Healthy Gadgets For Boomers, Seniors & Caregivers
A few weeks ago I attended the giant Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas searching for mobile apps and gadgets that could help Boomers, Seniors and Caregivers enhance their lives through better health.
Enhanced health care comes in many forms. There are products that give us peace of mind so they boost our positive mental health. There are gadgets that offer us ways to be more physically fit—exercising our overall body health. And there are quirky items that make us smile while attempting to curb our appetites that are multi-purpose—encouraging better mental and physical health.
Here is a short list of my personal CES favorites suited for Boomers, Seniors and Caregivers.
As wristphones make their way into the stratosphere, it’s good to know that some entrepreneurs are looking out for older people whose eyesight is dwindling or who have parents who need assistance.
CareLine+ phone, by vetch, demonstrated a landline phone with large buttons, and a very easy to read caller id panel using black letters on a white background for vision impaired users. What makes the phone unique is that it has an emergency monitoring system with no monthly monitoring fees. The phone system-- that retails for $119, also comes with a cordless phone, plus a portable safety pendant with speaker phone. Users can answer the phone with their safety pendant.
SpareOnePlus is an emergency mobile phone that is small and thin and runs on two AA batteries, has a 15-year shelf life when stored used (that’s right, 15 YEARS), and has 10 hours of talk time while in use with a battery that lasts 15 years. It can make calls to emergency services (911, police, fire, etc.) without being connected to a carrier. It also includes a GPS tracker, which can locate the user in an emergency. Its location can also be displayed through an iPhone app, which would need to be paired with the SpareOne Plus prior to use. It is waterproof and has a white LED light that provides up to 24 hours of continuous light. It won the CES Design and Innovation 2013 award in the “Tech for a Better World” category and it is a great addition to your emergency toolkit.
These are little devices you can hook onto your clothing or wear like wristbands. They have names like NikeFuel, Fitbit and Fitbug. They keep track of how many steps you take per day (10,000 being the optimum) how many flights of stairs you walk, how much energy (calories) you burn and how many miles you walked in a day. The data is synced with an app on your smartphone or computer and gives you your activity levels on an easy to read dashboard. They are available on line or in retail stores for about $100.
My husband and I started wearing Fitbits a few weeks ago. I received one as a gift, loved it so much I bought him one. Now we’re in an unintended healthy (pardon the pun) competition.
It didn’t start out like that, but we just can’t resist comparing notes. Every day, we check with each other to see who has taken the most steps or climbed the most flights of stairs. In fact, one day we shared that we each parked a little further away from a store in a parking lot, just to get some extra steps. It’s really a fun way to increase your daily activity.
A forkful of weight loss
This item seemed to be the most fun and attract the most attention at the show. It’s called the HAPifork, and promises to be the “world’s first fork that helps you lose weight.”
Sign me up. The first ever-electronic fork claims to track the number of fork servings taken per minute per meal. If you eat too fast, the fork lights up and gently
vibrates, signaling to slow down.
The weight loss idea being; the slower you eat, the less you eat, the more weight you lose. The HAPifork transmits your eating data from your fork to your with computer and/or smart phone so you can record it and review it on a dashboard. And—get this—you can share your “forkfuls per minute” with your friends and loved ones.
I’m not quite sure how my friends would react getting an email from me with the number of forkfuls of breakfast I consumed. I think that may fall under the TMI category.
The HAPifork is a product of the French based HAPilabs that’s mission is to “help people in the 21st century take control of their “HAPiness, health and fitness through applications and mobile connected devices.”
For $99, a brightly colored mobile electronic fork that might be the answer to an overeater’s prayers. Who knows?