Welcome friend! If you are looking for information on the best smartwatch for seniors, you’ve come to the right place. In this post, you will learn what to look for in a smartwatch for seniors.
Smartwatches are a great tool for following your activity levels and keeping up with your exercise goals as they offer many tools that help motivate you to exercise.
Of course, smartwatches can do a whole lot more but we will focus on the benefits they can offer on keeping fit and active as you age since that’s the main goal of Elder Strength.
Smartwatches come in many different forms ranging from cheap activity bracelets to very expensive premium watches which are basically a supercomputer on your wrist. Well, at least if you compare the computing power to the computers used on the moon mission!
Besides helping you with tracking activity levels, a smartwatch is a personal assistant that can help you with your timetable, calls, and messages and it can monitor some general health metrics as well.
Choosing a smartwatch can be hard but it boils down to your budget and preference. There are some considerations for seniors when picking your watch.
Let’s start by looking at what exactly is a smartwatch and if it’s actually something you need.
What Is A Smartwatch
It can be hard to keep up with all the terminology of wearable smart devices since the industry is evolving so fast currently.
So don’t feel bad if you don’t know what exactly counts as a smartwatch. I’m sure you know it’s some type of a watch that you wear on your wrist. But is it just a fancy digital watch with a big price tag?
Well, for starters, smartwatches are much more than just watches. They are basically wrist computers and the technology in the is virtually identical to smartphones, just in a miniature size.
In fact, most smartwatches are designed to work with your smartphone, something that’s important to know in case you don’t have a smartphone.
A premium smartwatch can do pretty much anything your smartphone can. It can be voice commanded, you can handle calls on it, it can play music to your earphones, show directions, emails, etc.
Most smartwatches have a touchscreen just like your smartphone. There are also sportwatches that count as smartwatches but come with a lot more tools for following training while casual smartwatches are more about connectivity and general health. An important distinction if you are a masters-level athlete looking for a running watch for example.
More typically people use smartwatches as watches that follow their activity and health metrics and give notifications about their smartphones.
Since you get all this information on your wrist, you don’t have to keep checking your phone to see if the message you received was important, etc.
Probably the most important function of smartwatches for most people are the activity and health metrics they offer, which we’ll talk about more in the next chapter.
How Can Smartwatches Help You Be More Active
So how can smartwatches help you keep active and achieve your fitness goals?
Most smartwatches come with an array of sensors that help you monitor at a bare minimum your steps and sleep.
More advanced models evaluate your stress levels from your heart rate variability and follow your blood oxygen levels to spot sleep apnea. We are starting to see models that can even take your blood pressure so in a decade or two these devices can probably give you live data about your blood.
But even the bare minimum is enough to get you moving and sleep enough if you set daily target goals. What makes smartwatches and activity bracelets so effective is their capability to both remind you and paise you for achieving your goals.
While it might seem silly that praise from a little electric device could increase your daily activity levels, it’s actually very effective.
You see, most people have no trouble walking the daily recommended steps. In fact, they usually enjoy doing it. The problem is with habits.
If you haven’t gone for a daily walk for the past 50 years, the likelihood of you going is very small no matter how hard you decide to do it daily.
If you don’t have reminders, you will remember to do it for a few days, a week tops, then you start to return to your old habits. It’s your subconscious programming, your paradigm. It wants to keep things as they are.
It tasks several weeks to ingrain a new habit. Smartwatches are great for reminding you and giving you positive reinforcement. This makes forming a new healthy habit a lot easier.
Are Smartwatches Good For Seniors
One thing to consider is if you really need a smartwatch and are they really good for seniors.
The truth is that you can find most of the functionalities of a smartwatch on a smartphone, so you might not need both devices.
Smartwatches can have pretty small touch screens. This can make them hard to read if you have any degradation in your vision. The small touch screen requires a lot of precision in your hands to operate, something that can be troublesome for many seniors.
While a regular watch requires you to change the battery every few years a smartwatch typically requires you to charge it every few days, once a week at best. This can be annoying if you mainly use it as a watch but the advanced technology comes at a price. Just something to keep in mind when considering your main use for the smartwatch.
If you already own a smartphone and just want to track your activity levels a simple activity tracker might be a better option. They are cheaper, have better battery life, and offer most of the activity and health tracking of a smartwatch. Especially if you choose a higher-end model.
With smartwatches, you are mainly paying for the larger touch screen and a premium design. A good thing to keep in mind is that this makes them less durable than most activity trackers since the screen is larger and they are designed for style, not durability.
Then again if you love technology and want a stylish premium product, there is nothing wrong with getting a high-end smartwatch. Just make sure you get for the right reasons to avoid disappointment.
Choosing The Best Smartwatch For Seniors
I’m sure you came here expecting a suggestion or a review of a smartwatch that would be best for seniors, but I’m not going to present you with one. And for a good reason.
There is no smartwatch that’s generally better for seniors than others. Just like with everything in life it boils down to preference and budget.
Smartwatches evolve at a rapid rate currently so your best bet is to look at what features you need and the price point you are comfortable with. Then I recommend you go to a store that lets you get familiar with the devices, you just can’t get a feel for a device like this by watching online reviews in my opinion.
The most important thing to keep in mind for seniors is that if you have any vision or hand coordination problems, the interface has to be able to accommodate for this with larger icons for example. Otherwise using the device might turn out to be too frustrating.
Here are my top tips for picking a smartwatch for seniors:
- Buy from a local store, so you can test the products before buying and ask the seller any questions you have about the product.
- Buy a reputable brand, avoid cheap knockoffs. There are tons of cheap smartwatches in depot stores but most of these are garbage with no technical support. Pay for quality and enjoy the watch for a long time. Large reputable brands like Apple, Samsung, Garmin, etc. make good smartwatches.
- Know what you need. This means that pick a model that’s compatible with your smartphone or works without one if you don’t own one. Don’t pay thousands for all the bells and whistles if you don’t need them.
- Buy the latest model. Unlike with home appliances for example, with digital electronics, the technology advances so fast that buying an older model at a discount might not be a good move.
- Make sure you can operate the interface and see the screen well. If not, ask the seller if the watch interface can be changed to show larger symbols or choose another model.
I hope you found this article about the best smartwatches for seniors useful. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
Smartwatches can be great for motivating you to start moving and to hit your daily step goals by reminding you and helping you form a healthy habit.
Smartwatches can also help you track some general health trends like sleep and stress levels alongside your activity levels. Unfortunately, they are not currently good enough to be used as medical devices but that will likely change in the future.
That said, if you own a smartphone, a smartwatch might not offer any significant benefits over a smartphone especially if you combine it with a cheap activity tracker.
Activity trackers offer the health and activity benefits of a smartwatch and usually some form of connectivity to your smartphone for messages and notifications.
Smartwatches can be hard for seniors to use if you have any trouble with your sight or hand coordination since the touch screens are very small.
Thanks for reading and see you next time!