The planes are becoming full of holiday travelers... At Thanksgiving time, I wrote a blog post about visits with aging family members -- and being on the lookout to see if they need help remaining independent. In that post, there were links to videophones, eBook devices, computers with cameras, and a variety of other useful items that you may have noticed could be helpful.
...And they are shopping now. Now is also the time that family members look around for gifts that could make a person's life easier. Susan Ayers Walker posted an article on Caring.com that lists a number of these, including the Loc8tor for tagging items and then being able to easily find where they went in your home, the Bath SafetyGrip and the Aktiv Reacher on ElderLuxe.com to grab items off high shelves. ElderLuxe has quite a few other useful items, including book holders, vision aids, medication reminders and more. And if you had a book holder, you could get a book rental subscription (like NetFlix for books) from BookSwim. Finally, SeniorSleuth has published a book called 'Technology for Seniors'. Check it out!
Get the computer, Luke -- your laziness is no excuse. If adult children can afford a touch-screen laptop with built-in camera, it is a must for those who are open to learning something new -- as some 100-year-olds are! For those who say (as I hear every other day from someone), my able-bodied parents in their eighties want absolutely nothing to do with computers, here's what I say -- you're lazy and cutting them off from the outside world. Imagine saying that my parents don't want a telephone or a TV because they have no exposure to either. That was then, and that's what this excuse sounds like now. If broadband use of those 65+ has expanded from 19% to 30% in one year, consider: someone your family member knows will have and yes, tolerates, a computer. Think of it as peer pressure. If you don't want to deal with what's installed on the computer, and can't find a local service to troubleshoot, then the GO Computer may make sense.
Caregiving websites with products for sale. Aging in place might be in the home of or near a caregiver, as this week's new Trends report from AARP, MetLife, and Caregiving.org. And the care may be for someone who has memory, vision, or hearing issues. So there are sites that may be helpful, including Parentgiving.com, the AlzStore, IndependentLivingAids, EnhancedVision.com or Hearmore.com.
Beware of gadgets lacking service subscriptions. If family members don't have a home alarm system, get that first, of course. And for those who want to buy medical alarm/aka PERS device, caution -- make sure that the device is associated with service by professionals who understand seniors and security, not just security. Two new regional vendors in this space with eyes to a national market -- AlwaysConnectedSolutions (Nashville area) and MedicalMobileMonitoring (Boca Raton -- which includes GPS tracking).