Smartwatches have quickly become a must-have device for anyone looking to up their tech game. These tiny supercomputers allow us to do things we might have only thought possible in old sci-fi movies. We can now check messages, track our steps, make video calls and more right from our wrist.
These devices aren’t just fun accessories but real life-saving tech — especially useful for older folks. Tap or click here to get help from Medicare in paying for a smartwatch.
We all want to maintain independence as we get older. Smartwatches can help, giving you the ability to track movement, heart rate, contact emergency services and even notify your loved ones automatically if you fall. But the market is flooded with options, so how can you choose the right one? Read through this guide to find your next smartwatch or one a friend or family member will love.
1. Apple Watch 6
Think smartwatch and there’s a good chance the Apple Watch comes to mind. It’s a popular choice for the tech-savvy and Apple lovers alike, and it’s so much more than just a flashy gadget. It is the top of the market for a reason.
The Apple Watch Series 6 has a myriad of features perfect for elderly folks trying to maintain independence. Its heart rate monitoring is top-notch, with a built-in Echocardiogram. Other wellness features include a step counter, personalized health metrics and helpful notifications to keep you moving throughout the day.
As with other top of the line smartwatches, Apple Watch has GPS capabilities, the ability to receive and make calls as well as texts, and even check social media.
Apple Watch has some pretty substantial emergency notification features, too. It can notify emergency responders if it detects a sudden fall or even an irregular heart rate. These features have proven reliable and have saved numerous lives over the years.
This smartwatch may be the top of the line, but that also means it comes with a top of the line cost. The battery life also leaves something to be desired, and it doesn’t always work well with non-Apple smartphones.
2. Samsung Galaxy Watch 3
Another high-tech powerhouse is the Samsung Galaxy Watch 3. Compared to Apple Watch, it’s got a substantially larger screen, which means bigger text if your eyes aren’t so sharp anymore.
It’s GPS and Bluetooth enabled and lasts days on a single charge. It’s water-resistant, too, and has voice to text capabilities which can make texting a whole lot easier.
Samsung’s smartwatch also has great health and safety features, including fall detection, just like the Apple Watch. It can track stress levels and heart rate, too, and notify you when you need to relax.
This watch is ideal for Android users, as the operating system will work better together than pairing up an iPhone with a non-Apple Watch. Keep in mind, all the bells and whistles might be a little confusing. If your loved one is not necessarily tech-savvy, keep reading.
3. Fitbit Versa 3
Speaking of simple, Fitbit has long been seen as one of the least cumbersome options when it comes to smartwatches.
Fitbit is one of the big names in fitness-focused watches. The Fitbit Versa 3 is easy and intuitive to use, even if you’ve never owned a smartwatch. It has an always-on display so there is no having to type in your password every time you want to use it.
Plus, it has its own internal GPS tracker which means you can wear it out on a walk and leave your phone at home.
While the simplistic design might be good for many, the Versa 3 does lack some of the features that make smartwatches ideal for seniors. There are no sudden fall notifications and the automatic contact features that make Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch helpful are seriously lacking.
If you have an iPhone, keep in mind Fitbit doesn’t play perfectly with Apple products.
4. Lively Call
The Lively Wearable 2 is a device made just for seniors. It has a large screen for easy reading and an extra loud speaker for easy listening. It’s still sleek and stylish, so you won’t look out of place from others wearing similar devices.
What sets this device apart from other smartwatches, you ask? Unlike the Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy Watch, the Lively has its own 24/7 emergency service you can use for help at any time. In case of a fall or if you press the watch’s emergency button, Lively will attempt to contact you. It will then inform a close relative or caretaker if you need help.
One of the other big benefits of this device is its incredible battery life, with up to 4 months of continuous wearing. You won’t have to remember to charge it every night or even take it off. It’s also water-resistant, so it can stay on your wrist in the bath or shower. It comes in under $50, with a $39.99 monthly fee.
One of the major drawbacks is its phone compatibility. The device only works with Android 7.0 and iOS 11 or higher. This can create a problem for those still using older devices that can’t run the latest operating system.
5. Freedom Guardian
The Freedom Guardian Watch is similar to the Lively. Think of it as a combination of the Life Alert system with all the cool features of a smartwatch. One of the biggest draws is its two-way communication feature. This works similarly to a walkie-talkie and you can connect 24/7 to emergency services or get non-emergency help.
The easy-to-use display is another plus. With large icons and text, anyone can easily use it. Plus, it has all the features you want to stay safe, including sudden fall notifications, GPS tracking and medication reminders.
It’s important to note the Freedom watch is only compatible with AT&T service, which means if you have any other mobile provider you will have to get a separate plan. It also lacks some of the more advanced features like heart rate monitoring and stress level testing. But it is affordable, and the monthly fee comes in at $20.
We all want to maintain our independence as we age and technology is making it more and more possible to do so. These watches are just the beginning of the tech you can put into your loved one’s homes to help them have happy and comfortable golden years. Tap or click here for more tech that can help seniors.
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