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Technology for seniors from 2020

Technology for Older Adults: Notable from 2020

As far as Technology for Older Adults goes, we saw some positive developments emerging in 2020, despite the pandemic, and some promising products gaining traction. Here are trends and products we think are notable from 2020.



Grandparent apps: exploring

Exploring Grandparent Apps

“Once you are a grandparent, almost nothing seems as important as interacting with your grandkids, and helping them and their parents as much as you can.” But, if you can’t visit, or live a long way away, how do you maintain the sorts of deep interactions you long for?

This group of four older adults from the Longevity Explorers thought “there should be an App for that”, and set out to explore the space of “Grandparenting Apps”.



Best senior tablet: comparisons, and how to chose.

Best "Senior Tablet": How to Choose

This article is about a category of product marketed as "senior tablets", or "tablets for seniors". We explore which type of person would benefit from a senior tablet, rather than a more mainstream product like an iPad, and how to decide which is the best senior tablet for a specific life situation.



Scams & Older Adults: What to Do?

This series focuses on helping readers of all generations learn the fundamentals of scams, what scammers are after, how they use mail, email, mobile phones, tablets, and personal computers to steal your identity, your money, and even the Internet bandwidth you pay for every month to access the internet.

The information in this series on scams is intended to help you reduce vulnerability to scams for both you and loved-ones like parents, grandparents, etc. The key message is that to be forewarned is to be forearmed.



Elderly Scams: When You Need to Take Control

What to do when a parent shows signs of falling for "scams" — and seems unable to take the appropriate actions to avoid them? While it is often appropriate to let older adults worry about their own "scam-proofing", there are some situations in which an intervention is appropriate.



How Scams Work (with Examples)

Learn how scams work, with examples. Because, the best protection against exploitation by scammers comes from having a general understanding of how people try to con the elderly into sending/wiring them money or worse, giving them the electronic keys to their financial kingdom.

If you understand your vulnerabilities, you will be alert to situations that put you or an aging parent at risk.



How to Avoid Scams and Defend Against Them

Here are some very specific actions you can take to avoid the sort of scams that impact older adults. This article also includes some easy-to-follow "spam avoidance rules".



Location Tracking Devices, Trackers for Dementia

Location Devices and Trackers for Dementia

Location Devices and Trackers can play an important role in dementia care and management, as well as for people with mild cognitive impairment. The hope: A location tracking device can help some older adults stay independent for longer, and relieve caregiver stress.

We explore the scenarios in which different types of location devices and trackers for dementia and mild cognitive impairment can be useful, and look at a variety of specific product types and individual products to see which are most suitable in different life situations.



Dealing with a Wandering Loved One with Alzheimer’s

Before my wife passed away from Alzheimer’s, she went through a period of wandering outside the home that I could control with a few simple devices. I want to share what I did, and the solutions I used, in the hope they will be useful for others in the same situation I was in.



DIY Technology Solutions to Things Bothering My Aging Relatives

My relatives and their friends are in their 70's and 80's and 90's now, and I am finding they have some recurring "problems" that get in the way of life being as enjoyable as I think it should be. I have come up with a variety of DIY "Tech Solutions" to these problems that I have implemented for them. I hope they will be useful for you too.



Daylight Lamp


Daylight Company Task Lighting

Daylight Company lights are intended to provide high-level illumination to aid persons with sight loss, and featured in a recent Longevity Explorer exploration of vision gadgets.





OttLite Task Lighting

OttLite lamps are designed to produce light similar to natural daylight in order to reduce eyestrain and to see true colors and fine details. 






KOMP by No Isolation

KOMP is a combination of a smartphone app and a simplified one-button device designed for use by elderly people who are not tech-savvy. 




Yoctosun LED Magnifier

The YOCTOSUN lighted magnifier is a lightweight head-worn device intended to provide hands-free improved visibility for reading, hobby, or other close work. 




Bed MadeEZ

Bed MadeEZ is a set of wedges designed to raise the edge of a mattress so the linens can be changed without incurring a lifting injury. 


Devices and Gadgets Sustaining Older Adults’ Resilience

Older adults ingeniously use a wide variety of devices in navigating their daily life. As we age, we use both low- and high-tech gadgets to increase our resilience and overcome any difficulties thrown across our path. Members of the Virual1 Explorers Circle discussed their favorite “helpers” in...

Connecting to Parent's WiFi

I want to be sure that the device I have configured for my loved one’s Wi-Fi will connect when they receive it. I can't go and set it up myself.

Virtual Connections: SRC Perspectives

The Group was asked whether they have been successful at staying in touch with people they can't go to visit during the COVID lockdown.

Need Help Making Alexa Useful

I am setting up Alexa for my parent who lives at a distance. I am unsure what features to include, or how to set it up so it is as useful as possible.

How We Share Memories @ SRC

The Saratoga Explorers discuss how they plan to save their memories for posterity.

Google Translate: App of the Month @ SF

San Francisco Explorer Michaela explains to the group how she uses Google Translate, one of her favorite apps.

Tech Support During COVID, SRC

Saratoga Retirement Community Explorers tell what they do during the pandemic lockdown when their electronic devices don't work.

Tech Support, Virtual1

During their Zoom Circle meeting, Virtual1 Explorers Circle members discussed personal approaches to tech support developed from their own experience. The discussion included issues like ongoing tech support; updates; learning about new tech; and the challenges of helping...

Vision Gadgets @ SF

San Francisco Explorers discuss the gadgets they use to see things better.

Managing Passwords, Virtual1

As part of a discussion on technology support, the Virtual1 Explorers Circle acknowledged the ever growing need to keep track of a large number of passwords for online sites. For many, the task has become beyond what can conveniently be done with paper and pen

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Featured Research


Medical Alert Systems: Help

Medical Alert Systems GuideWe kept getting asked "which medical alert system is best?"; and "how do I choose the right medical alert system for me?". This independent, objective, hands-on research tries to answer those questions. If you are looking for a medical alert system, either for yourself or for an older adult such as a parent, this piece of research is for you.

Choose the Right Medical Alert System for YOU


Useful Apps Club

Useful Apps ClubUnlock the potential of your smartphone or tablet to improve your life. The Useful Apps Club is for older adults and Boomers who have a smartphone or tablet (or are thinking of getting one) and need help to turn it into a useful tool. We are focused on finding Apps that can change your life, and teaching you how to use them. 

View: The Useful Apps Club


Reduce Fall Risk

Avoid FallsRead the "best of the web" on: Avoiding Falling. Our team of clinicians and citizen analysts has scoured the web for the best available answers to a set of questions designed to help you make falling less likely, and make the consequences if you do fall less bad.

View: Avoid the Perils of Falling


Avoid Social Isolation & Loneliness

isolation and lonelinessOur community is exploring ways to avoid becoming isolated and lonely as we grow older. See what we are discovering — including one group of older adult's "recipe" for overcoming loneliness.

View: Isolation & Loneliness Hub


Medication Management Tools

medication management toolsPoor medication management is one of the key reasons people are forced to stop living independently. There are a wide range of tools that can help you manage your medications — and avoid, or at least postpone, that fate. We have researched which products work best for different types of people, ranging from simple inexpensive pill boxes and reminders to complex "automated" pill dispensers.

View: Medication Management Hub