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How to buy the best tech for your parents and grandparents
There’s comfort in routine. It’s not that your parents and grandparents can’t figure out new tech. It’s usually more of a case that they don’t think there is a need for it. Since need drives purchasing, many adults shy away from gadgets they deem unnecessary.
This can make buying tech for your parents and grandparents seem like a daunting task. But if you take a minute to consider their needs, the right gadget can become a life-enhancing, favorite gift.
Tips for buying tech for your parents or grandparents
Think of their needs
Fight the urge to buy gifts based on your own needs or what you think is exciting. While a GoPro camera might be something you would use on every adventure, no matter how crisp and smooth it captures action, it’s probably not the product your parents would use to take holiday photos. Consider what your parents and grandparents like to do and how they prefer to do it, and start from there. For example, an instant camera that develops film manually might be a better option.
Prepare them for something new
It’s hard to realize and accept the positive impact technology can make when comfortable doing things the way you’ve always done them. For this reason, it is a prudent strategy to talk with your parents and grandparents about the benefits of technology before buying them something that may seem strange or unnecessary. Getting up to change the thermostat when you’re cold, for instance, can be a miserable experience. However, telling Alexa to raise the temperature without needing to vacate the coziness of your covers can be a delight.
Intuitive and easy operation is critical
Even if you are there to walk your parents or grandparents through the setup of a new device, you want to buy one that is intuitive and easy to use. If you have to shut down, reboot and re-enter passwords anytime a tablet loses Wi-Fi connectivity, it will become an aggravation rather than an aid. Additionally, the one-button operation is key, whether it is for an air fryer or an air purifier.
Consider accessibility features
No one likes to admit it, but with aging, there comes a gradual diminishing of abilities. Vision and dexterity are the top two concerns when purchasing tech, with hearing being a close third. It can be frustrating when you cannot read small print or accurately press tiny buttons that are too close together. Look for tech that has accessibility features that make it easier for your parents and grandparents to operate.
Include a protective case
For the accident-prone recipient, a great accessory can raise the chances of a gift being used. One drop could be all it takes to cause irreparable damage to an electronic gadget. Alternatively, consider getting a warranty that allows for hassle-free replacement.
Stay within a reasonable budget
Parents and grandparents are notorious for telling their kids not to spend too much on them. To combat that, make a list of items you’d like to purchase and put them in your Amazon cart, but don’t purchase them until they go on sale. Also, it can be a wise strategy to sign up for the BestReviews email newsletter, as it alerts you to new products and noteworthy deals.
Top tech for your parents and grandparents
There’s no more need to worry about losing essential items such as keys, purses or a pet again with a Tile Pro. Simply attach the Tile to anything you never want to lose. If you ever misplace that object, you can use Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Xfinity, Siri or a smartphone to locate it quickly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
If you’d like to share your favorite photos of your parents and grandparents, the best way to do that is to buy them a digital picture frame. This model connects to Wi-Fi so you can send your photos directly to the frame to be displayed. Your parents and grandparents won’t have to do a thing except enjoy all of the pictures you send.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Not every book is available in larger print. However, with a Kindle Oasis, you can adjust the font size and contrast to make any book easier to read. It is waterproof so that you can take it to the beach, and it offers a quick and natural page-turning action. If the recipient prefers listening, you can pair this Kindle with Bluetooth headphones to listen instead of reading.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Indoor pollution can be as much as five times higher than outdoor pollution. To help your parents or grandparents breathe easier, consider this compact air purifier. With a True HEPA filter and VortexAir technology, you can clean all the air in a room in as little as 12 minutes. This device has a variety of replacement filters, such as a toxin absorber filter for VOCs and a pet allergy filter for animal dander. It even has a silent setting to use when you sleep.
Automating your home is cool when you are young, but it can become necessary as you grow older and mobility becomes more difficult. The Google Nest Learning Thermostat learns your habits and programs itself, so your loved ones are always comfortable. If you need to override the settings for any reason, you can do so through your smartphone.
While an Echo Show 8 can do many amazing things, the most important feature is making video calls to friends and family members simply by using your voice. The auto-framing technology ensures you stay centered in the picture no matter how much you move about, and it can function as a security device to check in with its built-in camera. As your parents or grandparents become more comfortable with the Echo Show 8, they can use it to control all other compatible devices in their home, from lights to locks.
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.