With the rise of COVID-19, the ability to communicate with the outside world in a virtual environment has become an essential part of going about the business of daily life.
But learning how to hold Zoom and Facetime calls with family and exchanging emails with friends takes time. Ordering essentials online can also be challenging for many seniors who are traversing this territory for the first time.
The rise in tech designed specifically for seniors makes things a lot easier, both for seniors and those who care for them.
Here are five senior-friendly tech devices that’ll help your parents stay at home safely:
1. The GrandPad®
Designed specifically for seniors to connect with loved ones, the GrandPad’s larger buttons and intuitive interface are a good start.
But the GrandPad goes the extra mile or two to make it easier for your aging loved one to use.
It functions using a built-in LTE connection to use anywhere without modems, passwords, or other things that can make navigating other tablets confusing.
When you order the tablet, you can preload preferences, contacts, and apps to send voice emails and share photos. It also features a music selection customized for them and a one-touch, secure, private direct connection to a designated family network.
Caregivers can create new contacts, change or update phone numbers with a companion app, and the customer service for GrandPad is out of this world. Separate device insurance is available for purchase to ensure the GrandPad will be replaced if it breaks.
2. Hero Medication Dispenser, Manager, & Pill Organizer
Last week, we published a blog about helping your aging parents manage their medications.
In it, we mentioned the benefits of using a pill dispenser and organizer. We have to say, this device has everything you need and more.
Hero is operated via an app that you can control from your device. You program the pill regimen for them, and it alerts you when it’s time to take their medications.
It can store, sort, and dispense up to 90 days worth of medications (depending on the size) and accommodate a supply of 10 different drugs, no matter the size or shape.
An audible notification and blinking light on the device signals when it’s time for them to take their medications- all they have to do is push the button. The hero will auto-sort and dispense the appropriate amount.
3. Tile Sticker Bluetooth Tracking Device
We could all use a Tile Sticker, but it’s particularly useful if your aging loved one is becoming more forgetful as time goes on.
It’s a small device that you can stick on commonly lost items like remote controls, keys, wallets, etc. The Tile will signal when an item is indicated as lost by the companion app on your phone.
The Tile offers a Pro version that provides a range of 400 feet via your Bluetooth connection.
4. Amazon Echo Dot
It seems like everyone’s got an Echo in their homes, but its usefulness for seniors makes it a must-have for those opting to stay in their own homes.
We know its voice-activated features can tell you the weather, create shopping lists, stream music, and chat. It’s also portable enough to slip into a purse or bag to take anywhere.
Some may not know that with the safety feature in the Alexa app, the Echo will give alerts about carbon monoxide alarms, smoke alarms, and broken glass. You can integrate the service with a home security system like ADT or Ring. Speaking of Ring…
5. Ring Video Doorbell
Ring devices make staying home much safer for seniors. They send real-time notifications to your smartphone when someone rings the doorbell or triggers the customizable motion sensors.
You can speak to whoever is at the door from anywhere, as well as receive safety and crime alerts using the smartphone app. It also works seamlessly with Alexa for even more convenience.
There’s never been a better time than now to educate our senior parents and loved ones about using tech devices for communication and safety.
If you know an older adult who is having a difficult time with isolation or day to day living because they don’t know where to find the resources or don’t have access to devices that keep them in touch with their healthcare providers and loved ones, visit HHS.gov.
They’re a great organization that provides information on programs and services geared toward supporting the elderly in your community.