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3 Gadgets under $200 That Make Life Easier for Seniors and Caregivers

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gadget-in-shopping-cartThose entering their golden years today are enjoying the benefit of living in a digital era: Today, senior health care records can be accessed with the push of a button, spending time with faraway friends and family is as easy as video-chatting on the web, and safety and organization has never been more dependable, thanks to special tech tools. Three devices in particular are revolutionizing the quality of life for seniors, from everyday tasks to internet connections and even life-saving monitoring services.

1. The "Where’s My Keys?" Key Finder

$19.95 on Amazon

Losing one's keys certainly isn't a problem restricted to older adults, but it's a problem more likely to happen with busy days full of social outings, doctor's appointments and other activities around a retirement community. This simple yet ingenious device is as small as a traditional keychain, but hides a secret: it beeps and flashes whenever its corresponding remote is pressed. Two receivers are included in the set, so users can attach one to their key ring and the other to items like a cell phone, television remote or even a medicine bottle. If an item is misplaced, just press the appropriately-colored button on the remote, and the receiver will begin beeping and flashing—even through walls or under couch cushions. With this handy device, seniors will never wonder where their keys are again!

2. AARP’s RealPad

$149 through the RealPad website or Walmart

Some tech-savvy seniors have begun using tablet computers to communicate with loved ones, shop online and read the news each morning. But finding the right tablet computer can be complicated, and sometimes overwhelming, process as most tablets are made with younger users in mind and come already loaded with a lot of unnecessary programming or cluttered interfaces.

AARP's RealPad, however, addresses the needs of seniors while still giving them plenty of computing power. This simple, efficient tablet is ready to go right out of the box and even comes with free 24/7 phone support, so there's no more need to call the kids for explanations or troubleshooting. Built-in cameras make taking pictures and video chatting with family fun, and a senior-friendly display screen has simple, easy-to-see icons for a quick learning curve that suits even non-techies.

3. Lively Monitoring Device

$49.95 for the device, plus a $34.95 monthly subscription

Living an independent lifestyle isn't always easy for seniors—especially for those who have medical conditions that require the intervention of senior health care experts in emergencies. In the digital age, the comfortable compromise is a monitoring device, and Lively makes the experience both non-intrusive and fashionable.

Resembling one of Apple's famous iWatch devices, the Lively device bracelet stays on the wearer's wrist, enabling them to summon help, if necessary, with a single push of a button. Like most popular wrist-mounted gadgets, Lively is no one-trick pony. Features like a step counter and medication reminder make it feel less like a life saving device and more like a lifestyle accessory. No matter how resistant a senior might be to the idea of a monitoring device, it's hard to say no to the sleek beauty, functionality and user-friendliness of Lively.

Entire retirement communities are embracing the forward momentum that technology offers for senior lifestyles and health care solutions. And there’s something for everyone when communities provide easy-to-master iPad classes and Nintendo Wii game systems that help create better health and mental acuity. Tech is not and should not be a resource restricted to younger generations, and as older users are tapping into exciting tech advancements with the speed of a Fiber Optic cable, analog living has undoubtedly experienced an upgrade.

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Bryan Reynolds
May 02, 2015
Bryan Reynolds is the Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Episcopal Retirement Services (ERS). Bryan is responsible for developing and implementing ERS' digital marketing strategy, and overseeing the website, social media outlets, audio and video content and online advertising. After originally attending The Ohio State University, he graduated from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati, where he earned a Bachelor of fine arts focused on electronic media. Bryan loves to share his passion for technology by assisting older adults with their computer and mobile devices. He has taught several classes within ERS communities as well as at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute run by the University of Cincinnati. He also participates on the Technology Team at ERS to help provide direction. Bryan and his wife Krista currently reside in Lebanon, Ohio with their 5 children.

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