Long gone are the days where we should expect our seniors to fumble around with new technology, frustrated that things aren’t what they used to be. That’s because all sorts of advancements in the area of mechanics have started to take the elderly into consideration, and more now than ever there are products which they can enjoy without the steep learning curve we have come expect. And that is why, this Christmas, you should consider upgrading the lives of your aging friends with just some of these practical gift ideas.
Laptops and Tablets
Hooking seniors up to the information superhighway is no longer an outdated dream, as reportedly over 50% of the elderly are already enjoying the infinite benefits these technologies provide, particularly tailored to their very needs. With touchscreens and adjustable font sizes, today’s operating systems are famously intuitive, meaning that they should be quick to pick up no matter what the age group.
And before you know it, they will be plugged into a world where it’s never been easier to listen to music, watch their favourite shows, learn new skills, listen to audio books without any eye strain, and doing their weekly shopping without even leaving the house. Furthermore, with tools like Facebook and Skype, their virtual social lives will flourish, keeping in touch with their loved ones and feeling more included than ever before.
Gaming is often mistakenly written-off as a young person’s timewaster, but studies have concluded that specifically chosen games (such as Tetris or Trivial Pursuit) can improve the player’s mental awareness, reaction time, and memory, which is ideal for seniors. Furthermore, with consoles such as the Nintendo Wii or other such motion controlled video game systems, moderate physical activity is turned into an entertaining pastime, getting your grandparents onto their feet without having to leave their living room.
Another added benefit to this gift idea is the social element. There are many multiplayer games on the market where your grandparents can bring out their competitive side, whilst the pure enjoyment factor will encourage their grandkids to come visit and join in on the fun.
With their larger buttons, readout features, voice recognition, and speed dialing, smartphones have become a very user friendly device for seniors to own, which also grants peace of mind to the whole family, allowing them to contact their loved ones wherever they may be. But as you already know, these machines have developed into something much bigger than just a telephonic gadget, and can be used in an array of different health and safety scenarios thanks to the development of apps.
These days there are programs which can help the elderly keep track of and schedule their medications or nutritional needs, complete with reminders to ensure they don’t accidentally skip a dose. There are also apps designed to store important medical history or emergency contact details, while GPS trackers authorize you to keep an eye on their whereabouts at all times, especially for those who suffer from dementia or are prone to getting lost on their leisurely strolls.
Home Assistive and Automation Devices
If you need proof that technology has not left the elderly behind, you do not need to look much further than the various fancy home devices available on the market. Many people are looking towards automated medication dispensing appliances to replace those ineffective plastic pill organizers, by keeping track of their daily requirements so the user doesn’t have to. We can also purchase motion sensor LED lights to automatically brighten up the bathroom during midnight visits, avoiding potential falls.
And don’t forget the latest trend of voice activated virtual assistants! Just by shouting out for information on the weather or asking to hear their favourite song, nobody has to even stand up to enjoy these easy-to-use comforts taking the world by storm.
Emergency Response Systems
Finally, no piece of technology can provide you and your family with the same comfort as a Personal Emergency Response System (PERS). If a senior is in need of help, all it takes is one simple push of a button on a wearable device, and a message will be sent out to whoever has been set up as their emergency contacts. This could be a neighbour, a doctor, or even you, ensuring an assisting hand is never far away from knocking at their door.
With so many options to choose from this Christmas, why not introduce your elders into the fascinating world of technology? Your only real question should be, which ones should I get? And that all depends on how naughty or nice they have been this year.