Ahhhh!   Only twelve days left to shop.  I don't know about you, but it seems I struggle most with selecting gifts for my favorite Seniors!  It just seems I've already bought them one of everything through the years!  So, just like many of you, I turn to the latest "gadgets", and sometime's it just an expensive flop! 

Electronics aren't cheap, so it's a shame when you've bought one and you find it sitting there, unopened or unused when you visit.  It took me a while, but I've finally figured out that it's not so much the gift that's a flop, it's how I've given it.  Sure, I bought it, maybe I even bought the extended warranty, and I wrapped it beautifully!  What I didn't always do in the past was make sure the recipient was comfortable using it before I left. 

Really, when I think about it, I can't even use my own remote, never mind an "All in One Remote"!  Some of the latest models sell for up to $200.00 each--check out the number of buttons on them--now, read the instruction manual.  See????  No wonder it may sit unused until next year--  Face it, electronic gadgets are intimidating to anyone other than the teenagers who probably wrote the manuals!

There are some great electronic gifts to consider for your favority Senior this Holiday Season.  Our newsletter mentioned:

 

Cell Phones:  Forget the bells and whistles and "apps".  Go for simplicity--basic flip phone with a keypad easy to read, and basic send, good audio quality and maybe a direct dial emergency number pad.  My contact at Verizon's Wireless to Go Store recommended Samsung's Haven phone.  It's economical and easy to use.  If you're buying for a Senior, ask about any Senior pricing plans, and remember if you're not paying for the service as part of your gift, make sure the recipient can afford the monthly fees!

 

Computers:  Whether you're considering a desktop or laptop, understand what it will be used for.  A "skype" savvy Senior will need to make sure they're audio and webcam enabled, so do all the necessary research.  If the machine will be used primarily for websearches, e-mail and maybe keeping in touch with Facebook, simplify, but take the time to set up a user friendly homepage, user friendly e-mail and provide some simple instruction on Facebook, including When Not to Be Friends!

 

E-Readers:  I'm an admitted Kindle fan, and have purchased several as gifts.  They have a 9.7" screen offering, and fonts are adjustable.  The reading pane is easy on the eyes and they're easy to learn to use.  Make sure you give complete instruction on downloading books, including how to search for them and how they're billed.  Run through the audio demo on line before buying it exclusively for this feature.  Text to audio is still fairly new, and this leaves a lot of room for improvement.

 

I-Pods:  I haven't had much luck purchasing I-Pods for Seniors in the past.  Could be lack of instruction, but I think it may have more to do with downloading and the earphones.  Also, the controls are a little touchy and take a little getting used to.  If you're considering an I-Pod, consider a docking station with speakers, and consider spending some time to help download a selection of music from time to time.  Better yet, load it up with your Senior's favorite artists before you give the gift, and refresh the music from time to time

 

All In One Remotes:  In theory, I'm a huge fan.  The fewer wires hanging around the better!  In practice, these are tough for me to figure out how to use, and frankly they're expensive.  There are some inexpensive senior friendly all in one's that will incorporate up to 4 remotes for 4 devices--That's probably enough--These offerings are inexpensive and certainly look a little more user friendly.

 

If you're giving an electronic gift, take some time to install it and make sure it's set up and working correctly before you leave.  Write some basic, simple operating instructions on an index card that can be kept with the device.  Simple, like, "1.  To Turn On:  Red Button Upper Left", "2.  To Select Channel:  Use numbers on keypad.  Press Enter, Green Center Button".  Simple, easy to understand instructions will go a long way in ensuring continued use.  Test them on yourself before you give them with the gift!

Lastly, check in after a few days to make sure your gift is being used.  If not, schedule a follow up short training session, or offer step by step "telephone support" to get them going.  If all else fails, have your teenager visit and spend a little time helping make sense of it all--After all, who's better at it than them? 

 

Shannon

Asset and Estate Liquidators, LLC

Because....Sometimes Less is More!