Why The Apple Watch Is The Perfect Gift For An Aging Parent
It’s day one of Aragon’s 12 Technologies of Christmas! This blog series will give you our recommendations for the perfect gift for the tech savvy individuals in your life this holiday season.
by Betsy Burton
The first technology that I would like to nominate for Aragon Research’s 12 Technologies of Christmas is an Apple Watch. I know… I know…. it’s not new piece of technology—however it is a new technology for the audience that’s most important to me, my mother.
My mother is 80+ in living years, but 40 in spirit and energy years. She’s very active in the community, and has a lot of friends of diverse ages. She likes to go out with friends, volunteer, work in the garden, travel, and play with her cat.
With all this activity, I was getting concerned about her falling or getting into a situation where she might need to call for help. At first, I was thinking of one of those “I’ve fallen and can’t get up” buttons. However, while it is very reliable, it didn’t fit into her active life and was limited in functionality. And frankly, it made her feel old.
Luckily my brother-in-law (thanks Ron!) got her an Apple Watch. And after a little bit of getting used to, she is finding that it works great for her. Here’s why I’m recommending it.
Call For Help and More
There are a number of things my mother really likes about it:
- Fall Sensor: She really likes that it senses if she falls. It comes up with a message asking if she fell and if she needs help. She has set up the fall support, so that if she doesn’t respond it will automatically call for help. She has been known to set off the fall alert when she hasn’t fallen—like when she dropped down the lid of a trash can. But she would prefer to get the alert than not.
- News Alert: She likes the news alerts since she is a bit of a news hound.
- Heart Monitor and Step Tracker: She likes the heart monitor and that she can bring the results into her doctor. She also proudly records 10-11k steps per day with the step tracker.
- Timer: She uses the timer all the time for cooking, projects, and naps.
- Charger and Finder: She finds the Apple Watch charges quickly. And she also likes that she can use her Apple Watch to find her iPhone.
Not Much to Not Like
She was hard pressed to come up with things she didn’t like.
- Near The iPhone: One drawback is that she needs to be near her phone for most functionality to work. However, she does like the redundancy of the Apple Watch and the iPhone. She can always get to one of them.
- Difficult to Hear Calls: Also, she reported that sometimes she can’t hear a call very well on the Apple Watch, so she ends up calling people back on her iPhone that she has connected to her hearing aid.
I have talked with several people who have gotten their parents an emergency response call button. More often than not, they find their loved one won’t wear it. The reality is, no one wants to feel like they are getting old. My mother reports that the Apple Watch not only has more functionality, it’s cooler and more fun.
The good news is she wears it, and she hasn’t worn a watch before. And, unlike her phone that was sometimes left in the car or in her bag during a party (yes, mother?!?!), the Apple Watch is always with her.
She reports that more and more of her peer group friends are wearing them. The Apple Watch gives them access to people, information, and services, and most importantly independence. And, gives their family a bit more peace of mind.