Technology Gifts for Tech-Saavy Seniors

For those of us with older adults on our Christmas list this year, don’t be so quick to dismiss high-tech gadgets. Seniors are no longer as technology adverse as one might think.

According to AARP.org’s annual 2021 Tech Trends and The 50 Plus report, technology today is more essential for everyone.

In fact, older adults are doing more with smartphones and spending more time using technology than any time in history, the undeniable result of a pandemic-driven need to stay home and stay connected.

According to the AARP.org study, smartphones, smart TVs and Bluetooth headsets were among the top three tech purchases by older adults.

After an extended period of not seeing the grandchildren, even the most technology adverse became willing to change ways, even if it required creating a Facebook account or buying an iphone.

For instance, AARP data found that among adults aged 50-plus:

  • 82% rely on technology to stay in touch with family
  • 70% have used video chat to stay connected
  • 24% order groceries via a smartphone
  • 40% use smartphones to communicate with medical professionals
  • 64% purchased a smart TV
  • 60% stream services such as Netflix or Hulu
  • 55% use smartphone to make purchases
  • 32% have attended a virtual event

Technology usage among adults aged 60+ declines somewhat, but not much. As much as 53% of adults aged 60 to 69 use smartphones for video chat and 67% use social media.

TECHNOLOGY FOR AGING IN PLACE

Technology gives older adults the means to age in place and confidence they need to feel safe in the home alone. From wearable devices that prevent falls to applications that monitor critical care factors, technology is accelerating at an unprecedented rate and radically changing the way we not only connect with older adults, but also manage their health remotely.

High tech devices that are designed for convenience have the added benefit of making life both easier and safer for seniors! Assistive devices such as Google Home, Apple HomePod mini and Amazon’s Echo Dot are becoming both more mainstream and affordable.

Computer applications that solve a variety of aging challenges also make aging in place a safe viable option for older adults. For example, built-in GPS monitoring systems track location while giving older adults and their adult children greater peace of mind.

TECHNOLOGY GIFTS FOR OLDER ADULTS

Let’s face it, technology is not cheap, so Sonata Senior Living assembled a guide to help you make the best tech purchase based on your budget.

FAVORITE TECH GIFT UNDER $20

Wireless Charger. Cords can be challenging to keep up with not to mention unsightly and tangly. Wireless smart phone chargers like the Anker Wireless Charger PowerWave Stand ensure that the older adult in your life always has a fully charged phone available when you call. It also helps keep surfaces neat and tidy.

LED flashlights. How many times has Dad asked to you hold the flashlight while attempting to fix a broken pipe, light or car gizmo? When you’re not around to help, these LED flashlight gloves are an ingenious way to shine a light on any problem and perfect for the handymen, DIYer, electrician, engineer or mechanic in the family.

FAVORITE TECH GIFT UNDER $50 

Voice-Activated Speaker. When you can’t be around an elderly parent 24-7, voice-activated speakers like the Amazon Echo Dot will always be available to help, answer questions, play news, stream music, lock doors, adjust the thermostat, set a timer, call a friend, or, most importantly, call 911 in the case of an emergency. Older adults find it useful to set medication reminders, recurring alarms and check the weather. There are literally dozens of ways a voice-activated speaker can make the home safer for seniors.

Streaming Devices. You would be hard-pressed to find someone under 50 who has not jumped on the streaming wagon, but many seniors are loyal cable subscribers and old habits die hard. Top rated for ease of use among seniors, you can introduce the older adults in your life to the joys of Netflix, Prime Video, Hulu and more using the Roku Express.

The Ultimate Streaming Guide for Older Adults can help you help your loved one make the leap.

Wireless Tracking Devices. You don’t have to be a senior to lose track of your favorite items. Wireless tracking devices using GPS and bluetooth technology have expanded in both form and fashion. The Tile Sticker, for example, can be stuck on anything from your TV remote to your reader glasses. The Tile Mate is ideal for locating misplaced keys and bags using your smartphone.

Keep in mind, GPS trackers provide real-time tracking via satellite while Bluetooth trackers work in a shorter distance range using a Bluetooth enabled device and are usually lighter weight and more affordable.

FAVORITE TECH GIFT UNDER $100

Video Doorbells. Elevate safety and security using a smart connected doorbell. (If only this one were around earlier to keep pesky solicitors away.) PCMag does a great job of reviewing all the features, benefits and options in this article. Wired doorbells are a little more difficult to install than wireless doorbells, but you won’t have to worry about replacing batteries. The wired Ring Video Doorbell ranks among the most popular for seniors.

Trackball Mouse. Now that older adults are spending a lot more time online, one of the single most important investments one can make in their tech health is to purchase an ergonomically designed mouse. The Kensington Expert Wireless Trackball Mouse comes with a built-in wrist rest for ergonomic comfort and pain-free website surfing and video calls.

For a little less, the Kensington Pro Fit Ergo Vertical Wireless option features a 60-degree tilt and natural handshake position as well as a trackball you control with your thumb.

TECH GIFTS $100 AND MORE

Robotics Technology.  Old and young alike, who wouldn’t be thrilled to do less house cleaning? The eufy robotic vacuum cleaner by Anker combines sweeping and mopping for even less work around the house. At this rate, robots may soon be doing all our tiresome home maintenance chores.

Emergency Alerts. Emergency alert systems can be costly, but they also save lives. As technology advances, service providers in this space have made e-alert devices and monitoring subscriptions more affordable. The Family 1st Belle+ Senior Medical Alert System uses patented algorithms to detect falls. If a fall is detected, users are connected to specialists who dispatch emergency services if needed for approximately $30 per month.

TECH GIFTS FOR OLDER ADULT’S PAIN RELIEF

Technology and innovative product design can ease a variety of challenges for older adults with chronic illness and pain. The inflammation, swelling and joint pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis, for instance, make everyday tasks from eating to typing more challenging.

According to electronichealthreporter.com, technology has provided new and viable alternatives to medication and many of them are available for home delivery on Amazon!

Here’s a few worth noting.

Speech Recognition Software. Not able to type? No problem. Dictate emails, documents, to-do lists and anything else you may need with new technology. Dragon Home speech recognition software helps people with inflammation, swelling and joint pain use a computer again through dictation.

Heated Mattress Pads. Sleep is highly underrated, that is, until you suffer from back pain. Heated Mattress Pads can provide therapeutic relief to older adults who suffer from spine, neck and lower back pain.

TENS Therapy Devices. According to the Cleveland clinic, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapy involves the use of low-voltage electric currents to treat acute muscle and joint pain. Devices such as Quell wearable pain relief technology helps older adults with chronic pain stay active by relieving leg, feet and knee pain.

Remote-Controlled Massage Devices. No gift list would be complete without Sharper Image products and no pain relief guide would be complete without massage. Combine the two for massage devices that use heat and electrical impulses to relieve pain.

Therapy Socks. Not all technologies are electronic. The NatraCure Cold Therapy Socks relieve sore, aching feet and inflammation the old-fashioned way using innovative design.

SIMPLISTIC TECHNOLOGY DESIGN FOR OLDER ADULTS

The older adults in your life may have found a new comfort level with technology, but some devices come with too many too many bells and whistles that only cause frustration. Many older adults prefer a simple approach and minimalist design that manufacturers like Apple have nailed. At the end of the day, the iconic ipad might be the best way to get the older adult in your life to fall in love with technology. Check out the Gift Guide for Apple Fans for an easy solution to your gift-giving needs this season.

Call Sonata Senior Living to learn more about senior living in Florida or
 schedule a visit to a community near you.

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