Helpful Gadgets for Seniors Who Want to Remain Independent: Types and Uses

AllsWell Team

 

Table of contents:

People often see gadgets as something primarily intended for younger generations. Indeed, adults and teens won't leave their homes without a smartphone these days, but do you know that the share of tech users among seniors has been steadily growing since 2012? Helpful gadgets for seniors are an effective way to simplify everyday life and improve the personal safety of our elderly family members.

Find out more about types of helpful gadgets for seniors and how our loved ones can use them to minimize the difficulties of aging.

What Are The Difficulties of Aging? How Do Gadgets Help to Solve Them?

The use cases of helpful gadgets for seniors vary based on the complications they face in the process of aging. So before analyzing the tech, let's try to understand what makes aging so hard. 

Why Is Aging So Difficult?

Aging affects almost every sphere of life. When we grow older, our bodies and minds work much worse, causing many problems:

  • Health State

Our parents and other people of old age have similar health problems. Changes in the inner ear and nervous system affect their vision and hearing. Advancing age violates insulin secretion, increasing the risk of diabetes. There is also dementia, a medical condition that groups many disorders connected with the loss of cognitive functioning.

Discover 9 Activities For Dementia Patients To Slow Cognitive Decline

  • Loneliness

According to recent research, one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are socially isolated. They often lose their family and friends and live alone in their homes, struggling with health issues and lack of attention. Even though many underestimate loneliness and its consequences, social isolation increases the risk of depression, anxiety, and even premature death.

  • Safety Issues

Many seniors enjoy living alone and will never move to a nursing home. Still, the risks of such independence are high. Health issues like dementia often make the most routine tasks challenging. Hence, safety is a common issue among independent seniors as they often can't keep the house on their own. They may also be unable to ask for help in case of an injury or an assault.

How Can Gadgets Help With the Difficulties of Aging?

Only a few decades ago, consumer electronics couldn't solve the listed problems. DOS computers, Nokia phones, and dial-up Internet connections had basic features. Now the market for consumer electronics has expanded with innovative products and is much more user-friendly for all age categories.

Current electronic devices have bright screen colors and customizable fonts to serve users with vision problems. They have an easy-to-use interface convenient for people with cognitive decline conditions. Moreover, the latest Android and iOS support different accessibility features for seniors with hearing and eyesight issues (e.g., a screen reader or a braille display).

Smartphones open the world of instant messages, video chats, and GPS tracking, becoming helpful gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent. Our grandmas and grandpas can have a call with their family and friends, ask for assistance in an emergency, and widen their social circle with Facebook and Twitter.

4 Tips on Teaching Seniors to Use Modern Gadgets and Apps

You probably use tech daily and know how irreplaceable it is. The problem is that only 61% of US citizens aged 65+ own a smartphone, so you'll have to guide your loved ones on how to use safety gadgets for seniors. Here are some quick tips to simplify the learning process:

  1. Adjust the Settings

We recommend adjusting the settings before explaining how to use safety gadgets for seniors. Choose a suitable font size/style, set the screen mode, and add contacts with some basic messaging applications. Most latest OS versions have text-to-speech, screen settings for people with vision problems, and support emergency alerts. 

  1. Explain the Basics

Before using the device, you need to explain what it is, how to use it, and why it's so convenient. When describing the basics, try to use simple and easy concepts like you would for your kids. Avoid complicated terms and don't dig too much into the technical processes of safety gadgets for seniors.

  1. Remember that Practice Makes Perfect

Helpful gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent may be hard to master, but don't forget that theory requires practice. Spend at least several minutes per day explaining something new and check if your student understands the practical aspect of learning. Don't forget that you talk about gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent, so it is better to leave the practice to themselves.

  1. Be Patient

Let's face it, educating people about safety gadgets for seniors may be tiresome and time-consuming. If your elderly are far from modern technologies, they won't understand many aspects. Remember, your seniors will experience every feature from scratch, from sending audio messages to configuring notifications, so give them some time.

Try to understand how complicated it is and remain patient when you receive repetitive questions about safety gadgets for seniors. They've once taught you, so it's time to thank them.

How to Use Helpful Gadgets for Seniors Who Want to Remain Independent 

Helpful gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent apply to different life scenarios.

Gaming

According to recent studies, gaming is effective for treating dementia. Dementia usually makes the cognitive functioning of the brain decline. To prevent this, scientists and game developers create serious games that improve short- and long-term memory, orientation in space, and object recognition. Another research concludes that playing video games improves the cognitive functions of the elderly. That's why we recommend introducing your seniors to the world of video games as well. Just make sure the game is suitable for their condition.

Since new games allow many customization options in the screen settings, seniors with poor vision can play them too. For example, the recent Last of Us 2 and God of War have vision and hearing presets, including text-to-speech and navigation assistance.

Even smartphone gaming may be helpful for brain functioning, so feel free to pick a game for your loved ones. Change the difficulty to easy, adjust the controls, and give the gamepad to your seniors. We hope they will like it.

Household

Cleaning is tiresome and difficult for a person of any age, so household responsibilities only become more problematic once you are a senior. If you want to give your elderly relatives autonomy and a sparkling bathroom, we recommend purchasing cleaning gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent.

For example, a smart vacuum cleaner lets you forget about using a regular one, and a microwave is more convenient for heating than an oven. Enter the nearest tech shop, and you will be surprised by the number of household kitchen and bathroom gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent.

Medical

Medical gadgets for seniors won't replace doctor's visits or physical therapy but can do the monitoring. Up-to-date medical devices allow tracking blood pressure, glucose levels, and oxygen saturation. Based on this data, users can be more aware of their health.

The main advantage of these gadgets for seniors is that they can use them at home. All therapeutic, exercise, and diagnostic tools are mobile and easy to use.

Safety

The desire to remain independent is normal for a person of any age. The variety of safety gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent makes wishes come true. You can equip your senior's house with home security systems, walk-in tubs, shower chairs, and even safety handrails. No matter your senior's medical condition, there is probably a device that can minimize its impact on their lives.

Besides, to ensure your elderly relatives' safety, you can download a safety app on their smartphone. Apps like AllsWell allow users to send an SOS message in an emergency. This way, you don't mess with your senior's privacy while enabling them to ask for help.

Top Characteristics of Gadgets for Seniors 

Before searching for a gadget for seniors on Amazon, we recommend getting acquainted with some basic requirements to use them. There are several things you need for effective use of safety gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent:

  1. Accessibility

Users must have access to safety gadgets for seniors at the time of emergency and 24/7. 

  1. Awareness

Older adults and caregivers need to understand how to use safety gadgets for seniors properly.

  1. Usability

The safety gadgets for seniors must be convenient.

  1. Stability

The safety gadgets for the seniors must work fast and be stable.

  1. Compactness

The safety gadgets for seniors must fit in the home environment.

5 Must-Have Helpful Gadgets for Seniors Who Want to Remain Independent

Helpful gadgets for seniors simplify lives in many ways. They can entertain, assist with housekeeping, and even care for the user's health and personal safety.

Still, creating an ultimate gadget for seniors covering any of their potential needs is difficult. That's why we decided to list the devices that have many use cases and are easy to afford in any tech shop.

  1. Smartwatch

Smartwatches are a relatively new technology. Yet they are very helpful gadgets for seniors that can integrate perfectly into the routine of an elder relative. They may differ depending on the price, but the main goal remains the same – assistance with routine tasks and tracking health parameters.

Your senior relative may have different conditions. Mind it when choosing this safety gadget for seniors who want to remain independent. Think about the parameters that you need to track. Some seniors require blood oxygen monitoring or heart rate calculation. Others need GPS and fall detection. Choosing the one and only smartwatch is challenging, so we recommend prioritizing the most needed parameters. Look for smartwatches with long battery life, data storage, and positive Amazon reviews.

  1. GPS Tracker

Tracking the location of your loved ones is a good idea if you know they may get lost. That often happens with dementia patients.

That's why we recommend using a GPS tracking device with SOS button functionality. Most helpful gadgets for seniors have location tracking as a built-in feature. Still, we must note that GPS trackers may come in different shapes, such as wearable rings, bracelets, and keychains. 

GPS helpful gadgets for seniors have long battery life and small dimensions. Once users get accustomed to wearable accessories, they won't forget them anywhere.

  1. Smart Speaker

Some of the medical conditions discussed previously affect limb functionality and eyesight. This problem is challenging to solve for many helpful gadgets for seniors, except for smart speakers that work with voice commands.

Smart speakers are relatively easy-to-use devices that require voice commands and an active Wi-Fi connection. Your seniors can avoid smartphone scrolling and ask for the information directly.

Smart speakers are helpful gadgets for seniors when it comes to household items. They are the center of all home operations if you have any smart devices. You can tell your smart vacuum cleaner to start and order the lights to go off.

Smart speakers are also great companion gadgets for seniors. Having something fully voice-controlled to assist you forms warm relationships with this piece of technology.

  1. Bluetooth Headphones

Such gadgets try to assist users with hearing loss, at least on a primitive level. For example, recent Apple software allows you to boost the sound in the AirPods to make the incoming sound louder.

Bluetooth headphones are among the most helpful gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent. They let older adults listen to TV, radio, YouTube, and music. They have long battery life and good sound quality, so video calls become much more enjoyable with headphone speakers.

Advanced speakers improve the sound quality for seniors who have significant hearing problems. These safety gadgets for seniors become better every year, so maybe one day, they'll be able to restore hearing completely.

  1. Smartphone

Smartphones are one of the best portable safety gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent. They combine most of the features in previously discussed devices while remaining the most accessible in terms of purchase and mobility. Here are the many benefits of smartphones for the elderly:

  • Accessibility. Since present-day smartphones have large screens with contrast fonts, information is easy to comprehend. Seniors can change the display, add braille, enable captions, amplify the sound, and use a screen reader. 

  • Versatility. Smartphones have the most versatile uses among all listed devices. You can download custom games, digital books, wellness applications, panic button apps, etc.

  • Safety. Google Play Store and AppStore offer tons of safety applications for any scenario. The primary purpose of safety apps for seniors is to track their location and enable them to ask for help in emergencies. Most safety apps use an emergency button, a feature that will send the senior's location and an SOS message to a list of previously selected emergency contacts.

AllsWell Alert As an Alternatives to Safety Gadgets for Seniors

Safety gadgets for seniors have different monitoring systems and use cases: Some support fall detection recognition; others measure blood pressure or watch the user's diet. 

The AllsWell Alert app provides inactivity monitoring and a GPS panic alert button to enhance personal safety. It tracks the period of inactivity to automatically send alerts when the user doesn't interact with the smartphone for too long. Once your senior is suspiciously inactive during the wake hours, AllsWell Alert starts a countdown to activate alerts. If the user needs help right away, they can send alerts themselves by clicking the panic button.

This way, the functionality of the AllsWell Alert app can replace many safety gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent.

AllsWell Alert has a 30-day free trial. Download it on Android and iOS now.

Final Thoughts

Accompanied by software products designed for your elderly relatives' needs, helpful gadgets for seniors who want to remain independent make life easier. Aging can be comfortable, independent, and joyful with innovative technology. Your loved ones deserve it to be so!

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