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Friday, November 11, 2022

10 Best Holiday Tech Gifts for Older Adults

Give someone you love a gift they’ll cherish this holiday season while choosing from a variety of price ranges.

Seniors are adopting technology at a rapid pace, according to AARP’s 2020 technology survey. The pandemic pushed older Americans to stream more movies and TV shows, chat via video, and snap up smart TVs, phones, watches, tablets, home security, and voice assistants. And daily usage of these devices was up.

Ownership of tech devices increased across the age spectrum. More than half (53%) of adults aged 70 and over now own a tablet, and most of those are used every day. The top three buys that older adults made were smartphones, smart TVs and Bluetooth ear buds and headsets. With this rapid adoption of technology among seniors, tech gadgets are a great idea for holiday gifts. 

We’ve gathered a selection of devices that would be particularly welcomed by Mom, Dad, or another older adult in your life. (We promise not to tell if you’re using this guide to do a little shopping for yourself!). Some of them require little or no computer skills. Better yet, you can do all of your shopping online. 

Under $50

If an older adult in your life has gone this far without Netflix, it is time to change that! Give him or her a gift subscription to the granddaddy of streaming services for a wide variety of movies, television, documentaries and the like from all over the world. Maybe your loved one should start with “Last Tango in Halifax”, a sweet British show about marriage late in life. A bolder senior might want to check into the wildly popular “Squid Game”. The world of video will be their oyster. Priced from $10 per month.

Everyone needs at least one spare charger, and this powerful, tiny unit comes with a convenient six foot cord. Also available without the cable for Android devices, the $29.99 price includes USB-C to Lightning cable for Apple products like iPhone, iPad Pro and many more. 

If you use an iPhone, these little gadgets are indispensable for tracking keys, your purse or wallet, luggage … just about anything. For $29 apiece they work with Apple’s extremely robust Find My network, and they’re waterproof. Android users are best served by TileMate gadgets (also compatible with iOS), which work great around the house but have a much more limited range.

For $29.99, anyone can have full control of their garage door right in their smartphone. Have you ever left home and wondered if you forgot to close the door after you pulled the car out? Now your giftee can check the app for peace of mind. You can also give limited access to the home for trusted users, such as a caregiver or dog walker. 

If you’re thinking of giving a streaming device, the best one out there is Chromecast with Google TV. It gathers recommendations from all of the user’s streaming services and pairs it with helpful information such as ratings from Rotten Tomatoes. Another plus — it offers support for Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision. 

6. Amazon Echo Dot (4th Generation) 
Sneaking in just under our price limit at $49.99, the echo dot is a budget-friendly way to bring voice assistant Alexa into any home. Alexa’s soothing voice alleviates loneliness as she responds to requests for radio, music, news, jokes, weather reports, and so much more. In fact, you may as well get two because you’re going to want one as well!

$50 to $200

Place your hand in the massager and enjoy a trio of heat modes and three different intensity settings. For about $70, arthritis sufferers can enjoy long-lasting relief while they watch a video or listen to music. Lasts four to five hours before recharging is needed.

The latest iteration of the popular Kindle eReader features a larger 6.8 inch display and adjustable, warm light that is easy on the eyes. It starts at $140 for 8 GB of storage that will store thousands of titles. Waterproof technology allows you to use it in the bathtub or at the beach. And don’t worry about finding an outlet; a single charge will last for weeks.

$200 to $500

If this $210 on up camera is in your price range, there is no better gift for someone with a furry friend at home. The original model is a wonderful basic camera that allows you to view and talk to your cat or dog while you’re away from home. The new version is a pet lover’s dream. It has a 360-degree view and follows your animal so you can watch him every moment, talk to him, and command the device to toss out a treat. It even alerts you if your dog barks, and it compiles video from the day so you can watch a fast-forwarded compendium of what Fido or Fifi did while you were gone. 

With a 14inch touch screen and stereo speakers, the Meta Portal Plus is tops for video calling. 
For about $290, it will work with Alexa to set reminders, check your calendar, control smart home devices and more. Connect with others via Messenger, WhatsApp, or Zoom while the smart camera follows you throughout the room.