Technological Gifts to Wow Grandparents

Today’s elders are living a stereotype.  Millions of sophisticated Internet users over the age of 75 effectively use social media platforms and e-commerce sites.  Thankfully, some technological gadgets are designed to make life even easier.  Whether the phone, tablet, watch, or other accessory promotes independence, safety, connection to loved ones, or improves physical health, there exists the perfect device for every situation and need.  

Who’s at the Door? 

Knocks or doorbells can lead to a feeling of panic.  Fortunately, intercom-based systems offer homeowners peace of mind and safety without having to stand up or open a door.  Many smart doorbells use video cameras and two-way speakers, accessible through an app.  By asking questions, some packages offer the option to purchase and customize extra chimes for multiple rooms, or push buttons for doors.   For individuals challenged by the tonality of chimes, a secondary alert option is a blinking light.  Owners can use a wall outlet no more than 150 feet from the door and receive an LED flash as an alert.  Only some smart doorbells include a camera; therefore, be aware of the advantages and negatives of each system you choose.  

An All-in-One Gift 

In the Chambers family, seven adult grandchildren decided it was time their 74-year-old grandmother arrived in the 21st Century and started using a cell phone.  Tiffany, the youngest, age 17, knew her Grammy’s thoughts and feelings, began researching the subject, and found the ultimate user-friendly gadget, a “Grandpad Tablet for Seniors.”   Family members approved of the encrypted private network, eliminating the security risk of spam or phishing scams, offering easy set-up, and great reviews were the ultimate gift.  Arriving at Christmas Eve lunch, Grammy-Tiffany winks, discretely shared between the two, helped define a great moment.  Tiffany shares, “My grandmother does not appreciate surprises.  So, I told her, in secret, about the tablet, showed her the advertisement, and she agreed it would be helpful.   Grammy is the kind of woman who believes technology belongs in a young person’s world.   It’s been almost a year since she received the tablet.  And she loves it.  We communicate daily, sending each other pictures and connecting through video calls.  It helps us to know the other is okay!” 

The Results:  

A study of novice tablet users comprising 83% women, 65 to 76 years old, demonstrated a willingness to adopt and learn new technology, as long as three conditions were present: 1) It was easy to use, not too complex; 2) It offered clear instructions or access to technical support; and 3) It included functional features.    

Smart Speakers 

Without the physical presence of a daily visitor, the interactive speaker offers a voice-activated virtual assistant, allowing technology to perform everyday tasks.  By asking a question, seniors can remain active while receiving a programmable list of actions, from making phone calls to taking medication.  Depending on the level of technology, controlling lights, heat, and the robotic vacuum can be linked to a voice command.  In addition, some systems offer exercise suggestions and tips for maintaining a healthy diet.  All owners need to do is ask! 

Smart Watches 

No worries about keeping track of a large device; in this case, familiarity, from texts and voice alerts, comes directly to the wrist! The SmartWatch is just one more technological device offering independence while maintaining a strong sense of social connectivity.  Voice activation makes it easy to hear voicemails or texts, make calls, and respond to communication.   In addition, the device integrates a wellness routine and health monitoring based on individual needs; so, whether the wearer needs step counters and sleep trackers, or to monitor oxygen levels and heart rhythms, the technology is lightweight and user-friendly from set-up to use.  

Tip:  Look for smartwatches that are GPS-enabled, encouraging real-time tracking and location.  Some brands offer a geofence, helping to alert family members who may wander or struggle with memory issues.  

The perfect technology is available in multiple-priced packages and brand names.  Take the time to thoroughly research the pros and cons, compare features, and read reviews.  Empowering a beloved family member with technology may include discussing the purchase.  Secret winks may become the best part of wowing a man or woman who has almost everything!


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