Ideas for tech that will make senior life easier.
New technology comes out faster than ever before. Every month, there are new robotic tools, AI programs, and smart devices in the “senior tech” category vying for your attention. But how do you know which tools and gadgets will be useful — and which ones are just an expensive source of frustration?
Here are three recent ideas that I’ve seen online.
IQBuds from Nuheara
IQBuds are wireless earbuds for the active crowd. The earbuds pair with an app to walk you through a hearing test, calibrating the settings to match your needs. Once set up, they can be used for noise canceling, focused sound amplification (i.e. being able to have a conversation in a noisy room) and listening to music or audiobooks. This is the first generation of the “smart earbud” product, so setup/pairing/initial learning curve takes a bit of patience. But early user reviews are good, the buds are stylish, and those who enjoy listening to music at the gym will appreciate the no-wire freedom that they allow!
Cost: $499 from Amazon.
MedMinder is an upgraded pill dispenser. Here’s how it works. An adult or a caregiver fills up the medicine trays — so far, same as any other pill dispenser. Then, they program the medication schedule online. At the scheduled time, the dispenser blinks to remind Mom or Dad to take the medication.
Did they forget to take the meds? There’s a beep to remind them. You can record voice message reminders, which is a nice touch. And you can access the medication history online any time for remote monitoring. Email and text message alerts are also available.
There’s a “locked” version of the product that will only unlock one compartment at a time for those who are at a risk of taking the wrong medication at the wrong time. You can pair MedMinder with a medical alert button, which is a separate wrist or necklace wearable.
Cost: $40-65 per month, depending on specifications, from the manufacturer.
BeClose with Amada Senior Care
If your independent-minded parent insists on living solo, and you are worried sick about the risk of fall or other accident, there’s a new alternative to daily phone calls or remote-controlled video cameras.
A sensor system like BeClose keeps track of household activity, registering common everyday movements about the house. Attach a sensor to Mom’s coffee maker, and you will know when she’s making her coffee. A sensor in bed or on a favorite chair will tell you when Dad is up. You can set up customized alerts to send you (or other family members) an automated text message when something’s out of the ordinary (for example, Mom hasn’t made her coffee by noon).
Cost: The manufacturer’s website doesn’t list costs, but US News & World Report has said that the company’s basic 3-sensor equipment package costs $399, and a 6-sensor package costs $699. Monthly monitoring service prices begin at $69. If you are interested in this product, contact the manufacturer through their website.
Senior living technology
As with any new-er tech, it’s wise to do a thorough vetting. Read user reviews, paying special attention to the ease of setup and customer support. After all, you are making an investment in your love one’s quality of life!
Have you tried any of these three new gadgets — or others in the senior technology space? Let me know, I would love to hear about your experience!
Image credit: Shutterstock standard license
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