Holidays and birthdays are a good time to surprise a senior loved one with a great gift. But how
to pick the right gadget or tech solution from a very crowded market? We’ve pulled together a
list that may inspire you. These include problem-solvers that support a person around the
house, as well as fun gifts that can brighten someone’s day and make their favorite hobbies
As you study the fun gadgets to make your senior’s life easier, don’t forget the traditional
medicine – sometimes offering time to run someone to the local urgent care or hospital for
preventive check-ups is worth all the assistance later on in life. But as increasing numbers of
America’s aging population choose to age in place in their own home, a multitude of
accessories are developing to aid that process.
Gadgets That Solve Problems
Many gadgets can help a senior adapt to aging-related problems. Many of them are safety-
related. Lighting options like smart lamps that switch on when they detect the senior moving
around. Or stick-anywhere LED lights that are handy to light up stairs and odd corners of the
UV sterilizers are a big seller over the holiday season. Multiple studies have shown that phones
can carry bacteria, fungi, and viruses into the home. A UV sterilizer gadget may give a health-
conscious senior peace of mind.
While considering gift options, don’t forget about digital safety. Sadly, many older adults are
targeted by hackers. They can defend themselves by keeping separate long, complex passwords
for each important account, but these are difficult to remember. Solve this problem by buying
your senior a password management subscription like LastPass, NordPass, etc.
Other problem-solving gadgets streamline or take over some of the tasks of daily living. The
classic example is a robotic vacuum like the Roomba. These devices can help keep the home
tidy, getting into hard-to-reach places at the tap of a button. On a similar note, kitchen gadgets
like slow cookers help seniors prepare hot, nutritious meals with minimal time and effort.
Fall detection is a big thing with seniors, since one in four seniors take a fall each year, often
with serious consequences. There are several devices now on the market that will detect if a
person falls, ranging from countertop home accessories to many different wearable devices.
Next, think about gifts that can help with this person’s specific limitations or struggles. If they’re
dealing with long-term pain, would heating or cooling gadgets help? These can include heated
footbaths, warming pads, or freezable ice packs.
Forgetful seniors may appreciate an item locator system. The associated dongles can be
attached to often-misplaced items like keys, a pill organizer, a wallet, etc. These are then
located by hitting a button on the remote.
Finally, does your senior need help with chargers? Someone with arthritis or hand tremors may
have a hard time finding the right cable, untangling it, and getting a fiddly device plugged in.
Instead, see if their existing phone or other gadget is compatible with a wireless charger.
Tablets and e-readers are popular and affordable gadgets for seniors who love to read or
browse the internet. However, older adults on a tight budget may struggle to afford content for
their new tablet. You may want to ask family to chip in for gift subscriptions to video streaming
services, audiobooks, e-books and online magazines, etc. You can also get them a subscription
to e-learning sites such as Skillshare. This gives them access to everything from military history
courses to Watercolor 101.
Buying for a senior who prefers lower-tech items? Puzzles and brain-teasers may help keep
cognitive abilities sharp in the golden years. You can try books of crosswords and Sudoku, or get
something a little more personalized like a custom jigsaw puzzle with a picture of their wedding
Older adults who prefer card games over crosswords are on this list, too. When their arthritis
flares up, card shufflers and playing-card holders keep them playing poker with friends and Uno
with the grandkids.
Just like everyone else, seniors set New Year’s resolutions to get outside more and get active.
However, mobility issues can get in the way. There’s a lot of cane-related gadgetry on the
market, including models with a built-in light to illuminate the path, and lightweight canes that
fold up. Some canes have GPS trackers, while some canes and crutches can actually monitor
What if your senior prefers puttering around the garden over walking through the
neighborhood? A portable garden seat can help them enjoy their hobby with less discomfort. It
lets them sit low enough to weed or tend to plants, all without having to get onto their knees
and then clamber back up again.
If you’re still stuck, gift cards are easy and can be quite appreciated, especially for older adults
with a tight monthly budget. The trick is to choose one personalized to their interests. If your
senior loves crafts, see if the local art supply store offers gift cards. If they go out with friends,
what about a card for their favorite restaurant or movie theater?
Support a Senior With the Right Gadget
When you’re picking out a gadget-related present, make sure it’s a good fit for that senior’s
level of tech literacy. Gifts like a feature-rich smartphone with a user manual the size of a
college textbook can overwhelm the person you buy it for. In that case, you may want to look at
one of the simpler gadgets on our list.
Put some thought into the gadgets your senior will actually use. You may feel concerned about
dust in the corners of the house, but do they seem to care? A robotic vacuum won’t get used if
they think their home’s clean enough. Instead, what gadget can support their interests right
now? For instance, if they love books but their eyesight’s no longer sharp, an audiobook player
and subscription might be just the trick. A gadget that removes barriers for them can become
the star of their holiday season.