Updated: Apr 18
The holiday season is in full bloom and gifts are being purchased left and right. People who know me, know I know seniors and I inevitably get asked what I think the perfect gift is to get the senior in their life. Lately, I am impressed by the technology that is available to help seniors live more independently. So, I decided to put together a list of the Top 5 Tech Gifts for 2019. The gifts were judged based on practicality, adaptability, and safety. Number one might come as a surprise but, hear me out as to why I love it so much. That said, let the count-down begin.
5. Amazon Echo
The Amazon Echo is probably my most favorite gift because it’s user and age-friendly. I think this was probably the most obvious choice but, in case it wasn’t I wanted to explain a few of the reasons why I chose it. Aside from the general voice command tasks and skills that Alexa can perform, there is a medication reminder and alarm setting feature that speaks to my heart. The transportation skill with Uber is a plus. There are various skills that range from getting in contact with a caregiver to monitoring daily exercise routine. Lisa is the skill that I found most useful for the senior population. The personalized voice assistant is designed to help seniors stay happy, healthy and more connected to the people and resources they know and love.
4. LOK8U Freedom Watch
Dementia and Alzheimer's patients can sometimes wander away from their homes—a major source of worry for caregivers. The Freedom Watch, an unassuming accessory with geo-fencing capabilities, was designed to monitor seniors prone to wandering. If the wearer moves out of the established “safe zone,” you’ll be alerted via text message or email. Plus, the watch has a panic button that can be used to call for help if, for instance, the senior falls. I like this because I know first-hand how frightening and worrisome it can be caring for someone with dementia who is mobile. This gadget is going to come to use for anyone dealing with a wandering adult at home.
3. Ecovacs Deebot N79
This robot vacuum cleaner came it third mainly because of its utility. One of the most difficult tasks to complete for my seniors tends to be simple household chores like vacuuming and cleaning the floors. Once you get past the wi-fi setup, it’s virtually automatic from there. This particular bot is at a price point that is perfect for a holiday gift.
2. SnapPower Guide Light 2
This little gadget made the list because I am all about safety when it comes to caring for seniors. It’s all about what is the best way to keep them as independent as they want to be for as long as they want to be. So, gadgets like this night light that can help prevent falls will always a winner in my book. The lights are placed in the electric outlets around home and light up at nighttime. The ability to not have to fumble around in the dark and risk falling in the middle of the night is major. This almost came in number one because I love it so much but, it’s not as widely coveted as the winner.
1. Easy-Off Jar Opener
Yes, a jar opener. It’s not just any jar opener though, it is THE jar opener of openers. This thing should be in every person’s home but, most importantly in every senior’s home. Through my work, I have learned that it is a big deal to not have help to open a jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce. This handy device eliminates that need and keeps the sense of independence intact. Cooking and storing food become a true task as my clients' age. This gift is practical, affordable, safe and therefore wins the prized spot of number 1.
I hope that you find this list somewhat helpful. This list is just a guide to what technologically advanced tools are available and would make wonderful gifts. Gift-giving can be stressful so get your elderly loved one something that they will find helpful for their everyday lives. It’s important to think of independence, ease, and safety when gift-giving to seniors. If it doesn’t fall in line with most of these criteria it will surely collect dust on the shelf with all the other gifts of holidays past. Again, I hope that you truly enjoy this holiday season with the ones you love. As always, remember to give care and take care too!