Updated April 16, 2022 – This year promises to full of amazing technology for everyone, including senior citizens. There are many products that are coming to market and are available for older adults and their family members to make their lives safer and easier. Some of these gadgets make thoughtful gifts, too.
We thought we would compile a list of the top 13 useful gadgets we recommend for older people and that our readers love. It’s wonderful to hear from our readers that our recommendations are making a difference in their lives!
We hope they do for you as well.
Our Hottest Selling Gadgets For Older Adults
Below is a list of some of the most popular gadgets that our readers have purchased.
1. Alexa Devices
If you own the Amazon Echo Dot, you’ll find that they are a great way to make your home safer – no matter what age you are. The good news is that they are pretty easy to set up and work with, too.
There are multiple echo devices that you can use throughout your home (read more about them in the article I mention below). But the one thing that they all have in common is that they can all perform the multitude of Alexa skills that can be so useful for seniors.
They are especially good for elderly people with limited mobility because these smart devices can do everything from calling out for an emergency, to keeping a list of reminders, to using as an alarm clock, to placing phone calls to an elderly friend (or anyone who has an Echo device or the Alexa app on their mobile device) and so much more (it can even sing Happy Birthday to your loved one!).
I think you’ll find (as many of our readers have) that Alexa products are a wonderful product for families to have and use. They come in three different colors and some versions have a lighted clock inside.
2. Amazon Echo Show
There are multiple Alexa products but our readers seem to really love the Echo Show and I don’t blame them. I know I love mine.
The benefit of an Echo Show vs. the other types of Alexa products is that it’s a great tool to use to monitor your senior loved ones (you can have video calls with other families and friends who also have an Echo Show), plus it does all the other skills that the standard Alexa products do.
We hear so much about how isolated members of the older generation can get, so I really love that you can use the Echo Show to video chat with someone and they can get some social interaction no matter how far away they are.
Another great benefit is the Show and Tell feature which (although it’s not perfect) can read the label on various products to you. This is perfect for elderly parents who have low vision problems.
You can also view all the shows and movies on Amazon Prime on Echo Show, use the device to play your favorite songs, or it can even be used as a digital phone frame. I personally use it to look up recipes which are then shown step by step on the screen.
3. Kindle Paperwhite
I got this for Christmas and it’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever gotten. I read a lot and I love that I can store hundreds of books on this lightweight electronic device instead of lugging a heavy book wherever I go (an active senior will be thrilled).
You can adjust the screen’s brightness and it can be read in the glare of sunshine, unlike earlier versions. You can also change the size of the font or make it bolder, for easier reading.
This one is also “waterproof from the beach to the bath,” which is a great idea for vacationers or for elderly folks who might be a little fumble-fingered due to arthritis.
4. Smart WiFi In-Wall Outlet
Most people are familiar with smart plugs, but now you don’t necessarily have to use those bulky plugs. You can replace your wall outlets with this Smart WiFi unit.
There are so many features in this little product – I think you’ll love it as our readers have!
It connects to the Echo / Alexa devices, and can control your loved one’s appliances (the coffee maker can be ready to go in the morning) or turn the outlet on or off if the person is forgetful and leaves appliances running (like leaving the empty coffee pot on).
You can turn the lights on and off by the app on a smart phone or by voice control (useful if you are coming home in the dark). The outlet has a memory function, so it will hold the settings even during a power outage.
You can install these on your own, although we recommend calling a specialist if you aren’t familiar with electrical outlets or don’t have the tools to install one.
5. Vive Fall Mat
There are several products that you can use to help prevent an aging adult from falling out of bed – wedges and bolsters, bed alarms, and placing items on the floor by the bed such as the Vive Fall Mat.
If you are having issues with your senior loved one(s) falling out of bed this fall mat may be useful for you. It’s made out of high impact absorption foam and is of course, slip resistant.
It measures 72 inches long by 24 inches wide which should be sufficient enough for any bedside.
Although it’s not machine washable – it can easily be cleaned with soap and water.
And if you’re interested, read our article on 7 Products To Help Prevent Seniors From Falling Out Of Bed.
6. Medline Bed Assist Bar with Storage Pocket
This is one of the most popular items that our readers have bought and for good reason.
It’s easy to install and to use. It’s affordable and can assist both seniors and caregivers to help older adults in and out of their beds.
My mother in law (who is 98 years old) purchased one of these assistive devices and absolutely loves it. You can see a video here of her using it here.
There are several different types of bedside assist bars and I would encourage you to look into having an Occupational Therapist come in to assess which one might work best for your senior loved one but as a basic and very useful model, this Medline Bed Assist bar should be an excellent choice for most older adults.
7. Drive Medical Kitchen Stool
For seniors (like my 100 year old mom in law) who loved to cook and want to keep doing that – this kitchen stool is the perfect way to help them do so.
It can hold up to 300 pounds yet only weighs 14.4 pounds. It can be set to a height between 21 and 27 inches.
It can help older adults who have poor balance and therefore have a tendency to fall. It can also be very useful for seniors with poor endurance.
And it’s not only for the kitchen. We have several readers who have used this stool in their garages when working on projects that they love.
8. Kidde AC Plug-in Carbon Monoxide and Explosive Gas Detector Alarm
Another very popular item that our readers bought last year was this CO and Explosive Gas Detector alarm
It does require expert installation so contact your handyman or electrician.
It has multiple mounting options, has a battery backup and sounds an alarm at 85 decibels.
All in all – it’s a wonderful tool to protect you and your loved ones.
9. Eden Products(15-Pack) Pre Cut Transparent 24″ x 4″ Non Slip Strips
Growing older in a home with stairs can present many unsafe challenges but there are options available.
I personally recommend modifications to stairs which can end up saving your senior loved one from injury and possibly worse. One of those modifications can be as simple as stair treads.
This particular product of stair treads are non slip, clear strips that can be added to steps made of concrete, wood, tile and laminate. But, it can also be used for ladders, concrete, metal, plastic, mats, carpeting and more.
10. Clear Stove Knob Covers
I do believe that this is the MOST popular item that our readers purchased in 2021. And for good reason!
For households with seniors who may be dealing with Dementia or Alzheimer’s or other cognitive decline issues – keeping them safe in the kitchen is usually a top priority.
Because the design is clear – it fits very well in any decor.
These are marketed towards families with children but truthfully – it works very well for seniors with cognitive problems as well.
11. Ring Doorbell Cameras
I have a Ring Doorbell Camera and I wonder what I used to do without it. I can answer my front door via my cell phone on the Ring smartphone app, whether I am home or not. I can talk through the device, so the person at the door thinks I am there.
If I am not home, I can see who came to the door, and I have a video record of it if there is a problem. For example, I watched the Amazon delivery guy put a package on my doorstep one day, take a picture to show it was delivered, and then pick the package up and walk away with it!!
He actually was moving it to the garage area, but I didn’t know that at the time. And if he really had stolen the item, I would have had a video showing his face and name badge to back me up.
The Ring can be hardwired to the home’s electricity or it can run on rechargeable batteries.
TIP: I know my home doesn’t have the best WiFi reception in certain areas, so you’ll want to be sure yours (or your senior loved one’s) is strong enough to support the Ring Doorbell Camera (or any other option you decide to use). Consider getting a WiFi extender to help cover all areas of the residence and yard.
12. ECOVACS AI Robot Vacuum
I love anything that gets me out of housework and this vacuum does that. I love mine! It can not only vacuum my carpet and hardwoods, it can even mop my kitchen floor!
Although robot vacuums aren’t exactly new technology, this one has been updated to include the latest technology in laser-mapping and uses artificial intelligence to recognize and avoid objects 200 percent faster.
It has a three-hour run time before it needs to recharge at its base station. You can also set up zones to stop it from vacuuming or mopping in certain areas.
A robot vacuum would definitely be a good option for an older parent who has a hard time lugging a traditional vacuum cleaner around.
One thing to note – even though it is supposed to recognize objects, my ECOVACS sometimes gets stuck under the dining room hutch. I think it’s because the base is curved, so it looks higher in some spots, which may confuse the AI camera.
13. Fitness Tracker
You might think a fitness tracker, such as a Fitbit or a Garmin are only for 20-somethings who hit the gym 7 days a week, but fitness trackers are also crucial for older adults. After all, getting exercise and staying active means better health!
A fitness tracker can help seniors be more active by letting them track their daily steps. The FitPolo tracker (pictured here) also has a sedentary alert to remind you to move if you have been still for too long.
Among other things, it tracks distance walked or run, calories burned, heart rate, and monitors the quality of your sleep. You can receive texts and emails on it, and you can even find your lost phone or control your phone’s music playlist with this tracker.
One 2.5 hour charge lasts about 10 days. It’s waterproof to 50 meters, so you can swim with it, too.