Technology is useful for growing older.
The senior population in the U.S grows by over 1 million a year. By 2030 one in five U.S. citizens will be over 65 years old, and experts expect technology that compensates for aging to be a $30 billion market. Designers are creating tech gadgets and apps to meet the needs of seniors and many are available now.
These gadgets and apps are for seniors who are already familiar with basic technology. There are no medically oriented devices included except for a medication reminder.
GrandPad – This is an 8” tablet that has large and clear icons for video and voice calls, photos, email, music, games, news, weather and search. Best of all, there is a live support person on call 24/7 in English, Spanish or Chinese to help with any problems or questions. There is a 30-day free trial, and after that it’s $49.00 a month which includes the tablet and a 4G wireless connection.
Tile Mate Tile Tracker helps keep track of any items you attach to the small white tile. The app uses Bluetooth to track up to 100 feet and the tile is easily attached to almost anything.
A 1-pack is $20.00, a 4-pack is on sale for $50.00 and an 8-pack is on sale for $100.00.
This fitness tracker, the Garmin Vivofit 2 has a very long battery life (one year with no recharging) and a backlit, large, easy to read display. It is waterproof so it does not need to be removed for showers or swimming. It tracks sleep, calories burned and has an audible alert after one hour of inactivity to remind you to get moving! It automatically syncs with whatever mobile device it is paired with. $49.49.
The Vizio SB2920N-E0 sound bar attaches to an HD TV with a cable and greatly improves the audio so it is crystal clear. It is 29” long and has built in Bluetooth. $72.00.
The Skybell HD is a digital doorbell that works with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Nest, records at high resolution and zooms in on whoever is at the door. It has two-way audio to have a conversation with the visitor. The videos are stored in the cloud for one week for free. It has a quiet mode to turn off the doorbell chime if quiet is desired. The Skybell is hardwired like a regular doorbell but it’s described as being easy to install. $164.00
The Deebot sells for a much lower price than other robot vacuum cleaners and gets good marks for cleaning well. It cleans hardwood floors and carpets. It can be controlled with a remote or the phone app. $225.00.
OurTime is a dating app for singles over 50 years old. Put in your zip code and see other singles who live near you. $12 for 6 months.
Gogograndparent has a toll free number that lets seniors arrange a Lyft or Uber without those apps. The rider dials in and follows the voice prompts to tell the car when and where to pick up. GoGo sends text updates about the request, the arrivals or pick ups. It also offers the option to order a ride with an operator, or to speak with the operator about special requests or questions. It is available wherever Lyft and Uber are accessible within the U.S. and Canada.
The cost of the call is 19 cents a minute and is added to the base price of the ride.
Magnifier App –
The iPhones all come with a magnifier app. To access it go to Settings, then to General, then choose Accessibility and turn Magnifier On. To use it triple click the side button and adjust the strength of the Magnifier.
Many Android operating systems come with an integrated magnifying-glass tool.
Silvernest – This is a roommate-matching app for baby boomers and empty nesters. Rent out the kids’ old rooms! This app makes it easy to screen potential roommates. Create a profile and a listing. The roommate finder will suggest compatible potential matches in the area. There is unlimited matching until the perfect roommate is found. Silvernest does complete in-depth background checks, creates leases and has automated rent payment tools.
$38 for 90 days.
To remember passwords try Last Pass, a free app that will remember all the passwords for you. All you need to remember is the one master password to access last Pass.
Medisafe Even the most organized among us can lose track of our supplements, prescriptions or vitamins. Medisafe is a pill reminder, keeps track of pill regimens and connects patients with their doctors. The app is free.
See our earlier article on Virtual Assistant Smart Speakers. These Speakers can perform many tasks and would be useful for a senior.