Smart tech your grandparents will love

By
tech-spanfeller
BestReviews

If you’re installing smart home technology in your parents’ or grandparents’ home, add yourself as a user. You can then make changes from your smartphone without being at their house and help them troubleshoot problems.

The smart tech revolution is in full force, and it's now easier than ever to find electronics that can adapt to your needs and bring you a new level of convenience. But when it comes to technology, there's one group of people who often get left out: grandparents.

Technology can be difficult for those who didn't grow up with it, and adapting to new situations can get tougher as we grow older. Thankfully, smart tech products designed specifically for older users are gaining steam: there are now smart home devices designed specifically for our honored citizens, and for connecting them with their kids, grandkids, and treasured lifelong friends. Here's your guide to the best and brightest smart tech for the grandparents in your life.

For video calls with the grandkids

If there's one thing that every grandparent loves, it's grandchildren. But sometimes grandma and grandpa live far away, so keeping in touch is extra important. Many grandparents opt to use video conferencing services like Skype, Apple's FaceTime, or Google Hangouts to have impromptu chats with their favorite little ones. If you're looking for an easy way to keep grandparents and kids connected, use a smart tablet. Smart tablets make video calls super easy, and some include features specifically designed for the elderly like larger buttons or more legible text.

Our pick: The Lenovo 10" Smart Display tablet does it all -- from web browsing to Netflix -- and it's built for anyone who may be less than comfortable with technology. Its built-in stand makes it a snap to use, and best of all, it's got Google Assistant built in, so all it takes to start a video call is the right voice command.

For staying safe at home

You can't always be there to check in on grandparents, and feeling safe can be difficult for some older people, particularly if they live alone. Using a security system can bring a lot of peace of mind -- both to you and the grandparents in your life -- and a smart security system will bring even more functionality like range extenders and smartphone alerts.

Our pick: The Ring Alarm Home Security System with Optional 24/7 Professional Monitoring brings the right combination of usability and features, including motion detectors, smartphone notifications, and a 24-hour backup battery (so they'll stay safe even if the power goes out).

For controlling the temperature

Let's be real: sometimes grandparents keep their house at unusual temperatures. Whether you've got a grandma who insists on her home being a balmy 80° at all times, or a grandpa who insists on saving on heating costs in the winters, a smart thermostat is the perfect way to let them control the temperature even if they prefer climates that aren't hospitable to most of mankind.

Our pick: The Honeywell RTH9580WF is a smart thermostat that's easy to use and works with Alexa, so if they own an Amazon Echo device, they can control it with voice commands. Even without voice command support, it's perfect for grandparents with large, legible menus and customizable smartphone notifications.

Other recommendations

If a grandparent is bedridden, consider buying a smart bed alarm and sensor pad like Smart Caregiver. You can get notified every time they get out of bed (or if they fall out of bed).

If your grandparents are prone to losing things, consider getting them a Bluetooth tracker like a Tile Mate. These attach to anything that gets lost a lot -- car keys, TV remotes, pets -- and let you track their location (so long as you're in Bluetooth range). With a Tile Mate, nothing has to get lost again, only misplaced until your smartphone can locate it.

Conclusion

There's no reason the elderly should be left behind by the smart tech revolution: technology has finally caught up enough to be usable for anyone. Whether you're looking to connect with your favorite grandparents, or you just want to make it easier to keep tabs on them to make sure they're safe, now's the time to make your parents' or grandparents' house a little smarter.

 

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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