Some tech gifts can be intimidating to seniors.
But there are some easier-to-use items out there the older folks in your life may appreciate. Check out the following tech gifts your grandparents will love to use on a regular basis.
DIY healthcare items
Make it easy for grandparents to keep track of and improve their health with gadgets such as heart rate monitors, pedometers and calorie apps. Help them determine their optimal heart rate for exercise, working with their physician – not using the outdated “Age – 220” formula for determining maximum heart rate. Once you know their target heart rate range, program a wrist monitor to help them keep their heart rate at a healthy number of beats per minute when walking, using resistance bands or lifting light dumbbells.
If they have a smart phone, your grandparents have access to more than 40,000 health-related apps at the Apple Store, which can help manage and monitor almost any disease or condition. A talking fever thermometer announces a temperature instead of making eyes strain to find the readout. Look into temperature regulators for showers and faucets to prevent burns from scalding water in the bathroom or kitchen.
Digital photo albums
Keep friends, family and other loved ones in front of your grandparents in the most convenient way, using a digital photo album. These gadgets shuffle and display pics you scan into the device, changing images every few seconds. There’s no sitting down with a bulky book of pictures and turning pages each time, and you can load, add, delete and change hundreds of images, creating theme albums (such as for a wedding, holidays, grandkids, etc.).
Pets play an important role in an older person’s life, and losing a loved pooch or kitty can be devastating. Help your grandparents microchip Fluffy or Fido. When most shelters and animal control pounds find a lost pet, the first thing they do is scan the animal for a chip so they can quickly return the animal to the pet parent. Make sure each your grandparents own has pet has a collar with an ID tag that provides 24/7 contact information.
Reading helps people maintain their brain function, so the more books you can get your grandparents to read, the more you’ll help them keep their cognitive functions. Buy them an e-book reader and teach them how to use it. Set the print type at a size that’s easy for them to read long passages of text, and make sure the lighting will be optimized for daytime and nighttime reading. Ask them what types of books they enjoy and load up the reader, checking in each month to add low-cost of free e-books you can find online.
Sign your grandparents up for a website such as LIVESTRONG or MyFitnessPal which lets them create a personal profile to track calorie goals, bookmark healthy recipes, research types of foods and ingredients, and set exercise goals. Many of these sites are free and use your age, height, weight, sex and any health conditions to personalize your experience.
Home monitoring system
Ever have grandparents (or parents) call you while they’re on vacation because they forgot to lock a door or didn’t leave any lights on? An all-in-one home monitoring system lets seniors feel secure that doors and windows are shut and locked, lights are off, heaters and air conditioners are set to the right temperatures and intruders are detected by motion sensors. No need to call the kids or grandkids anymore – these monitoring systems can be accessed and used from a smartphone or computer. Check out the Lowe’s Iris Home Monitoring Kit for different levels of protection.
Key chain whistle
Few things are more irritating (and scary) for seniors than not being able to find their keys. Buy a key chain device that responds to a whistle, making a noise back to the whistler, letting her know where her keys are.
Common kitchen blenders can grind fruits, but they often aren’t powerful enough to get the maximum juice from whole, raw fruits. Give your grandparents the gift of good-tasting health – and possibly a new part-time hobby – by giving them a quality juicing machine.