As a Millennial or Gen X-er, you understand the power of technology to make daily life easier. Unfortunately, your aging parents are frequently hesitant to adopt new tech, even when it could enable them to age in place for longer.
Getting older adults to embrace new technology can be a challenge. Seniors might feel like they’re getting by just fine without fancy gadgets, not wanting to spend the money, or fear they won’t be able to learn new technology. Instead of writing them off as Luddites, talk to your parents about how technology can improve their lives, then use these suggestions to buy gadgets that are budget-friendly and easy for aging adults to use.
1. Smart Speaker
Even without a smart home, smart speakers are a convenient way for seniors to hear the forecast, get help with a recipe, play music, make calls, and more. When paired with other smart home devices, a smart speaker can control the lights, thermostat, locks, and handle other tasks that may be challenging for a senior with mobility or vision loss. Smart speakers are also surprisingly affordable: Both Amazon Echo and Google Home have options under $50.
2. Laptop or Tablet
Social media and video chat are wonderful ways for seniors to stay in touch with friends and family, but using a laptop or tablet can be frustrating for seniors who didn’t grow up with the technology. Shop for a laptop or tablet that’s as user-friendly as it is affordable; features such as touchscreen capability, large screen size, built-in webcam, and automated security updates make devices easier for senior users. You can always find a deal on electronics like laptops and tablets at stores like Best Buy. There are Best Buy coupons and promo codes that can help you save, so do some research online before making a purchase.
3. Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Robot vacuum cleaners don’t cost significantly more than conventional vacuums, but they do make seniors’ lives much easier. Instead of lugging a heavy vacuum cleaner around the house, your parent can use their smartphone to run a robot vacuum and simply empty the dustbin when it’s done. For a budget-friendly option, look for affordable brands like Shark and Eufy
4. Pill Reminder
Does your parent forget to take their medication even though you carefully distribute pills into a daily dispenser? Swap their low-tech pillbox for a pill dispenser with a built-in alarm that alerts your parent when it’s time to take medication. You can buy a high-quality smart pill dispenser for under $100, and if your parent can work an alarm clock, they can work one of these gadgets.
5. Medical Alert System
A medical alert system can be a hard sell to aging parents who see it as something that other older adults people need, but not them. The truth is, medical alert devices are an important safety net for seniors living alone. While you hope they never need it, everyone will be grateful it’s there if they do. Most medical alert devices require a monthly fee, but you can find systems that cost as little as $19.95 a month. There are also medical alert systems with no monthly fee; rather than connecting seniors with medical alert staff, these devices call pre-programmed phone numbers over the senior’s landline.
Equipping your parents with the right senior-friendly gadgets doesn’t only make their lives easier — it’s also good for your own peace of mind. Whether you live down the street or far away, consider how tech can improve your aging parents’ lives and simplify your job as a caregiver.
Image via Unsplash
Blog compliments of: Andrea Needham, Eldersday.org