For some people of a certain age, getting the latest and greatest tech for the holidays isnt an exciting prospect. In fact, its downright intimidating. Older folks have seen the world radically transform during their lives, moving from the days of rotary phones and black-and-white TVs to now, when we take for granted the smartphones in our pockets that put just about every form of tech they had back in the day to shame. Its hard to keep up with all the innovation.
Were not saying that all seniors are technophobes. There are certainly countless grandparents who have kept pace with the changing landscape and track the newest Apple rumors just like the youngsters. Likewise, Millennials can be tech luddites just like their grandparents. In such a rapidly evolving industry, anyone might be left behind.
When it comes down to it, though, its much more likely that gift givers are going to have a hard time buying tech for their elders. Bu there are tons of items that are accessible, intuitive and downright cool that your grandma will love once she understands how they work. Here’s a list of some of the best tech gifts for your older relatives (or old souls) who dont know the difference between a Mac, a PC, and a 4K TV.
Tile Mate ($70 for 4-pack)
Everyone loses their stuff every now and then. But once the memory starts to go, the little things can be even more difficult to keep in order. With these helpful tiles, which come in packages of one, four, or eight, your forgetful grandma can easily track commonly misplaced items like keys and TV remotes.
The tiles, which link to an app via Bluetooth, ring once the phone comes within 100 feet of the lost item. Even better, it works in reverse, with the tiles able to help find a lost phone. And if it’s more than just a set of keys lost in the couch cushions, the app can recall the last place the item was in range.
Portable Charger ($29.95)
Especially for late-in-life mobile carriers, making sure phones are fully-charged before leaving the house isn’t a huge priority. To make sure grandma isn’t just walking around with a dead brick in her purse, get her a reliable portable phone charger.
This Flux charger makes remote power accessible. When filled to capacity, it holds one to two charges. But it’s most important feature is the built-in lightning and microUSB chargers, which leave no chance of mixing up the ports between devices.
Simple Wearable ($99.95)
Wearables can be great for everyone, but they can be particularly useful for older people. Grandma can track her health more closely with the step counting feature, giving her even more reason to hit the mall to walk some laps.
But not all wearables are great for the senior crowd. You don’t want to get them something overly complicated or bulky, but you also don’t want to go too minimalist with all features solely accessible on its mobile app. The Fitbit Alta strikes a nice balance with a legible display on a slim package.
Simple Tablet ($33.33)
One of the reasons tablets are so popular is their accessibility. With simple tap-and-swipe navigation, apps and generous screen sizes, they might be the easiest path to get online.
Getting grandma a quality tablet doesn’t have to break the bank, either. You can go all-out and buy her an iPad if you want to get her on iMessage and FaceTime, but it’ll be much cheaper to spring for the base-level Amazon Fire tablet. There’s no need for a huge amount of built-in storage (the microSD slots can handle that), advanced computing power or high-level cameras.
Simple Streaming Device ($39.99)
You need something to do when you’re at grandma’s house, right? Set her up with some Netflix this holiday season so you can chill during your visit.
Apple TV and Chromecast are great options for streaminb. But they’re a bit on the complicated side for the tech-averse. Grandma will need the simplest possible system, especially if she hasnt updated her TV in a while. Rokus Express+ hooks up to TVs via HDMI and composite cables, so she can stream to her hearts content, no matter what.
Google Home ($129)
The most important feature of all of these gifts is accessibility. Whats more accessible than simply saying Hey Google?
Both Google Home and Amazons Alexa-enabled devices give users unfettered access to basic search and the simple task-based levels of the internet, which is really all that many grandmas need on a daily basis. Plus, it will prevent your older relatives from embarrassing you on Facebook, which can only be a good thing.
E-Picture Frame ($59.99)
This gift is more sentimental than high-tech, but your grandma will probably appreciate the thought behind it most of all. Just order a digital picture frame. No frills are necessary, although there are higher-level devices that can connect to Wi-Fi networks for remote control of the images displayed. The gift receiver can load an SD card full of family photos and set it up for her in a special place.