Technology products to improve the lives of our senior loved ones and make us more effective in our role as caregivers are a key focus area at Senior Care Corner (but then, you already know that, don’t you!)
The tech industry has enhanced many areas of our lives with innovations. Even though they’ve barely scratched the surface in products for seniors, there are some great ones and – we’re convinced – much more to come.
One question we get from time to time when talking about technology products is where they can be purchased. People go to their Walmart or consumer electronics store and find a big selection of TVs, smartphones, computers and many other devices but few of the senior-specific devices such those that make it easier for aging adults who are on their own, aging in place.
If you caught our conversation with Rich Lobovsky of Lifecomm you heard him discuss the reasoning behind their initial retail strategy. Rick told us that there is a high cost associated with offering a new product in the typical retail channels, particularly for specialized products. That fits so many of the products for our senior loved ones that it very well explains why we don’t see them in our favorite brick and mortar retail outlets.
One of our favorite stores is Amazon.com, which offers so much of what we want without having to run around. Many sellers of specialized products, including those for seniors, have found Amazon a great place to reach a lot of potential customers at a low cost. That’s why we set up the Senior Care Corner Bookstore to offer products found on Amazon, with all transactions processed through Amazon.
Cost is just one challenge faced by those offering new products to specialized markets, especially the smaller companies offering some of the more innovative products (remember, even Apple started small). A number of businesses offering technology products tailored to meet the needs of seniors formed AgeTek, the Aging Technology Alliance, to gain some of the advantages of larger companies by working together. We first learned about AgeTek at the International CES, where they had a prominent presence that none likely could have done on their own.
Some of the products we have covered in posts and podcasts, including Sonamba, GrandCare Systems and Lifecomm, are members of AgeTek. We applaud the efforts of the AgeTek members and encourage you to keep them in mind when you are looking to meet the needs of aging loved ones or yours as family caregivers.
We have assembled a number of products offered by AgeTek members on a special AgeTek member product section in the Senior Care Corner Bookstore. You can find them here. As with the rest of the products in the store, all purchases are through Amazon so you can feel secure in making purchases. No, it’s not all the products of AgeTek members, but a sampling. We list some great products and there are more available directly through the company or other specialized channels.
As you start to assemble your Christmas and other gift ideas for senior loved ones and want to get them something they will actually use, specialized technology products are one place to look. Of course, tablets, computers and smartphones are great gift ideas too – - and provide a path for our senior loved ones to access the web and social media, for many opening a whole new world.
Not too early to start thinking. After all, it is often so tough coming up with something we really feel good giving aging parent and grandparents. Now there are new options that they just might like!