Connect your grandma to the latest technology
The digital age is an exciting time to be alive -- we've reached the point where, with the right tech, we can access practically any information we want and personalize our lives to an unprecedented degree. But for those who didn't grow up with the technology, adapting can be challenging: most of us have a grandparent who could use some help working with gadgets, and they often aren't sure what devices to buy.
If your grandmother is one of our honored citizens who could use some tech know-how, you're in luck. Here's our favorite tech for bringing grandma into the digital age.
For staying in touch
If there's one thing that every grandparent loves, it's staying connected to their grandchildren. With today's devices, that's easier than ever -- just so long as they've got the right electronics. Here's the tech that will keep the whole family connected.
For video calls, nothing beats the convenience of a pair of Amazon Echo Shows. Keep one at home with the grandkids, give one to your grandmother, and then watch as they can call each other just by saying, "Alexa, call grandma!" The second-generation Echo Show also features a much larger screen than its predecessor, so grandparents will never have to squint to see anything on the screen.
If you want to set her up with a video-calling device that also features games and messaging, the iPad Pro is a perfect choice. It supports all of the major video-calling services and will even let grandma download and play classic apps like Candy Crush.
For keeping her safe
For many of our honored citizens, safety is a key concern, and a little assurance can go a long way. If your grandmother lives alone or somewhere that isn't entirely secure, it may be time to invest in some smart technology.
The SimpliSafe Wireless Home Security System is one of the best values in smart home technology today. It's easy to set up, includes motion sensors, and you can even view the camera's feed from a smartphone or tablet. And with a powerful backup battery, both you and grandma can rest easy knowing she'll still be protected in the event of a power outage or severe weather.
If you or a caregiver need to be notified when your grandmother gets out of bed or leaves a room by herself, consider getting a motion sensor with a wireless monitor, like the Smart Caregiver Economy Wireless Monitor and Motion Sensor. When placed strategically, you can get notified every time motion is detected, which can be an important safety measure, particularly for bedridden grandparents or those suffering from dementia.
If you want to make sure you're alerted in case of an emergency, consider outfitting your grandmother with a medical alert bracelet like the LifeStation Mobile GPS. If there's ever a problem -- in or out of the house -- she can alert authorities and get help, all while providing her GPS location. Monitoring plans for medical alert bracelets typically require a monthly subscription fee, and the LifeStation is no exception, but who can put a price on peace of mind?
For keeping her entertained
Just because grandma grew up in the Golden Age of television doesn't mean she's hip to streaming or cord-cutting -- but with these gadgets, you can help get her there.
Amazon's Fire TV Cube is a streaming box -- literally. Although the Rubik's-cube-like form factor is a little off-putting, the Fire TV Cube is both streaming device and digital assistant, so grandma can use voice commands to ask about the weather or stream her favorite shows on Netflix, Hulu, or Prime Video.
If she likes to read, an e-reader like the Kindle Oasis is a perfect gift. It's got an e-ink screen, which is easy to read, and the battery can last up to a month even with regular use. You'll need to do some setup initially, like loading ebooks onto it and adjusting the font size so it's big enough, but once you've got the basics established, grandma will be all set to read anything she wants.
While there aren't that many devices being designed specifically for the elderly anymore, mainstream tech is getting easier to use every day, and that means you can help bridge the gap for your parents and grandparents. After all, why should young people have all the fun?
Jaime Vazquez is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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