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2022 Senior Tech Gift Ideas 

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It’s time to celebrate the winter holidays, give thanks, reconnect with friends and family, and give gifts.

Share this list with less-technical and well-meaning friends who would otherwise buy "white elephants" for seniors.

If you have seniors in your list and you are under the age of 50, you may be thinking of buying some cool tech, in addition to the usual slippers, socks and sweaters. But what to buy?  

Younger generations are comfortable with juggling a myriad of cyber world connections. To them, the complexity and variety of high tech is fun, or at least a necessary inconvenience. Instead, let’s consider ways to discover what seniors want and need from their tech. 

I volunteer to help seniors to deal with the complexities of modern high tech. And I am pleased to know and geek out with several technically savvy seniors in their sixties to eighties. But I also meet the ones who are lost when it comes to high tech, and it is a constant challenge for them to deal with multiple gadgets, queues and communications modes. They may forget how GUIs work, struggle with the varieties of gestures of touch screens and three different apps that set the sound level, forget to recharge, and easily fall victim to scams. There can be contributing challenges with memory, eyesight, dexterity, hearing and more.

Let’s start with understanding that seniors of today grew up without most of the technology we have today. If they read about ideas in Sci Fi and Popular Science then they’ve seen it coming, but that’s different from living with today’s high tech. If our senior friends and family grew up in the 1930s to 1950s, these were the times of vacuum tubes, paper media, early televisions, and AM radio. Those senior’s best years for technology immersion were the 1980s to 1990s, when personal computing was just taking hold and the pace of change accelerated like never before.

Before you plan your shopping, ask the seniors in your life about the events they are attending, the interests that they currently pursue, and any problems they are juggling at home and on the move. This little guide may give you some ideas to make the holidays fun for the seniors in your life. Keep those gift ideas simple and practical; they can still be fun and cool.

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How about a really simple cell phone? Before you buy a Jitterbug with a proprietary subscription, perhaps your senior just wants to make phone calls and not much else. If that is the case, this RAZ Mobility Memory Phone is completely picture-driven and there are several ways to find both you and the phone in the case of a problem. There are additional models for severe visual impairments. Family and caregivers can view and set policies on this phone to prevent scam calls, set reminders, track location and more.

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Don’t be put off if you see this described as the “Alzheimer Phone”. This company has really learned what it takes to make a simple, easy-to-use cellphone for everyone.

With this phone, you can choose any carrier you prefer … no lock-ins!
Click here to learn more about this easy-to-use phone. 


If your senior is not likely to need a cellphone, then consider a good old-fashioned plug-in-the-wall model that is lightweight and has big buttons. Yes, these are plug-in phones, but they work fine through Analog Telephone Adapters (ATAs) that are standard in most home Internet routers. More advantages: they are harder to lose, and they don't break easily if dropped.

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I have senior friends who complain that their cordless phones are broken. Invariably I find that they simply were not kept charged. As soon as I set them up with a wired phone, their problems go away. You can still buy extension cords, labeled as class RJ-11. 


Cut the cord to a cable company channel subscription. Set top cable boxes are a universal nuisance. The remotes and interfaces are complex, and adding bundled channels is expensive. So keep the Internet, but send back the box. There are many ways to use streaming services instead of paying ever more for cable set top boxes.  

My favorite is the Roku, because its interface is simple compared to the other choices. You can bring streaming subscriptions into the Roku device even if you didn’t subscribe through Roku. You can watch paid channels, free channels and the news, all on a basic Internet connection.  

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During the 2022 holidays, Roku is on sale! It will plug into any TV or a monitor that accepts HDMI. It’s so easy to use that you might like it better than the apps on a new Smart TV.  

Speaking of cords, they need minding. No one likes getting under the table to find a fallen cord, especially if your legs are stiff and your knee is hurting.

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A simple cord minder like this stick-on model is really handy! Click here for an example. 


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Brain Games are a great way to keep those senior brains thinking sharp and quick thoughts. The games won’t train anyone in new tech, but they help people to perceive and adapt to new situations. There
are many to choose, from and for an example, Lumosity is quite well known.

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Several games are completely free, and the subscription price is reasonable.
Click here to visit the Lumosity website.  

Do these games work? Yes! I have a friend with some cognitive impairments who has made great strides by playing these games, so I recommend them from experience. 


How about a bigger screen? PC and Mac Accessibility features don’t work well. If your senior is a computer user, the best way to help them see the screen is to get a larger monitor and get a model with built-in speakers! Good news, monitors are not expensive, and they will connect to laptops quite easily.  

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Save the old memories before they are gone forever. Today there are high-quality services to convert virtually any old media to modern digital formats. OK – maybe not metal wire audio recordings, but everything else. 

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Bone Conduction Headphones are the best for comfort. If your senior does not wear over-the-ear hearing aids, these headphones are nice because they do not go into the ear. And while you wear them you can still hear everything in the room. Wired and Bluetooth versions are available. Click this link to see a variety of this type of headphone.  

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If you must give them rechargeable devices, look for wireless models. It is a constant problem with the seniors I know… their devices are not plugged in and not getting charged. Connectors such as mini-USB and micro-USB are hard to insert. Lightning connectors get dirty easily.  

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Look for devices that have Qi-type wireless charging. You might also buy your senior several extra charging pads to put around the home.  Click to see some examples of wireless charging pads 


Digital Assistants offer convenience and an adjunct to emergency help services. There are apps (called skills) in digital assistants from Amazon and Google that can be helpful to anyone, and seniors may like to have the ability to ask for information, make phone calls, remind about appointments, play music, and get help. Click to see Amazon Echo Dot and Google Nest Mini -- two great examples of these products. 


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Picture Phone versions of Digital Assistants are an upgrade that make video calls easy. But bear in mind that you are setting an expectation. Seniors love visits and if you buy this, you need to honor that virtual expectation.  

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Be aware, in some cases you need to buy two of the same brand, or use a proprietary app on your computer or phone to make the connection. Click here to get more information about the Amazon Echo Show. 


Internet Photo Frames are Wi-Fi enabled digital picture frames that show pictures that you can send over
the Internet. For every trip and event, or new flowers in the garden, you can send a picture and it will appear on the frame. It’s automatic!  

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The same advice applies as for picture phones. If you give a product like this, you need to honor the expectation and send photos on a regular basis.  This link will show a variety of Internet photo frames.  


Key Finders are really handy, and not just for keys. The simplest are small accessories that will make a noise when an action takes place such as clapping the hands or whistling. The fancier ones have a remote control, which sadly could itself be misplaced, and others work with smartphones and Alexa.  

Simple is sometimes better, so start by looking at the clap-whistle types. Click below for ideas. 

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On her first night at a new senior living facility, one of my friends set her new kitchen on fire and there wasn’t a quick and handy extinguisher. 

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This lightweight First Alert model is so small that it can sit on the kitchen counter. It requires very little effort to unlock the safety latch. Click here to learn about the First Alert Kitchen Fire Extinguisher 


Still Looking? 

When in doubt you can always try a gift search engine!! Here’s one I like: 

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John Girard | | Lion Briefs Contributor

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Suggestions of website retailers and products are just that: suggestions, not endorsements.