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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.