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Monday, April 2, 2018

Best Gadgets for Older Adults

Best Gadgets for Older Adults

We found low and high technology products that users swear by, whether for convenience or because they’ve completely altered the way an older adult lives

Tech products for seniors abound, but how do you find the best for your needs? Figuring out how they work and what they really cost can be a tedious process, especially when a simpler solution might work just as well.

We’ve combed the internet for products that get stellar reviews and won’t break your budget. Some may be familiar to you, but with many wonderful tech products coming on the market every month, we’re willing to bet that there will be several you haven’t heard of.

We’ve combed the internet for products that get stellar reviews and won’t break your budget. Some may be familiar to you, but with many wonderful tech products coming on the market every month, we’re willing to bet that there will be several you haven’t heard of.

Around the House

Sometimes, older adults just need a simple modification to age in place. Technology doesn’t have to be fancy to be helpful. Check out these aids for use in every room of the home.

  • The Med-Q Smart Pill Box is made for seniors and people with hand mobility issues. The big, easy-to-turn knob and comfortable handle make opening cans a breeze. $8.99.

  • If a rubber grip isn’t enough to help you open the tightest jars, try the Open Ease Automatic Jar Opener. Its push-button action and compact design will earn your approval. $34.99.

  • A pill crusher can make large pills easy to take. The ergonomic design and easy cleaning are great for those with limited strength. $5.96.

  • High shelves and cupboards can be a problem. Use the Reacher Grabber extension to pick up dropped items or reach high places. The ergonomic trigger handle and 32 inches of extension can save your back and help prevent falls. $14.99.

  • A full-length, anti-slip bathmat can help a family member avoid falls where they occur most often. $9.99.

  • Install an anti-scald device on your loved one’s shower head or faucet to prevent hot water burns. If water reaches a preset temperature, the device will shut off the flow. Plus, it’s easy to install without a plumber. $53.99.

  • Put a talking thermometer in your medicine cabinet and never worry about an accurate reading again. The infrared thermometer reads your temperature in seconds with a light touch to the forehead. $14.95.

  • If putting on your shoes is a chore, try the shoe horn pro. With an ergonomic handle, stainless steel construction and extension up to 31 inches, you’ll find it indispensable. $11.99.

  • If arthritis makes manipulating a key into a lock a real headache, try the Key Turner Hole-in-One. The 5-inch handle gives users additional leverage, and can hold up to three keys. $9.99.

  • Turn on Light It!, a magnifying floor lamp, end enjoy hobbies you thought you had to give up. Tie a fly, paint a model, quilt or read a book: The six times magnification bifocal lens paired with 12 floodlight LEDs and a flexible metal neck allow you to use it at a workbench, by the bed, in the living room or anywhere you need it. $73.22.

Medication Management

The average adult over age 65 takes five medications every day. It’s easy to forget a dose, but there are great tech solutions to help ensure that doesn’t happen.

  • PillPack is a pharmacy that provides both prescribed and over-the-counter medications and vitamins in convenient packs for morning, noon and evening, or as often as you need. No more struggling to fill a pill box or omitting a medication. And you can monitor everything on a convenient app. The cost is your insurance copay, over-the-counter medications and vitamins.

  • If an adult child or caregiver needs assurance that medications have been taken, MedMinder is the ticket. It’s a digital pill dispenser that flashes or unlocks at the time preprogrammed by the family member or caregiver. The box beeps, and if it’s not accessed, then a message in a family member’s voice offers a reminder. If there’s still no response, the older adult gets a call and their contact person is notified. Plans start at $39.99 per month.

  • One helpful app that’s completely free is CareZone. Your phone will buzz when it’s time to take pills. You can keep track of appointments, get reminders for prescription refills, and share access with caregivers and family members. Better yet, create a complete medication list by taking a photo of prescription bottles. CareZone automatically imports the details for you.

  • Reminder Rosie is a talking clock that an adult child or caregiver can use to record up to 25 reminders at a time in their own voice. It might be, “Mom, in 15 minutes it will be time to leave for your eye appointment. Don’t forget to turn off the stove first. I’m thinking of you!” Reminder Rosie records your voice message and gives a prompt for the date and time you’d like it delivered. Available for $100.

Care Coordination

  • A fall or other medical event can bring on a situation that requires coordination of care. Enter CaringBridge, which offers a personal website to connect friends and family. Having all the information in one place can save you from retelling the story multiple times, and lets others sign up for tasks such as bringing meals or taking Mom to the doctor. Best of all, it’s completely free.


  • The Tile Mate Combo Pack, is a great low tech solution to a common problem. If your loved one often misplaces their keys or phone, try attaching one of these slender white squares. Clip it to keys, stick it on a phone, or slip it into a wallet or purse. Use your phone to lead you to lost objects. If it’s your phone that’s missing, double tap your main tile to make it ring, even if it’s set on silent. There’s no battery to replace, and setup is easy. Pack only sells for about $60, or get adhesives for another $9.

  • A great tool for seniors with memory loss is DayClox. It features an easy-to-read digital display that includes the date. DayClox doesn’t abbreviate the month, which can be confusing for people suffering from dementia or stroke. It works straight from the box, and sells for about $54.

Safety Monitoring

Personal Emergency Response Systems (PERS) are increasing in popularity, especially as more seniors want to age in place. They range from the very simple to the sophisticated, but all give peace of mind to the older adult as well as loved ones.

  • A one-time solution is placing several cameras in your loved one’s home. A caregiver or family member can monitor them at any time to check on a loved one, although they can’t alert you to a potential problem. Price varies.

  • Monitoring companies can offer fall detection systems that alert the call center even if the user doesn’t notify them of a problem. Compare GreatCall and MobileHelp plans in your area. Both offer systems that will work anywhere your loved one goes, not just in their house.

  • If you just want to make sure that Mom is active, try a sensor program like those offered by BeClose and Lively. Either company will let you know if Mom hasn’t made a cup of coffee by 10 a.m., and can automate temperature, light and security settings. They can also alert you if your loved one is wandering or leaving the house at an odd hour. Prices vary according to plan and location.


The 7 Best Tech Gifts to Buy for Seniors in 2018,” LifeWire.

Best Tech Gadgets for Seniors and Grandparents,” A Place For Mom

38 Useful Gadgets for Independent Elderly,” Hobbr.

Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors