Any device or technology that makes life easier and safer for the elderly is very much welcome. In that spirit, I put together a list of the best smart gadgets for the elderly.
You can get any of them as gifts for your aging parents, a family member or friend. They include devices that make daily errands less taxing as well as gadgets that improve safety.
Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
Vacuuming may feel routine for you but it is a tedious chore for the elderly. But it has to be done especially if they have allergies.
A robotic vacuum cleaner makes vacuuming so much easier. They don’t need to bend or lift anything. Just switch on the robot vacuum and it does all the work.
There are many premium and affordable brands in the market today.
One of the best is the IRobot Roomba 980. It can be connected to Wi-Fi and controlled via phone or through Alexa. See our top robotic vacuum cleaner reviews for other recommendations.
Smart speaker may seem like fancy gadgets for millennials but they are actually very helpful for everyone, elderly parents included.
With an Amazon Echo or Google Home smart speaker, they can make calls, get news and weather updates, control other smart devices and even do their shopping. They can do all this using just their voice.
With the Echo Show speaker, they can even make instant video calls to friends and family via the Drop In feature.
See our smart speaker buying guide to find the best one for your parents.
Robotic Pool Cleaners
If your parents own a swimming pool, this is one of the best gifts you can get them.
Scrubbing and vacuuming a pool is tedious and even impossible for some seniors. The alternative is to spend a lot of money on a pool maintenance guy.
A robotic pool cleaner keeps the pool clean without any effort required and without spending any extra money.
Read our robotic pool cleaner buying guide to find the best robotic pool cleaners for in-ground and above-ground pools.
Smart Pill Dispenser
Forgetting to take medication can lead to grave consequences. Many seniors experience diminishing memory and might forget to take their pills on time.
if your parent is taking any medication, a smart pill dispenser ensures they don’t miss their pills.
LiveFine, sells a smart pill dispenser that sends visual and audio reminders.
Others like the Tricella Smart Pillbox can detect when a pill hasn’t been taken and alert family members.
Smart Smoke and Fire Alarm
Unlike a traditional alarm, a smart smoke & fire alarm will alert you when it goes off no matter where you are.
You just need to set up the WiFi and then download the companion app. The alarm will then notify you in case it detects that something is not right.
You can also set up the alarm to notify nearby friends and neighbors for a quick response.
Automatic Pet Feeder
If your parents own a pet or two, get an automatic pet feeder for them. It will make it so much easier to keep the pet well fed even when they are away.
An automatic pet feeder works by releasing pre-set amounts of food at specific times. You can even decide to control the whole process yourself via a phone app.
Fill up the feeder then set the feeding times and configure portions for each meal.
See our top automatic pet feeder reviews.
While you are at it, consider buying your cat an automatic litter box.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind
Not every smart device you come across is ideal for someone elderly. Consider various factors before buying a specific brand or type of smart device.
Usefulness: will it really make a difference in your parent’s life or will it just be a good looking gadget sitting unused on the shelf?
Ease of use: Simply because they are high-tech smart devices doesn’t mean that they have to be difficult to use. If anything, a smart device should be easier and more intuitive to use.
Privacy: Help your parents set up privacy controls for devices such as smart speakers. It also goes without saying that you should stick to well-known devices from brands that respect their customers’ privacy.