech gifts are not just for young people. Adults of all ages can benefit from innovative devices. Consider a high-tech gift this holiday season when you’re shopping for the seniors in your life.

 

Do Robots Hold a Key to the Future of Senior Care?

robots Do Robots Hold a Key to the Future of Senior CareWith a growing aged population and a shrinking caregiver workforce, the senior care industry is facing a serious impending crisis. Researchers estimate that 25% of the population will be over the age of 65 by the year 2060. It may seem so far in the future that it is irrelevant, but we are already experiencing a workforce shortage that is projected to get worse over the next 10-20 years. Scientists and innovators are working diligently to find solutions. Robot care providers may be the answer. We can expect to see robotic senior care assistants within the next 10 years.

Where and how will robots be used?

The majority of robots will serve people in their own homes, allowing older individuals to remain in the home longer. The goal is to enable people to “age in place.” This not only alleviates demand on senior care communities, but more importantly, it permits seniors to remain in their own comfortable, familiar environments for a longer period of time. There will of course, also be industry uses for robots. However, we will presumably see them gain popularity in the home first.

When you imagine a robot, you probably picture a humanoid looking, butler-style, home assistant. but, this is not how machine caregivers will appear or function. Rather, they will be small, specialized devices intended to perform specific tasks. The Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner is a current example of a small robot designed for a particular purpose. Robots will assist seniors with tasks and activities of daily living such as:

  • Eating
  • Cooking
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Mobility
  • Household chores (laundry, dishwashing, mopping)
  • Medication management

Self driving cars and other transportation aids will probably be commonplace in the future along with care giving robots.

How will seniors interact with robots?

Aged individuals are embracing technology more each day. Nevertheless, the idea of a robot care provider may be difficult for some people to accept. Researchers are trying to determine the best ways for machines to interact with senior citizens. They study things like eye contact, social and emotional support, conversation and movements of the robots. These devices must be user-friendly, and it’s crucial that people feel comfortable with them.

 

What are the advantages of using robots?

The most obvious benefit of using care giving robots is to alleviate the strain on the senior care workforce. The presence of robots will also relieve stress from family members striving to provide adequate support for their older loved ones. Most importantly, however, seniors will experience immense benefit from care providing robots. Not only will these devices supply physical assistance, but they will likely improve the mental health of aged individuals as well. It is common for older people to feel like they are a burden on friends and family, leading to depression and anxiety. Robots will enable seniors to be more independent and rely less on their loved ones. Additionally, robots will provide some social interaction and companionship for older people. The ability to age in place is another important factor influencing the overall happiness and well-being of seniors.

Robotic devices are slowly making their way into the senior care industry. It’s a process, but we will certainly see more care giving robots in the near future.

 

4 Simple Cell Phones for Seniors

Mobile phones are an integral part of our lives. Most people couldn’t imagine life without their devices. Our phones allow us to remain connected to the world. The benefits of owning a cell phone extend far beyond convenience. For the elderly, it can literally be life-saving. Not only do cell phones provide a way for seniors to communicate with friends and family, but they also offer safety and security. Many phones today, designed specifically for the elderly, include attributes to assist with the unique needs of aged people. Here, we will look at the top  cell phones for seniors.

Jitterbug  

Jitterbug -Best phones for seniors

This is the most popular and well-known phone for seniors. It is simple to use. Jitterbug has flip phone and smart phone models. Ease of use is probably the best characteristic of these products. They have very large numbers and simple “yes-no” navigation. The speaker volume is quite loud for those experiencing hearing loss. Verbal instructions for voicemail set up are useful. Overall, jitterbug devices are extremely easy to use mobile phones. They also come with some optional features.

  • Urgent care – This service allows the phone owner to connect with medical professionals at any time. Doctors and nurses are available to give medical advice and can even prescribe medication over the phone.
  • Caregiver app – This application allows caregivers and family members to login and check on their loved one. GPS tracking shows the precise location of the phone.
  • Five-star emergency call – There is a large “five-star” button on the phone that connects directly to an emergency call system. This is not only useful for medical emergencies, but can also be used if the individual is experiencing mental or emotional issues.

The smart phone model of the Jitterbug does have Internet surfing capabilities and email. The flip phone, however, is very basic, offering texts and calls only.

 

 Snapfon ezTWO

Snapfon ezTWO-Best phone for seniors

This phone has large buttons and similar to the others, is specifically built for seniors. With a simplistic design, it is intended for making calls and sending texts only. It does not offer Internet access. Additional options include:

  • Speaking keyboard – A great feature for those with low vision.
  • SOS emergency – Pressing and holding down the large button on the back of the phone sends a text to designated contacts. It also sets off an alarm, which can be disabled if you prefer.

 

Doro Phone Easy 626

Doro Phone Easy 626- Best phone for seniors
Doro at Mobile World Congress 2015 Barcelona

This is another flip phone designed with simplicity in mind. It features large, raised buttons and high-volume speakers. Some of the additional features include:

  • Hearing aid compatible
  • Emergency call -By pressing one button, a call is automatically placed to the contact of your choice.

While this phone lacks some of the “bells and whistles”, it is a durable, uncomplicated to use mobile phone. Future models are planned to include remote options. This will allow loved ones to make changes to the phone settings from a distance. So, if the phone owner is unable to set up the phone or change things, someone else can do it remotely.

 

Cricket LG True

Cricket LG True- Best Phone for Senior

This is a basic, no-frills flip phone. Fewer features can be a beneficial quality if a person is easily overwhelmed by technology or too many options. There is not much to become confused about with this phone.  The low cost is the primary reason this device is popular among seniors. The phone itself is very inexpensive and Cricket offers several extremely low cost plans. Cricket has a number of phones, including smartphones. The LG True is the only  Cricket phone recommended for seniors. However, their plans are cheap, so if you know an elderly person who wants a fancier phone, this company might be a good choice.

All  of these phones are “pay-as-you-go” plans, with no contracts or cancellation fees. it’s important to note that each phone has its own carrier and network. This means, you cannot add one of these phones to a current plan with your own carrier like Verizon or AT&T for example.The actual phones are fairly inexpensive, especially when compared to the average cost of a smart phone. If you are seeking a smart phone for an elderly person, all the major   manufacturers have wonderful accessibility features. The phones listed above have some great video tutorials on YouTube. Watch videos  below for more information: